For the thirteenth year in a row, the land of sanctity and sacrifice; the holy city of Karbala embraces from the vicinity of the shrine of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) within the celebrations of his birth anniversary, the opening ceremony of the International Cultural Festival of Martyrdom Spring held under the slogan "Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) a continuous rain and an ongoing flood" was launched on Sunday the 3rd of Sha'ban 1438 AH corresponding to the 30th of April 2017 with the participation of 35 Arab, Islamic and international countries from various communities.
The opening ceremony was attended by many religious, cultural and academic figures from inside and outside Iraq, representatives of the holy shrines and sanctuaries in Iraq and in the Islamic world as well as representatives of the local government in the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf in addition to the local and international media.
The ceremony started by the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by the reader Osama Karbala'i and reading al-Fatiha in memory of the martyrs of Iraq followed by the word of the two General Secretariat of the holy shrines of Imam al-Hussayn and of al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them) delivered by Sayed Ahmed al-Safi. Followed by the word of the head of the Shiite Endowment Sayed 'Ala al-Musawi.
The birth celebrations' festival continued shedding its light through the speech of the papal ambassador to the festival His Excellency Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin, who started it by conveying peace and greetings of the Pope to the festival organizers, praying for its continuous success.
This speech was followed by the word o the participants from the Asian continent, delivered on their behalf by a member of the Afghan House of Representatives.
Then the poet Mohamad al-Hirzi has chanted one of his poems about the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) in particularly Imam al-Hussayn and Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them).
Followed by the word of the participants in the festival from the African continent, delivered on their behalf by Sheikh shu'ayb Kibi.
The opening ceremony was concluded by a religious stanza [Muwashah] then the attendees headed to the opening of the book fair held within the activities of the festival.