Sopore, Jul 29: “The grief of Ashura transcends cultural and national boundaries,” said Mehdi Ali, from Afghanistan, who has come to Sopore in north Kashmir to observe the 10th Muharram procession here – a significant event in the Islamic history.
The 25-year-old Mehdi hails from the Ghazni province of Afghanistan and presently studying civil engineering at Guru Nanak University in Amritsar, Punjab.
Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Ali said he has been in Sopore for the last three days.
“I came to Sopore with my Professor who teaches me at the university,” Ali said. “He is a good friend of mine.”
At the Saidpura village here, Mehdi joined the locals in decorating the streets with colorful banners and vibrant symbols of devotion to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred in Karbala, Iraq, some 1400 years ago along with his family members and companions.
Mehdi Ali said he was warmly welcomed by the locals who were intrigued by his origin. “The people embraced me as one of their own. I am feeling a sense of belonging here despite being miles away from my homeland,” he expressed. “I feel a profound connection to the people around me, as today I realised that this grief of Ashura transcends cultural and national boundaries.”
The tale of the Afghan student symbolises how traditions and faith can bridge the gaps between nations and create everlasting bonds of brotherhood.
“I have been never to Kashmir before. Though I explored Sopore and met a group of people here who welcomed me with open arms, I am eager to share the beauty and wonders of this land with me,” Mehdi said—(KNO)