Just two years ago, the stores on Karada Street in Baghdad were shuttered, the businesses closed or suffering from round-the-clock curfews and violence run rampant. Today the street is reborn.
Karada Street is one of the main drags in Baghdad, and visitors find it full of fruit stands and modern supermarkets — flat screen TVs sold upstairs, Red Bulls sold downstairs — an area teeming with activity.
There are now laser scanners at cash registers in the 5-year-old supermarket, one of a host of stores in this revitalized area full of photo shops, shoe stores and pharmacies.
The dark days of the insurgency seem past, the curfews forgotten, as Baghdad returns to normal life thanks to the surge of troops and the presence of the Iraqi Army and Police throughout the city.