A young boy performs self-flagellation (zanjirzani) ritual, to remember the death of Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, in the war of Karbala against Yazid of the Muawiyah dynasty, about 14 centuries earlier. Hussain’s death is remembered as a crucial event and had become the most important festival for the Shia Muslims. While outlawed in Iran, the self-flagellation ritual which includes shedding of one’s blood is quite common in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, 2006

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