After three decades of war and a worldwide mental image of destruction, Baghdad, Iraq has been named the Capital of Culture in the Arab world. This is a step in the right direction to change the world’s view of Iraq and to put the country back on the map.
The ceremony inaugurating Baghdad took place on Saturday March 23, 2013 in a tent in Zawraa Park. The massive event was filled with music dance, fashion, art, crafts and photography as well as speeches. In one speech by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, he said, “Baghdad, which was a source of knowledge for the entire world, is rising again today thanks to the efforts of Iraqis and their Arab brothers.” This pride and hope for the future is spreading quickly in Iraq. The city is very excited to host the 2015 Gulf Cup, an honor for a Middle Eastern city.
Baghdad, being 1,250-years-old is full of history and culture. However, much has been destroyed after the US’s 2003 invasion. In Baghdad alone, 16 art galleries and 75 cinemas have been destroyed as well as The National Museum was ruined with many stolen or destroyed exhibitions that archived over 7,000 years of civilization from the nation’s history as well as ancient Mesopotamia.
Baghdad is in a state of rebuilding. The honor of being named the Arab World’s Capital of Culture, is the push the country needs to rebuild after war as well as invest in its future and revive pride.