Sunday, December 03, 2006

Signs of a Dying City I

I hate describing Baghdad as a dying city, but that's truly the feeling that passes through me as I drive down the streets of this once busy city. I took these pictures on different Saturday afternoons, all during the past month or so. This was once (not very long ago), one of the busiest streets in Baghdad, the 14th of Ramadan Street in the Mansour area. Now, as you drive down this street in the middle of the day, at least three fourths of the shops are closed down! Only a random store here and there opens, and some of them open for just a few hours, closing down by 1 or 2 pm. It was really sad for me especially during Eid season to drive down this street (and others in Baghdad) and to find it looking like a ghost town.
Shop owners have either been threatened to shut down, killed for opening, or felt the danger of opening shop with an army search point parked in front of their stores (attracts car bombs/ etc). Business has come to a halt and many of these merchants have left town.


parviz said...

Salam Fatemeh
I ran to your blog by chance and was upset to see the pictures of closed shops of Baghdad. I visited the city around 1946. yes, almost 60 years ago, and still have nice vision of Baghdad nights. I realy regret that the whole unwanted situations has turned your home town to such a disgusted and bizzar drama. i prey and hope that it return to normal conditions and you live with not much worry any more.

your hubby's sister said...

ya Allah, that is so sad.. it has changed so much since I was there just one year ago, I still can't belive it.. subhan Allah. I took similar photos, but they were filled with people and the streets were bustling. Subhan Allah how things have become, I wonder when it will all end.

Anonymous said...

How do you do your grocery and clothes shopping in these conditions?

Fatima said...

Parviz, thanks for visiting.

Sis: It's changed alot since you've been here.

Anon: Grocery stores are the easiest thing to find open, there are alot of neighborhood stores that are open. Clothes shopping is harder, you have to go at the right time, to the right store and hope its open.
But not all of Baghdad is like this. Some areas are 'safer' and store owners don't feel threatened to shut down. This is a sampling of my part of town.

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