- The Wadi al-Salam cemetery covers an astonishing 10 square kilometers (2,471 acres)
- The cemetery is now on the verge of being full after the country endured decades of war, especially with the ISIS
- Known as the “Peace Valley”, the site is a special place for the Shi’ite Muslim as the cemetery surrounds the mausoleum of their first imam
BAGHDAD, Iraq – As the war against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues, even the world’s largest cemetery with 5 million bodies is now running out of space.
John Shammas mentioned in his article for Mirror Co UK that the Wadi al-Salam cemetery covered an astonishing 10 square kilometers (2,471 acres) but is now on the verge of being full after the country endured decades of war.
Known as the “Peace Valley”, the site is a special place for the Shi’ite Muslim as the cemetery surrounds the mausoleum of their first imam, Ali Bin Abi Talib.
Talib was a cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad, and since his burial in Wadi al-Salam, the cemetery has become the world’s largest.
An article by David Sim for International Business Times said that since the war against Islamic State, which occupies almost a third of the country in 2014, 200 bodies are buried in the cemetery daily.
According to Jihad Abu Saybi, a historian of the cemetery, not more than 80 bodies were buried in the cemetery before ISIS emerged.
Because of this, the land for burials is becoming increasingly scarce and is now sold at a very high price.
The cost of a standard 25 square meter family burial lot has risen to about five million Iraqi dinars (more than $4,000).
By nationality, Iraq’s Iranian neighbors are thought to come second in number among the people buried near Ali’s golden-domed shrine.