News

Baghdad Residents Ponder New Way of Life on Second Anniversary of Iraq War

Scott Bobb

At least three Iraqi policemen have been killed and seven others wounded by a bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk. The blast came on the second anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, a milestone that passed quietly in Iraq and was not marked by the newly elected Iraqi parliament or U.S.-led forces. Correspondent Scott Bobb talked to some Iraqis on the occasion and has this report from Baghdad.

The second anniversary of the start of the war that toppled the 35-year regime of Saddam Hussein passed without ceremony inside Iraq. Many Iraqis spent their weekend at home, while parliamentary leaders elected last January haggled over the formation of the new government.

A barber in the commercial district of central Baghdad, Najamaldin al-Janabi, took a break from shaving a customer to explain that although things are bad, he remains hopeful.

Mr. Najamaldin says the situation is worse than two years ago and Iraqis, especially the poor, are suffering more than ever. He says he remains optimistic, although as yet he does not see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Nisreen Nezher, a 28-year-old office worker for a private company, says the situation is better than before, but not as good as she hoped.

She says the U.S.-led coalition that toppled Saddam Hussein promised to improve security, but that has not happened. And in two years the United States - a superpower, she says - has failed to restore basic services like reliable electrical power and clean water.

The owner of a cosmetics shop in the middle-class Karaba district, Salah Wali Merza, says the police now patrol his street and as a result he feels safer from the gangsters that once preyed upon the neighborhood. But he says business still is bad.

Mr. Merza points to the shelves in his store. He says they are almost empty but he does not dare to restock them. Insurgents recently exploded six mortars behind his street, and now people are too frightened to come out and shop.

Mohammed Hussein owns a restaurant on the banks of the Tigris River that specializes in grilled fish, a Baghdad specialty.

Mr. Mohammed says government workers have become the new aristocrats because their salaries have tripled since the fall of Saddam. But his business is suffering, because American forces up the street have blocked access to his restaurant and only his most loyal clients now come by to eat.

Many Iraqis acknowledge that they now enjoy more individual liberties, such as freedom of expression and political association. But they also say that after decades of suffering under Saddam Hussein, they expected the war that overthrew him to bring greater peace and prosperity than it has so far.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs