Sunday, July 19, 2009

Iranian company has monopoly over pilgrimage visas

Hotel owners in Kerbala complained that an Iranian company took over exclusive rights to bring in Iranian pilgrims to the city. Kerbala is a city famous for being home to two important Shiite shrines. The economy of the city depends largely on revenues generated from religious tourism. Alaa Mahfouz, a hotel owner, said the Iraqi embassy in Iran is issuing visas to Iranian pilgrims through one particular government-owned Iranian company. Zuhair Mahmoud, who runs a tourism company lamented that such practices would undermine religious tourism business.

I would love to know the story behind this company.

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