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.