Arbaeen: Scottish peace walk swaps west for east as humanitarian event comes to Edinburgh
A HUMANITARIAN peace walk held in Glasgow as a response to travel restrictions due to covid has now established itself as an awareness event in Scotland.
According to Heraldscotland.com, this year the peace walk will be swapping cities and will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday, September 28 as the charity it is linked to reaches out to organisations and multifaith groups on the route of the walk.
In 2019 Ameed Versace, supported by the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, walked 50 miles on a pilgrim walk between Najaf to Karbala in Iraq. He was one of millions who took part in the Arba’een walk, which dates back 1400 years. Imam Hussain, who was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, walked on it to support an oppressed people that sought his help. A walk is held every year to mark his passing.
Last year Mr Versace swapped Iraq for Glasgow and now he is heading to the east coast as he intends to walk in Edinburgh.
Shabir Beg, OBE, chairman of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, a faith group working to meet the needs of the Scottish Shia Muslim community which works in partnership across the country on cultural, social and religious projects, said: “Last year plans changed quickly due to covid restrictions and we brought the humanitarian walk to the streets of Glasgow. It showed successful collaboration between faith and non-faith communities across the board.
“Twelve months on we find ourselves still in the midst of covid and this year the walk will still be on Scottish soil. Ameed will be walking in Edinburgh with the charity’s support.
“The walk this year will be more impactful as it will be held in Edinburgh and new surroundings. It is emblematic of the fellowship that exists between different people and different backgrounds, and has the support of the Lord Provost and the city.”
Among the stop off places on the Edinburgh route are charitable projects at both Hearts and Hibs football grounds, St Mary’s Cathedral, The Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, and St Giles Cathedral.
Other stop off points include the Lord Lyon King of Arms, at New Register House, the Scottish Government, at St Andrew's House, with the final location at Edinburgh City Chambers.
Mr Beg added: “We adapted the pilgrim walk last year out of a necessity following covid, but it gave us an opportunity in Scotland. We hope to cover all Scottish cities in the coming years and are already thinking about plans for Inverness in 2022.”