Is it recommended to write my will and to fast before leaving for Ziyarah?
It is highly recommended to write your will before you set off for Ziyarah and to fast for 3 days leading up to the Ziyarah.
Do I need vaccinations?
Yes you will need injections. Please make an appointment with your Nurse or GP at your local medical centre and they will advise you which injections you need. Ideally for your injections to be effective during your trip, you should have your injections around 6 weeks before you travel.
Should I take out travel insurance?
It is always recommended to take out travel insurance. Just check that the insurer will cover you in your intended destination. However, this may prove challenging as the FCO doesn’t recommend travelling to Iraq.
Should I pack some toiletries for the journey?
Remember that you may be in airport transit for some hours, so it might be worth packing your toothpaste, toothbrush and any other toiletries in your hand luggage.
What should I wear during Easter and October trips?
The weather will be warm during the day so please pack some light clothes, however it can get a bit cold at night so please bring a jumper or coat just in case.
What should I wear during December trips?
In December it will be very cold. Please bring your thickest coat that covers every part of you, a jumper or cardigan, a wooly hat, a scarf, gloves, your thickest socks, even a blanket to keep you warm. These would be worn over your Abayah and chador (for ladies) or jeans/trousers/dishdasha (for men) to maintain your body temperature.
How much luggage weight is each person allowed to take on board the aircraft?
Usually 30kg main luggage and 8kg hand luggage. Please double check your e-ticket and travel reservation before travelling to be absolutely sure.
I have special dietary requirements or allergies, what should I do?
Please mention this on your online registration form and we will do our best to accommodate.
Do I need to retain a copy of my flight documents?
Please ensure that you either download your e-tickets onto your phone or have a print out available as you will not be allowed entry into Najaf airport on your return journey, without showing your ticket to security outside the airport. It’s always advisable to have hard copies just in case you were to lose your phone.
What precautionary medication should we consider taking with us?
Please remember to take age related paracetamol, antihistamine, antibacterial hand gel and wipes, and sunscreen especially for this kids.
What type of clothes for charity could I bring?
Abaya’s for ladies as this is customary in Iraq. Please avoid shalwar kameez, lengas, saris or other non Iraqi dress. Dresses for young girls, and t-shirts and jeans or trousers for boys would work well.
How should I bag items for charity?
If you are taking charity clothes with you, please have them bagged by gender/age and labelled. It’s almost impossible to go through piles of unlabelled clothing.
Can I bring lots of bags for charity?
In the past we have had major issues with Zuwwar bringing a lot of luggage and informing their friends who are in Ziyarah to drop off their charity bags to them at the hotel in Najaf. Please ensure that you don’t take any luggage from other people because the bags won’t fit in our coaches which will cause delays as we try to move from Najaf to Karbala. Also a lot of people ask me what to buy for the orphans, apart from buying gifts for your sponsored orphans or the party bags, it is better to take money with you and either give the orphans money to buy what they need or you can buy supplies there. This helps to stimulate the local economy, especially small shop owners.
Can we check-in online?
Please note that you cannot check-in online because even if you do, you still have to check-in again at the airport as we need to present the group visa. Each airport will check-in as a group.
Should we wait for the group or check-in as soon as we get to the airport?
You can’t check in without a visa so the whole group will need to check-in together. Even if you check-in online, you will still need to recheck-in at the Turkish Airlines desk.
How many hours before our flight should we arrive at the airport check-in desk?
Please arrive to the airport 3 hours before your scheduled flight. Please arrive timely. Any lateness will delay the entire group check-in and if you are too late, then you will miss check-in. We cannot delay the entire group and jeopardise the entire trip if you are unreasonably late.
What consumables should I avoid when in Iraq?
You should avoid local water, tap water, salads and fruit even if you are consuming them at a 5* hotel. Safe packaged drinking water and bottled water, will be available throughout your trip and consuming clean cooked or grilled food at your 5* hotel should be safe.
Are we allowed to take photos or videos of others?
Please be mindful of the photos you take whilst on your trip. Please don’t take or post facially identifiable photos of other Zuwwar (especially women and children) on social media without prior consent from them. We don’t post or share photos of ourselves or our children on any social media platform and we ask you not to take or post any photos or videos on any platform be it Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or any other platform with prior consent. Please always remember to seek people’s permission first. Thank you for your understanding.
If I want to travel with my wheelchair, how much notice do I need to provide to Ziyarah Tours?
A minimum of two weeks notice will need to be given to help us to arrange this for you with the airline.
Is there an additional charge to hire someone to help to push my wheelchair on a daily basis when in Iraq? If so, how much?
Yes there will be, the cost will be between $25 and $30 per day. However, Airport wheelchairs and wheelchairs without a worker are provided free of charge.
Can men and women sit together at the shrines?
Usually, men and women are totally segregated at the shrines right from the point of entry, so please bear this in mind. There are some occasions when families can sit together in designated areas.
Do the hotel rooms have kettles and fridges?
Usually there are fridges in the hotel rooms, however it is subject to availability. There are no kettles in the hotel room however there are large urns in the restaurant to dispense hot water for tea and coffee.
Are towels and toilet tissue paper provided in the hotel rooms?
Indeed, towels and toilet tissue paper are provided.
Are electric socket outlets in the hotels compatible with the standard UK 3 pin type?
Yes it’s 3 pin. You don’t need to take any adapters.
Does the hotel have a laundry service?
The hotel has a laundry service but it can be quite expensive. Therefore, please ensure that you bring enough change of clothes with you, especially if you have small children.
What are we not allowed to take into the harram?
You can take anything you want apart from perfumes; cosmetics and electronic devices including phones, cameras, ipads, laptops, children’s handheld devices, flashing lights, and earphones. No electronic devices are allowed inside the harram so please bring your dua books with you especially if you need non Arabic dua books.
Are pushchairs allowed inside the harram?
Pushchairs are not allowed inside the harram. You will need to leave them outside with the Amanat and you will be given a ticket to present on collection.
Where can I leave my possessions at the harram?
You can leave your possessions with the Amanat or in lockers with keys situated just outside the harram. If you have valuables, it is always safer to leave them in your hotel room safe.
Can I sneak my forbidden items into the harram?
It would be breaking the rules, and the rules are there for the safety and security of all. Your valuables are likely to be stolen (it has happened to some people in every trip), or it could be confiscated by the harram officials if it is a forbidden item such as a mobile or other type of gadget. We always advise you to leave your valuable possessions in your hotel room safe and please do not take them with you on trips. If you do so, it will be at your own risk and by taking it, you indemnify Ziyarah Tours of having any responsibility over your valuables / possessions. Valuables left on coaches are not completely safe from theft either. Just to clarify, Ziyarah Tours accepts no responsibility for valuables or property belonging to its group members.
Will there be any person to recite Ziyarat on our behalf while entering and inside the haram?
Yes, we would arrange this.
Can you give us an idea about the type of tasks volunteers are expected to help with at the medical camp please?
It is usually admin work and helping the doctors and dentists with their work. Things like keeping the orphans entertained and looking after them whilst waiting to be seen, taking the orphans from the waiting list to see the Dr. Checking patients’ blood pressure and recording it, making a list of the patients seen etc.
Do I need to have previous experience as a volunteer
Not at all, we can bring you up to speed.
What if I signed up to volunteer and decided to sleep-in, in the morning so I couldn’t make it to the clinic in time?
If you do volunteer to help at the camp then please ensure that you are able to commit to those dates and times or whatever you have agreed. We have had situations in the past where volunteers decided not to turn up on the day and that caused us difficulties and inconvenienced the orphans. Please do think carefully before volunteering, it is a responsibility that one must fulfil.
How can we donate funds to WWB-WABIL whilst in Iraq?
A lot of Zuwaar choose to donate funds to charity. As we are not a charity, we need to pass on all of the donations to the official charity A World Without Barriers to record, issue receipts and spend donations on the intended projects. For this reason we ask that all donations are given to us in a sealed envelope to be passed on to the charity with the following details written on the envelope:
1. Name of Donor
2. Address of Donor
4. Purpose (orphans/khums/ Sadaqa/widows/food/ general etc)
5. Please specify if you are happy for the charity to claim gift aid on your donation
If your friends and family give you donations, the above still applies. We know many people say that they don’t want a receipt, but it’s very important that the charity does issue every donor with an official receipt signed by the chairman. These will be prepared after we return to the UK and posted to all the donors. We would also encourage you to spend the money there yourself but will be more than happy to guide you to where the genuine poor are.
What is the relationship or connection between Ziyarah Tours and A World Without Barriers (WWB) and WABIL
Ziyarah Tours, a private limited company which is incorporated in England and Wales, assists the charity A World Without Barriers which is a working name of WABIL, which is overseen by Sayyed Mohammed Musawi, the Secretary-General of the charity.
Ziyarah Tours is the only Ziyarah Tour Operator that has been granted exclusivity by WABIL to promote the name of its charity WABIL or any of its working names including A World Without Barriers when organising religious / aid trips to Iraq and other countries, as well as the use of the charity’s banners and materials on the ground in order to raise awareness of the plight of the poor.
As well as general Ziyarah trips, Ziyarah Tours runs WABIL-WWB medical and humanitarian aid camps and also raises awareness of WABIL’s projects for charitable causes via social media and other mediums.