Baghdad After the Bombing: Returning to Life

By Mustafa Nader

Only days after a car bomb exploded at an ice cream shop in Baghdad, Iraq, people braved the streets again.

Since the year 2000 more than 50,000 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in Iraq. Al-Faqma ice cream parlor was the site of an ISIS attack which killed 16 people in the city’s southern Karrada neighborhood during Ramadan this year. However, residents are refusing to live in fear and have returned to the shop to show solidarity.

“What happened was an explosion, followed by destruction everywhere,” said Al-Faqma owner Montsr Almashhadany.

“The shop was damaged, and a lot of people got hurt,” he said.

“Despite that, we didn't give up. On the next day we started cleaning the place, organizing and rebuilding the place. If we hadn't done that we would have been helping terrorists achieve their goal.”

Many customers expressed hope for the city, in the wake of terrorist attacks.

“We re-opened yesterday and families have come, as you can see. Al-Faqma has come back, better than ever,” an Al-Faqma worker* said.

“Honestly, I came today to stand against terrorist attacks,” said a customer*.

“Life continues, thanks to God. Life still goes on, we are used to these things. The Iraqi people may get ill, but we never die,” he said.

“Contrary to expectations, we are strong, life-loving people, and life won't stop because of an explosion. If every person stopped living after seeing an explosion then the whole country would die,” Mr Almashhadany said.

*Names suppressed for security reasons.