March 2013 marks ten years since the United States led an invasion of Iraq to remove leader Saddam Hussein.
Investment has increased since Hussein’s overthrow – but many Iraqis complain the government is not doing enough to raise living standards.
In the centre of Baghdad, new roads and shopping malls are testaments to the improved economy – driven by a surge of investment in the oil sector. Iraq is now the second biggest producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
At a Baghdad fairground with her husband and two young children, Baidar Ta’ar said: “Honestly, it’s all the same. All we want is security. Things aren’t bad, but we do need security for our children – nothing more, nothing less. The situation changes from time to time. Sometimes it’s safe, and we say there’s nothing to worry about. Then sometimes it isn’t safe. It’s difficult.”
Abdul Aziz al-Kubeisi, who watched as Saddam Hussein’s state fell nearly a decade ago said: “Really. nothing has changed. Things have gone from bad to worse. In Baghdad you can see that for yourself.”
In a shanty town near the al-Rasul district, people are living without electricity, running water or public services. For the people living there, the boost to Iraq’s economy since the US-led invasion seems a million miles away.