March 01, 2013

Iraq, then and now: Ten years on from the allied invasion, how the country has changed from a war zone full of rusting wrecks to a modern Arab playground

Iraq has been the scene of bitter battles and bloodshed for years, but as these poignant photos show life still goes on.
This month is the tenth anniversary of the U.S led invasion of Iraq and the volatile region still remains a dangerous place to live.
But according to these images March 2013 is a very different landscape to March 2003 when bloodshed was daily and buildings were being bombed.

A man driving a wrecked car on October 24, 2003 in Baghdad

A man driving a wrecked car on October 24, 2003 in Baghdad

Schoolgirls  walking past tanks of US soldiers patrolling on November 5, 2003 in Baghdad's suburb of Abu Gharib

Women and kids aboard a rubber dinghy at an amusement park on February 4, 2013 in Baghdad

US soldiers, left, arresting Osama Khairallah Mussa al-Tikriti, a former driver of late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein (centre), his brother Eyad Khairallah Mussa al-Tikriti, an officer in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard

Bride sitting in her wedding car on February 7, 2013 in Baghdad

Arabs, who volunteered to defend Iraq at a military training camp for the Iraqi special forces in March 2003 near Baghdad

Women walking past the tomb of two unidentified Arab fighters buried in the Martyrs Cemetery of Baghdad's Adhamiyah Sunni stronghold in February 2013

Iraqi capital Baghdad shows on the left a girl driving a makeshift bumper car on February 16, 1998 during the UN embargo imposed on Iraq

A woman driving a bumper car at an amusement park on February 4, 2013

Baghdad's district of Sadr City in Iraq, shows on the left an Iraqi Shiite cleric, member of radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, watching an anti-US rally in April 2004

Same man posing at this home decorated with a poster of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr on February 2013

The reflection of women in the glass protecting a large photograph of late former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in January 2003 in Baghdad

The reflection of women in a mirror displayed by a street vendor in February 2013 in Baghdad's central Karrada neighborhood

Smoke covering the presidential palace, left, during a massive US-led air raid on March 21, 3003 in Baghdad

A night view of Baghdad's Fardoos square taken from the rooftop of the capital's Hotel Palestine on February 9, 2013

A US marine  blindfolding an alleged insurgent on November 12, 2004 in Fallujah

A blindfolded Iraqi hairdresser competing on stage during a hairdressers and make up artists festival on February 9, 2013 in Baghdad

Men walking past posters of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein displayed outside a billboard factory on October 17, 2002 in Baghdad

A man praying in his shop selling carpets depicting Imam Hussein, revered by Shiite Muslims, on February 2, 2013 in Baghdad's Rashid Street

A US Army female soldier,  with the 2-17 Field Artillery Regiment, frisking a Kurdish Iraqi woman at a checkpoint on October 25, 2004 in Ramadi, west of Baghdad

An armed guard standing at the door in front of models during a hairdressers and make up artists festival on February 9, 2013 in Baghdad

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