Blood on Marble: The Hallowed Ground of Ashura

Photo Blog by Alia Haju and Marwan Tahtah

Coverage of Ashura, the Shia religious holiday commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, is often fixated on the people taking part in the rituals of chest beating and head bloodletting.

But one of the classical chants of Ashura refers to every land as the hallowed ground of Karbala, the town where Hussein and his family were massacred.

On the tenth and last day of commemoration, we visited the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh, the country's major site of Ashura practices predating those held in Beirut's suburb, Al Dahiyeh.

We decided to turn our lens away from bloodied faces and tranced people to zoom in on the patterns and silhouettes that are created by the flowing blood and body shadows on the ground beneath.

(Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
(Photo: Alia Haju)
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