Despite the peaceful all-night prayers and mourning, the day of the anniversary of Hussein’s death, known as Ashura, started with 8 explosions in Karbala and nearly 120 pilgrims killed. The British group was safe, but on their way out of Iraq the bus broke down in the middle of the desert. They became exposed and vulnerable for 24 hours near the Sunni triangle, an area packed with fighters against the foreign presence.
But as Nadeem clarifies as they waited for rescue, “the difficulties experienced in this trip really means nothing to us; at the end of the day it can’t be compared to what Hussein and his group suffered in this same desert. When I arrive back in England I will tell my children that I saw beautiful places and greatness. So hopefully when I come here again next year I will bring them and show harmony and peace.”