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Karbala

Karbala or Kerbala is a city in central Iraq, located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad, a few dozen miles east of Lake Milh. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, has an estimated population of 700,000 people; the city, best known as the location of the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE, or the shrines of Imam Husayn and Abbas, is considered a holy city for Shi'ite Muslims, in the same way as Mecca and Jerusalem. Tens of millions of Shi'ite Muslims visit the site twice a year, rivalling Mecca as a place of pilgrimage; the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali is commemorated annually by millions of Shi'ites. Up to 8 million pilgrims visit the city to observe ʿĀshūrāʾ, which marks the anniversary of Husayn's death, but the main event is the Arbaʿīn, where up to 30 million visit the graves. Most of the pilgrims travel on foot from more than 56 countries. There are many opinions among different investigators, as to the origin of the word "Karbala"; some have pointed out that "Karbala" has a connection to the "Karbalato" language, while others attempt to derive the meaning of word "Karbala" by analyzing its spelling and language.

They conclude that it originates from the Arabic word "Kar Babel", a group of ancient Babylonian villages that included Nainawa, Al-Ghadiriyya, Karbella, Al-Nawaweess, Al-Heer. This last name is where Husayn ibn Ali's grave is located; the investigator Yaqut al-Hamawi had pointed out that the meaning of "Karbala" could have several explanations, one of, that the place where Husayn ibn Ali was martyred is made of soft earth—"Al-Karbalat". According to Shi'ite belief, the archangel Gabriel narrated the true meaning of the name Karbalā’ to Muhammad: a combination of karb and balā’." Karbala experiences a hot desert climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. All of the yearly precipitation is received between November and April, though no month is wet; the Battle of Karbala was fought on the bare deserts on the way to Kufa on October 10, 680. Both Husayn ibn Ali and his brother Abbas ibn Ali were buried by the local Banī Asad tribe, at what became known as the Mashhad Al-Husayn; the battle itself occurred as a result of Husain's refusal of Yazid I's demand for allegiance to his caliphate.

The Kufan governor, Ubaydallah ibn Ziyad, sent thirty thousand horsemen against Husayn as he traveled to Kufa. The horsemen, under'Umar ibn Sa'd, were ordered to deny Husayn and his followers water in order to force Husayn to agree to give an oath of allegiance. On the 9th of Muharram, Husayn refused, asked to be given the night to pray. On 10 Muharram, Husayn ibn Ali prayed the morning prayer and led his troops into battle along with his brother Abbas. Many of Husayn's followers, including all of his present sons Ali Akbar, Ali Asghar and his nephews Qassim and Muhammad were killed. In 63 AH, Yazid ibn Mu'awiya released the surviving members of Husayn's family from prison. On their way to Mecca, they stopped at the site of the battle. There is record of Sulayman ibn Surad going on pilgrimage to the site as early as 65 AH; the city began as a tomb and shrine to Husayn and grew as a city in order to meet the needs of pilgrims. The city and tombs were expanded by successive Muslim rulers, but suffered repeated destruction from attacking armies.

The original shrine was destroyed by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil in 850 but was rebuilt in its present form around 979, only to be destroyed by fire in 1086 and rebuilt yet again. Like Najaf, the city suffered from severe water shortages that were only resolved in the early 18th century by building a dam at the head of the Husayniyya Canal. In 1737, the city replaced Isfahan in Iran as the main centre of Shia scholarship. In the mid-eighteenth century it was dominated by the dean of scholarship, Yusuf Al Bahrani, a key proponent of the Akhbari tradition of Shia thought, until his death in 1772, after which the more state-centric Usuli school became more influential; the Wahhabi sack of Karbala occurred in 21 April 1802, under the rule of Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad the second ruler of the First Saudi State, when 12,000 Wahhabi Muslims from Najd attacked the city of Karbala. The attack was coincident with 10 Muharram; this fight left 3,000–5,000 deaths and the dome of the tomb of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad and son of Ali bin Abi Talib, was destroyed.

The fight lasted for 8 hours. After the First Saudi State invasion, the city enjoyed semi-autonomy during Ottoman rule, governed by a group of gangs and mafia variously allied with members of the'ulama. In order to reassert their authority, the Ottoman army laid siege to the city. On January 13, 1843 Ottoman troops entered the city. Many of the city leaders fled leaving defense of the city to tradespeople. About 3,000 Arabs were killed in the city, another 2,000 outside the walls; the Turks lost 400 men. This prompted many students and scholars to move to Najaf, which became the main Shia religious centre. Between 1850 and 1903, Karbala enjoyed a generous influx of money through the Oudh Bequest; the Shia-ruled Indian Province of Awadh, known by the British as Oudh, had always sent money and pilgrims to the holy city. The Oudh money, 10 million rupees, originated in 1825 from the Awadh Nawab Ghazi-ud-Din Haider. One third was to g

Bald Mountain (Pennsylvania)

Bald Mountain is a prominent peak in Northeastern Pennsylvania which stands above the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton area. On the summit is an outcrop of Catskill conglomerate known as the "Pinnacle Rock". From the summit you may view the northernmost extension of the geologic province known as the Glaciated Low Plateaus section; the mountain itself is in the Valley Appalachians. It is a great place for photography. To access the summit you can take the Pinnacle Rock trail; the trailhead is a nine hundred foot vertical gain. Alan R. Geyer "Outstanding Geologic Features of Pennsylvania", Geological Survey of Pennsylvania "Latitude and Longitude from TopoQuest". TopoQuest.com

Wujin District

Wujin District is a district under the jurisdiction of Changzhou in Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China. In 2005 Wujin was ranked as 8th in the top 100 best counties in mainland China. In 2005 the total population was recorded at 951,000 people, a decline from the 1.2m inhabitants recorded in 1999. In 2005 Wujin was ranked as 8th in the top 100 best counties in mainland China. On May 7, 2015, Qishuyan District became a part of Wujin District; the local language is the Changzhou dialect of Wu Chinese. The district is most famous for the Chunqiu Yancheng, the remains of an ancient city from the Spring and Autumn period; the Wycombe Abbey International School of Changzhou is located in Wujin District, serving Chinese and foreign students for kindergarten through high school. Official site of the Wujin district government