"The abode of peace and capital of Islam" – this is how 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta described Baghdad in his writings. The city’s recent history, however, has been anything but peaceful: rocked by the US-led invasion, sectarian violence and deadly terrorist attacks. However, some are now finally beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, as FRANCE 24's Simona Foltyn reports.
We begin our journey at the Plastic Art Society in Baghdad, where Iraqi painter Qasem Sabti focuses on the work of emerging artists who have exhibited their work as part of an annual exhibition. Amid this cultural revival, Qasem hopes that the city’s art scene may once again reclaim some of its former glory.
Next, author Irada Al Jabbouri takes us on a tour of neighbourhoods of Baghdad that have endured 15 years of violence. Though full of painful memories, these areas and their inhabitants also bear witness to the heartbreaking resilience of the Iraqi people.
But it will take decades for the physical and psychological wounds to heal. We meet Ali Abed Yasser, a soldier who lost both of his legs during the war against the Islamic State group. Three years later, he’s still waiting for the government to provide him with prosthetic legs. Though he sacrificed so much to liberate his country, he has little hope for the future and feels abandoned by the politicians, a common sentiment among Baghdad residents.