Nightlife Is Back in Baghdad

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Baghdad, Iraq

February 8, 2014

A night curfew that was imposed on Baghdad for 10 years was lifted on Sunday, February 8, allowing people to take to the street and celebrate.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abbadi ordered the end of the curfew that was usually enforced between midnight and 5 am. Security checkpoints were also removed, which allowed people to circulate more easily.

Various of cars driving at night
Various of fountain in main square
Wide of traffic policeman
Various of cars driving by
Various of people sitting in street café

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ali Nashmi, Iraqi Historian
04:45 – 05:21
“Baghdad has witnessed a night curfew for many years. It was important because bombings used to take place during gatherings and rush hours. The lack of heavy traffic during the night did not mean that there would be no bombings. Some military positions were targeted. Lifting the curfew means that a heavy burden is lifted off citizens’ shoulders, especially the ill and those who returned from abroad. I think it was a right decision that gives moral and political support to the people, who have been suffering for more than 10 years.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ahmad Ali, Resident of Baghdad
05:22 – 05:43
“I think that lifting the curfew is a good decision. I can see that activity in Baghdad is normal. Those who are sick or traveling can go out at any time during the night. Traffic is normal at this time of the night.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Anas Abdel Rahim, Resident of Baghdad
05:44 – 06:06
“This is something positive, especially for employees, who are tired and want to have some recreation at night. The curfew is over. As you can see, we went out on the first day of lifting the curfew. This is something positive. We wish that Baghdad returns to its previous state.”

Various/ Traveling of street from inside a car