Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad

Madinat-es-Sadr, known as a great and very poor suburb of Baghdad, where nearly two million Shia live. More recently, the area was known as Saddam City, but unofficially it was called Madinat-es-Sadr, in honor of Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, who died in the reign of Saddam Hussein. In April 2003, when Baghdad was captured by U.S. forces, Shiites are organized here something like an autonomous region, even creating its own police and points of food distribution.

This area can not be called prosperous, even by the standards of Baghdad - the area since its founding in 1959, was intended for the urban poor. And now here is very high unemployment, many criminals are hiding here. Many streets are constantly flooded with sewage from broken sewer during the war, which no one repairing, electricity is intermittent, does not operate service on the municipal waste removal. The central government of Iraq is virtually powerless, and in fact area still controlled by supporters of radical Islamic preacher Moqtada al-Sadr (it's in honor of his father, a suburb of Madinat-es-Sadr got his name).

But despite all this, social life and gradually penetrate into the area of Baghdad, as evidenced by these photos.

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
1. Salon bridal gowns at Madinat-es-Sadr, the site of the former studio in which the sewing curtains. A few years ago to put on a dress for local women, was simply unthinkable. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
2. This hole in the wall remains of a broken shell. Now here is play football local boys. The city is constantly there are new institutions, and perspectives on life in young people are increasingly different from traditional ones. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
3. Hookah smokers in the Madinat-es-Sadr. The area still has a strong influence Mahdi Army led by radical Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr. April 4, 2004 g is the Mahdi Army began the first full-scale uprising against coalition forces, although the majority of the Iraqi population and did not express much support the rebels. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
4. Madinat-es-Sadr, known as an area with strict Islamic rules. Yet in the evening the youth, dressed in European fashion, can go to a cafe, play pool, watch American movies. And some studio even dare to show pictures, which depicts a woman with bare shoulders. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
5. These teenagers and young people in an adjoining room occupied by a game of table soccer. Social life in the area of Madinat-es-Sadr gradually gaining momentum. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
6. Repair of sewer district Madinat-es-Sadr and garbage collection is impossible to organize - here the government is powerless. But now the benefits of civilization available such as Internet cafes and stores DVD-ROM drive. Registration of enterprises is carried out by local authorities. Well, a departure from the harsh restrictions prescribed by radical Islam, is available. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
7. During the reign in the Madinat-es-Sadr representatives of the movement Muqtada al-Sadr, this photographer has encountered serious trouble. But now he can work in a more relaxed atmosphere. This is one of his recent photos. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
8. Hole that left in the wall of an explosion, and now serves as the original gate, which decided to take the young cyclist. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
9. Recently, in the Madinat-es-Sadr opened his own gym. Now, young men, neatly trimmed in European fashion, can workout at the gym here. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
10. During the battle a bullet left in this building a lot of marks that are visible to this day. Saddam Hussein has belonged to the Sunnis, so tried to ban the Shiite rites. Now, says Ali Kraibit, the owner of a small billiard room, people feel more confident and freer. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
11. Mass prayer in front of the district Madinat-es-Sadr, the headquarters of supporters sadristskogo movement. Says 32-year-old Majid Lateff, in Baghdad today and you can attend the prayers, and go to the cafe. With one-sided attitude to life is finished. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)

Life in a Madinat-es-Sadr suburb of Baghdad
12. Another photo of the same prayer. In a joint prayer at the same time attended by several thousand people. (Ayman Oghanna / The New York Times)



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