Monday, January 21, 2008

'Ashura 2008 in Manama: Processions are often preceded by a banner announcing which "funeral home" it represents

Copyright ARN, 2008

In this case, it is Ma'tam Madan, one of the most widely supported funeral homes in Manama (some funeral homes are called Husseiniyyas", as they are elsewhere in Shi'i societies)". There were few camels in the processions, but this creature and two other riderless animals were intended to evoke the transport of the women prisoners, including the much revered Zaynab, and the Fourth Imam, Ali ibn Hussein--Zein al-Abidin, from Karbala to Damascus.

An ethnographic video on the Muharram rituals in Bahrain will be available in a few months, and I will also publish a portfolio of superior images, with commentary, in the coming months.

For those of you interested in other cases: My earlier article on 'Ashura in Nabatiyya, Lebanon, is available in the Drama Review, as well as in a chapter in my book on Hezbollah. In both cases, you may find photos taken by me and my colleague 'Ali Safa. A shorter article by Safa and I appeared in the defunct Middle East Insight.

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