Referring to the mission of the International Ashura Foundation, the Foundation’s Deputy for International Affairs stated, “In line with its goals and missions, the International Ashura Foundation is should introduce the culture of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) and the Ashura movement, as well as the principles of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the people of the world and non-Iranian audiences.”
“In the current situation where the expansion of Covid-19 has made face-to-face gatherings impossible, one of the activities of this foundation is to hold international webinars. In Muharram and Safar last year, the Foundation held 28 international webinars on various topics related to Ashura, with the participation of cultural figures and prominent scholars and figures of Sunnis, Christians, and religious minorities,” said Hassan Khakrand, in an interview with ABNA News Agency correspondent in Iraq, in response to a question on the activities of the International Ashura Foundation.
“In the webinars of Ashura International Foundation, topics such as Imam Hussain (a.s.) movement, philosophy of Ashura, the role of Hazrat Zainab (a.s.) after Ashura, and the role of Imam Sajjad (a.s.) and companions of Imam Hussain (a.s.) before and after Ashura, were explained with the participation of cultural figures and scholars. Institutions such as the United Ummah Center, the Iranian Cultural Counselor in Beirut, the Tehran Municipality, and the Imam al-Montazar Institute collaborated in holding these webinars. The webinars of the Ashura International Foundation have been well received in the media and cyberspace,” he added.
“This year, the Foundation has held eight webinars on topics such as the role of Hazrat Zainab (a.s.), the role of Imam Sajjad (a.s.), the Christian view of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and the Sunni view of Imam Hussein (a.s.),” said the Deputy for International Affairs of the Ashura International Foundation, on the webinars which have been held by the foundation.
“Activities of the International Ashura Foundation include the production of Ashura-related products such as lectures, books, articles, encyclopedias, art clips, music videos, and photographs. These products were prepared in the form of CDs, and before Muharram were sent by the Foundation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the Al-Mustafa International University, cultural consultations, and institutions operating abroad to be used in mosques, Hosseiniyahs and Heya’ts. The lectures and clips were selected and chosen by the Ashura International Foundation to have pure topics and away from exaggeration, distortion, and deviation,” Khakrand continued.
“Before the month of Muharram, by the order of Ayatollah Akhtari, the head of the International Ashura Foundation, the Foundation prepared Ashura guidelines for holding mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussain (a.s.), and after translating it into different languages, they were sent to all cultural and religious centers. In these guidelines, the issue of the Covid-19 outbreak was also considered so that these centers could convey the message of Imam Hussain (a.s.) to the people of the world, despite the limitations caused by the virus outbreak,” he added.
“Before Muharram, the Ashura International Foundation produced seven 30-minute clips, each containing 15 minutes of speeches by figures such as Ayatollah Ramazani, Ayatollah Akhtari, Ayatollah Araki, and Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qasem. In these artistic Ashura-related clips, the statements of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei, the narrations of orientalists and various personalities about Imam Hussain (a.s.) were presented. In addition to being broadcast on Al- Thaqalayn TV, the Ashura International Foundation’s video clips on the month of Muharram were presented to the IRIB and the Islamic Radio and Television Union for broadcasting” said the Deputy for International Affairs of the Ashura International Foundation, referring to the video productions of the Foundation.
“The Ashura International Foundation also produced 12 two- to five-minute clips with Persian, Arabic, English, and Urdu subtitles. Before Muharram, Ayatollah Akhtari sent open letters to the muftis of the Islamic world, cultural figures, and scientific-cultural centers of the world. The subjects of these letters were the Ashura movement, the philosophy of the uprising of Imam Hussain (a.s.), and the introduction of the Ashura Foundation and its goals. In his letters, Ayatollah Akhtari asked these figures and institutions to cooperate in explaining the teachings of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) and the Ashura movement in the world,” he continued.
“The International Ashura Foundation has also prepared a draft memorandum of cooperation with the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s.). The draft mentions joint activities, including webinars, authoring, and research,” Khakrand added.
“On Arbaeen this year, Despite the existing restrictions, the Foundation printed banners in Arabic, and they were installed during the Arbaeen pilgrimage in Mawkebs, such as the Mawkeb of Imam Reza (a.s.) and the Mawkeb of “Neda al-Aqsa”. Also, the products of the International Ashura Foundation were prepared on CDs with the logo of the Foundation and were made available to pilgrims. The CDs contained products such as lectures, books, encyclopedias, and art clips,” he said, referring to the activities of the International Ashura Foundation during the Arbaeen pilgrimage this year.
“The movement of Imam Hussain (a.s.) is a heat that is always burning in the hearts. Enthusiasts of Imam Hussain (a.s.) always love to participate in the Arbaeen Walk. However, restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 outbreak led to strict regulations. while it was possible to facilitate the presence of pilgrims in the Arbaeen Walk, a walk that is unique in history. People were dissatisfied with these actions; measures that prevented Iranian pilgrims from participating in the Arbaeen pilgrimage with large crowds. I hope that this disease will disappear as soon as possible and next year we will see the enthusiastic presence of Iranians who love Imam Hussain (a.s.) in the Arbaeen Walk,” said the Deputy for International Affairs of the Ashura International Foundation, referring to the impact of restrictions due to the outbreak of Covid-19 on the presence of Iranian pilgrims at the Arbaeen ceremony.
“According to the mission of the International Ashura Foundation, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Foundation call on the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pay more attention to the Foundation and provide the necessary funds for it to fulfill its mission. Ashura International Foundation can play a great role abroad but the shortcomings of this foundation must be compensated. We owe all our assets to Imam Hussain (a.s.) and the thoughts and ideas of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) and the school of AhlulBayt (a.s.). We must introduce this resuscitative school to global audiences outside of Iran through artistic and up-to-date methods. If these audiences understand the facts, they will learn the lesson of resistance and fighting oppression from Imam Hussain (a.s.) and they can consider Imam Hussain (a.s.) as their role model,” he mentioned.