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Quds Day Celebrations Held In Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Large crowds gathered in eight parts of Baghdad on September 18 for Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), when solidarity is expressed for the Palestinian cause, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Quds Day originated with the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, shortly after the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It was first observed in Iraq in 2003 after Saddam Hussein's government was removed from power by the U.S.-led invasion.

Quds Day is observed mainly in Iran, where it is a huge event.

Adnan al-Sarraj, one of the organizers of the event, told RFI that the gatherings have nothing to do with a particular state, political party, or person.

Instead, he says, its spread demonstrates the importance of unity in Islam.

The Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, attended one of the Quds events.