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Every year, on the highway from Najaf to Karbala, thousands upon thousands of zuwwar are served by the volunteers at The Zahra Trust mowkeb at Pole 470.

For those that have been for the Arbaeen Ziyarat over the years, you’ll have seen the evolution of this mowkeb. From humble begins over 10 years ago to a comprehensive facility which serves thousands of people every day, The Zahra Trust mowkeb has become a staple stopover on the walk for most Western zuwwar.

We always say that Project 470 (as it’s known) is ‘more than a mowkeb’ because aside from serving zuwwar, the building itself is used for aid distribution, as well as for hosting vocational training and classes for kids, all year round.

Furthermore, the site is also home to our Orphans and Widows Village.


The Orphans and Widows Village

Site 470 is the home of The Zahra(s) Trust Canada’s Orphans and Widows village. An integral part of this project has been to house vulnerable families in a safe and fully equipped and furnished home within a village to provide them with quality housing within a community that is safe and protected.

As of 2022, the village now homes 20 vulnerable female-headed households with orphans. The Zahra(s) Trust Canada constructed homes and continues to expand its construction of homes to house more families.

The residents of the village also take part in our aid projects that are run at the 470 building and one of the many benefits of the community we have created is that the women and children who all have their own unique but difficult set of circumstances are able to depend on one another for advice and support.

Site for aid distribution

The 470 building serves as a site of operation for The Zahra(s) Trust Canada’s Iraq team to store, pack and distribute aid. This includes putting together and distributing one month family food parcels, disbursing grants to families to ease their financial burdens, conducting health screenings mobile medical clinics and social and cultural events. In this way, the site acts as a centre-point for local communities to travel to in order to collect aid.

Long-term development aid

The provision of necessities is beneficial in the short-term, however developmental aid is key to ensuring that families are able to pave their own way forward out of the cycle of poverty for future

generations. It is for this reason that The Zahra(s) Trust Canada invests in livelihood programmes that bolster development including the provision of goods for trading, skills training and support with promotion.

The Zahra(s) Trust Canada has a host of activities available for the orphans and widows under its care as well as the wider community to provide opportunities for self-sufficiency. This includes, but is not limited to, tailoring and the provision of sewing machines, producing products and handicrafts for sale and vocational training and literacy.


The building also serves as a mowkeb during Arbaeen. As the zuwar undertake the walk from Najaf to Karbala, The Zahra(s) Trust Canada’s fully air conditioned mowkeb at pole 470 on the way provides a resting place and point of service to thousands of people. With hundreds of volunteers rallying to serve the zuwaar of Imam Hussain (as) each year, we are able to provide services to an estimated 100,000 zuwaar each year with hot meals, cold drinking water, hot drinks, majalis, showering and sleeping facilities, massage chairs, free Wi-Fi and the opportunity to purchase handicrafts created by the orphans and widows in our care.

The 470 building was made possible through your generosity and we are now able to provide immediate and sustainable support to thousands of people each year.

As the expansion continues and we continue to provide more, we aim to extend our services to include a youth facility, a medical facility and so much more. This is already underway and we are excited for what is to come in the years ahead with your continued support.

If you are travelling to Iraq and would like to visit or volunteer at the mowkeb, please get in touch at: [email protected]