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 Baghdad gets its groove back

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PostSubject: Baghdad gets its groove back   Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:17 am

Violence is receding and Iraq’s capital is partying again




It’s nearing midnight on a Thursday and the streets are jammed with traffic. There are people heading home after dinner with family and friends, and people for whom the night has just begun.


At the newly opened Ibrahim Basha club, the party is just getting going. A Syrian singer with waist-length blond hair and sky-high pink heels is singing Arabic hits, accompanied by a talented Iraqi musician alternately playing the saxophone, the piano and the oud. When she breaks into old Iraqi favorites, the mostly male customers sitting at tables strewn with whiskey bottles get up and dance dabka, the traditional Arabic style that involves crescendos of rhythmic stomping.


Fifteen years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq plunged the country into a cycle of insurgency, dysfunction and war, Baghdad is undergoing a renaissance of sorts.


The insurgency still simmers and the dysfunction is as pronounced as ever. Iraqis angry at their leaders’ corruption and failure to deliver basic necessities such as electricity and water have spent the summer protesting in many parts of the country. There is little in the way of optimism among the wearied residents of a war-weary city that has been crushed too many times in the past to dare hope for a brighter future.


But for the first time in as long as anyone can remember, at least Baghdad isn’t at war. Although there are still explosions, and kidnappings are a problem, the relentless suicide bombings that deterred all but the hardiest revelers have abated since the territorial defeat of the Islamic State last year.


And the city is starting to breathe a little easier.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/baghdads-nightlife-returns-as-iraqs-violence-recedes/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dc13e21b9a6f



This link has a lot of great pictures. Scroll down and you will see an Iraq that is nothing like the news portrays.  Wink
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