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Reflecting on my religion: how the ritual of Ashura reshaped my idea of suffering

Even after my faith has faded, the markings of Ashura are still etched on my mind

By Maan Al-Yasiri  

During Ashura, Shia men and women will gather in separate halls to cry and beat their chests in rhythm with a eulogy sung by a trained, and likely also crying, orator. Photo: Sayed Baqer AalKamel/NurPhoto)

When I was five years old and living in Damascus, I witnessed the massacre of a small rebellious army led by the Imam Hussein, a saint for Shia Muslims. My grandmother and I watched as men in bloodied white robes barely fight off the more numerous army of a corrupt and unjust ruler.


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