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Arbaeen Walk: From Sectarian Ritual to Global Pilgrimage - Modification in Interpretation & Function

The Arbaeen Walk stands as the largest global pilgrimage, an annual tradition observed by Shia Muslims in Iraq following a 40-day mourning period for Hussain, the third Imam of Shia Muslims and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The Arbaeen Walk is a complex phenomenon that, at first glance, appears to be a collective religious pilgrimage. However, it is a multi-layered phenomenon, ranging from a cultural event to a socio-political affair. The history of this pilgrimage has two main phases: before and after the US invasion in 2003. Before the US invasion, it had a sectarian meaning for Shias. After 2003, the meaning of this ritual changed from sectarian significance to a spectrum of collective cultural rituals and Shia internal discursive conflicts.

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Executive editor

Michael Curtin

managing editor

Victor Faessel

Advisory committee

Janet Afary

Alison Brysk

Jan Nederveen Pieterse

Contributing editors

Daniele Archibugi

Neera Chandhoke

Scarlett Cornelissen

Ayça Çubukçu

Richard Falk

Bishnupriya Ghosh


Penelope Green

Marwan Kraidy

Jie-Hyun Lim

Matthias Middell

Laikwan Pang

Yeidy Rivero


Lila Abu-Lughod

Celso Amorim

Ien Ang

Helmut Anheier

Arjun Appadurai

Roland Benedikter

Manuela Boatca

Craig Calhoun

Manuel Castells

Rey Chow

Allen Chun

Manuela Ciotti

Elaine Coburn

Donatella della Porta

Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier

Abdellah Hammoudi

Maria Immacolata Vassallo

De Lopes

Aniko Imre

Koichi Iwabuchi

Paul James

Dayan Jayatilleka

Mark Juergensmeyer

Habibul Khondker

Ranjani Mazumdar

Anne McClintock

Nivedita Menon

Sara Mourad

Tarik Sabry

Dominic Sachsenmaier

Saskia Sassen

Mona Kanwal Sheikh

Manfred Steger

Daya Thussu

Anna Tsing

David Wank

Wendy Willems

Steven Witt

Surichai Wungae

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