While driving along 14th of Ramadan Street in Baghdad recently, I remembered that street’s heyday. It was a jubilant street, with an assortment of boutiques, cafes, and toy shops. I saw that some of the shops had been closed since the worst days of 2006 and 2007.
The driver frowned at my remark.
“You did not see what it was like during the years of anarchy,” he said. “It is a fiesta now. It is evening now, and look how crowded the streets are with pedestrians and cars. Back then it closed at noon and you did not see a bird in the highway, because snipers were on both sides of the street. It was a street of horror. We are blessed now.”
Over coffee, my friend’s face had gradually taken on a look of appalled horror. It is no surprise. She lives in a country where human life is sacred and cherished.
I think it is appropriately the Age of the Diplomat in Iraq from this point onward; but Mousa’s post suggests how far those civilians have yet to go.