Ten Years After the Iraq Invasion Baghdad Then and Now
A decade after the invasion of Iraq, photographer Maya Alleruzzo visited some of Baghdad's best known sites and juxtaposed what she saw with images from the past decade. Where bombs once fell, residents now buy groceries. Where militias patrolled, campaign posters now hang. Yet peace is still a long way off.
After March 20, 2003, American troops were omnipresent in Baghdad. They patrolled streets. They monitored checkpoints. But what is it like today? Has the long-promised peace finally returned to the Iraqi capital?
This is by no means a city of peace. Baghdad is still shaken regularly by violence -- at least 50 people died in attacks on Tuesday alone. But there are places of peace.
Ten years ago, children whose parents had been killed gathered in Abu Nawas Park. The traumatized orphans inhaled adhesives and slept beside American tanks. Today the park is a popular daytrip destination for families, with green lawns, playgrounds and restaurants.
Maya Alleruzzo, a photographer for the Associated Press, visited the sites of some of the past decade's most memorable images. Framed in juxtaposition are the images of the past and the scenes of today. A hand holds the earlier photo in the picture, allowing for direct comparison. Alleruzzo presently works in Cairo but was stationed in Baghdad for four years. She returned to the city to work on this series of photographs.
And the Americans? "The American flag has disappeared from fashion, just as it has from the streets of Baghdad," SPIEGEL reporter Alexander Smoltczyk wrote in 2011. "Even the Dodge showroom refrains from flying the Stars & Stripes. It is almost as if the Americans had never been there. Their presence can only be felt at the checkpoints, where security personnel are omnipresent."
Click through the photos of then and now: Whose face adorns the base from which the famous Saddam Hussein statue was pulled down? Where do children play soccer? What can be seen today at the Baghdad Zoo, where only 35 animals survived the chaos of war?