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In Mixed Slice of Baghdad, Old Bonds Defy War

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-13-07 06:31 AM
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In Mixed Slice of Baghdad, Old Bonds Defy War


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/world/middleeast/13ba...
November 13, 2007
In Mixed Slice of Baghdad, Old Bonds Defy War

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and KARIM HILMI

BAGHDAD At its oldest spot, a small dusty strip of dirt road near a mosque, the neighborhood of Bab al Sheik a maze of snaking streets too narrow for cars dates from a time, more than a thousand years ago, when Baghdad ruled the Islamic world.

At that time, orchards and palaces of Abbasid princes unfolded in stately splendor not far away.

Ten centuries later, Bab al Sheik is less grand, but still extraordinary: it has been spared the sectarian killing that has gutted other neighborhoods, and Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and Christians live together here with unusual ease. It has been battered by bombings around its edges, but the war has been kept from its heart, largely because of its ancient, shared past, bound by trust and generations of intermarriage..

All of these people grew up here together, said Monther, a suitcase seller here. From the time of our grandfathers, same place, same food, same everything.

Much of todays Baghdad sprang into existence in the 1970s, when oil nationalization drew Iraqis from all over the country to work. The citys population more than tripled over the course of 20 years, and new neighborhoods sprawled east and west. The war and civil conflict have seemed to take a heavier toll in those areas than in some of the older neighborhoods.

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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-13-07 07:08 AM
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1. The OP neglects to mention the adherence of these people to their respective faiths...
And their lack of personal political ambition.
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