BAGHDAD (AFP) – It was an iconic moment, viewed by people around the world on television, that came to symbolise the fall of Iraq’s capital Baghdad on April 9, 2003.
But residents have competing memories of the decade since the statue of Saddam Hussein was famously toppled in Firdos Square, among them three men — Hilal al-Dilfi, Qais al-Sharaa and Bassam Hanna — who work just metres apart.
In the years since, tens of thousands have been killed in brutal violence, the American military presence rose to 170,000 troops before the US withdrew completely, and countless Iraqis fled the country, fearing for their lives or in search of better opportunities.
In that time, Dilfi, Sharaa and Hanna have lived very different lives, reflecting competing histories of Iraq as the country marks a decade since the US-led entry into Baghdad. (more…)