The following towns have over 50,000 inhabitants each: Constantinople, 1,150,000; Smyrna, 250,000; Bagdad, 145,000; Damascus, 145,000; Aleppo, 122,000; Beirut, 118,000; Adrianople, 81,000; Brusa, 76,000; Jerusalem, 56,000; Caesarea Mazaca (Kaisarieh), 72,000; Kerbela, 65,000; Monastir, 53,000; Mosul, 61,000; Mecca, 60,000; Homs, 60,000; Sana, 58,000; Urfa, 55,000; and Marash, 52,000.
In January 1902 the German group holding the Anatolian railway concession was granted a further concession for extending that railway from Konia, then its terminus, through the Taurus range and by way of the Euphrates, Nisibin, Mosul, the Tigris, Bagdad, Kerbela and Nejef to Basra, thus establishing railway communication between the Bosporus and the Persian Gulf.
These religious sectaries attacked and plundered all Mussulmans not conforming to their peculiar tenets; they overran Kerbela and the Hejaz, sacking the holy cities and closing the pilgrim routes.
Early in 1848 he again returned to Arabia, avoiding the long desert journey by landing at Muwela, thence striking inland to Tebuk on the pilgrim road, and re-entering Shammar territory at the oasis of Tema, he again visited Hail; and after spending a month there travelled northwards to Kerbela and Bagdad.
Shammar was crossed without difficulty, and the party was welcomed by the amir and hospitably entertained for a month, after which they travelled northwards in company with the Persian pilgrim caravan returning to Kerbela and Bagdad.
Another important route is that taken by the Persian or Shia pilgrims from Bagdad and Kerbela across the desert, by the wells of aina, to Bureda in Kasim; thence across the steppes of western Nejd till it crosses the Hejaz border at the Ria Mecca, 50 m.
On the accession of Yazid, Hosain refused homage and raised an army, but was slain at Kerbela (680).
In 1801 Saud, son of the amir Abdul Aziz, led an expedition to the Euphrates, and on the festival of Bairam, the 10th of April, stormed Kerbela, put the defenders to the sword, destroyed the sacred tomb, scattered the sacred relics and returned laden with the treasures, accumulated during centuries in the sanctuary of the Shia faith.
Of Kerbela and 5 or 6 m.
KERBELA, or Meshed-Iiosain, a town of Asiatic Turkey, the capital of a sanjak of the Bagdad vilayet, situated on the extreme western edge of the alluvial river plain, about 60 m.
Kerbela owes its existence to the fact that IJosain, a son of `Ali, the fourth caliph, was slain here by the soldiers of Yazid, the rival aspirant to the caliphate, on the 10th of October A.D.
Kerbela is a place of pilgrimage of the Shiite Moslems, and is only less sacred to them than Meshed `Ali and Mecca.
Some 200,000 pilgrims from the Shiite portions of Islam are said to journey annually to Kerbela, many of them carrying the bones of their relatives to be buried in its sacred soil, or bringing their sick and aged to die there in the odour of sanctity.
Formerly Kerbela was a self-governing hierarchy and constituted an inviolable sanctuary for criminals; but in 1843 the Turkish government undertook to deprive the city of some of these liberties and to enforce conscription.
The Kerbelese resisted, and Kerbela was bombarded (hence the ruined condition of the old walls) and reduced with great slaughter.
The enormous influx of pilgrims naturally creates a brisk trade in Kerbela and the towns along the route from Persia to that place and beyond to Nejef.
The population of Kerbela, necessarily fluctuating, is estimated at something over 60,000, of whom the principal part are Shiites, chiefly Persians, with a goodly mixture of British Indians.
Those to the south and south-west comprehended almost every province in Persia, including Bagdad, Kerbela and Kurdistan.
Between the Euphrates and the Arabian plateau lie the sacred cities of Kerbela or Meshed-Hosain, and Nejef or Meshed Ali, with a population of 20,000 to 60,000 each, while a number of towns, varying in population from 3000 to 10,000, are found along the Euphrates (Anah, Hit, Ramadieh, Musseyib, Hilla, Diwanieh and Samawa) and the Tigris (Tekrit, Samarra and Kut elAmara).
The settled population lies entirely along the banks of these streams and the canals and lagoons westward of the Euphrates, between Kerbela and Nejef.
At that date this disease was stamped out by energetic measures on the part of the government, but it has reappeared again in recent years, introduced apparently from India or Persia by pilgrims. There are four great centres of pilgrimage for Shiite Moslems in the vilayet, Samarra, Kazemain, a suburb of Bagdad, Kerbela and Nejef.
On the 8th of Dhu'l-Hijja Hosain set out from Mecca with all his family, expecting to be received with enthusiasm by the citizens of Kuf a, but on his arrival at Kerbela west of the Euphrates, he was confronted by an army sent by Obaidallah under the command of Omar, son of the famous Sa`d b.
Ibn Zobair's representative in Kuf a was compelled to flee, and all those who had participated in the battle of Kerbela were put to death.
He showed his hatred for the Shiites by causing the mausoleum erected over the tomb of Hosain at Kerbela, together with all the buildings surrounding it, to be levelled to the ground and the site to be ploughed up, and by forbidding any one to visit the spot.
It was also he who built the mausoleum of Hosain at Kerbela, and that of Ali at Kufa.
It caused a much greater mortality and extended over a much wider area than that of 1867, including the towns of Kerbela and Hilleh.
The highest authority of all is vested in the muftahid who resides at Kerbela, or Nejef, near Bagdad, and is considered by many S/ziites as the vicegerent of the Prophet and representative of the imam.
It provided especially against a recurrence of the proved causes of war, such as extorting taxes from Persian travellers or pilgrims, disrespect to the ladies of the royal harem and other ladies of rank proceeding to Mecca or Karbala (Kerbela), irregular levies of custom-duties, non-punishment of Kurdish depredators transgressing the boundary, and the like.
A massacre of Persians at Kerbela might have seriously complicated the dispute, but, after a first burst of indignation and call for vengeance, an expression of the regret of the Ottoman government was accepted as a sufficient apology for the occurrence.