Massive crowds for Ashura processions
Manama, December 27, 2009
More than 160,000 people gathered in old Manama on Saturday night to mark the eve of the death anniversary of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammed.
Processions to commemorate the event have been organised in Bahrain for centuries and the tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.
Hussaini Processions Commission president Hussain Al Alawi said the Manama suq and surrounding areas were closed to non-essential traffic from 5pm.
Al Alawi said that everything was under control and the authorities would be present in the processions area to ensure it remained safe, secure and protected.
"Their presence will also help maintain order at the event and ensure there is no trouble or problems," he said. "Community police will also be present, which is very helpful.
"It is hard to control a big crowd, but with our preparations things have been going fine during the past few days."
Al Alawi said there had been large numbers of people in Manama since the first nights of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic calendar), which began on December 18.
"This is due to the three main nights falling on a weekend and thousands of GCC nationals are coming to take part in Ashoora festivities in Bahrain," he said.-TradeArabia News Service