News: MND-B Soldiers, IP visit Zawra Park
By Staff Sgt. Brock Jones
Multi-National Division - Baghdad
BAGHDAD – Iraqi police and Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers visited Zawra Park in the Karkh District of Baghdad for a firsthand view of the bustling area on Oct. 5, 2008.
Huge numbers of visitors came to the busy city park as part of Eid al Fitr, the three-day celebration that marks the end of the Ramadan month of fasting.
"It's a big celebration today," said Lt. Col. Robert Kirby, commander of 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "You've got the end of Ramadan festival when everyone breaks the fast, and this has always been a historic place for them to gather."
It has been years since the people have gathered in such numbers following Ramadan.
"We have a lot of people coming in and out of the park, an increasing number of people," said Iraqi police Brig. Gen. Ali, leader of the policemen who are in charge of the Karkh area, to include Zawra Park.
"The man in charge of the park told me today 500,000 visitors have come each day for five days," said Ali. "Last year, it was probably half that many."
The reason behind the huge influx in numbers of visitors this year is evident in the faces of the people as they feel safer now which makes them more willing to get out with their families and enjoy an evening at the park.
"We come to the park typically on holidays," said Jameela, a Baghdad resident who was at the park with her children. "This time is much better than before [in terms of safety], better than last year or the year prior to that."
"Now security is very good. It is safe and I think people are coming here because of that," said Ali.
The effects of improved security can be seen in the smiles and the music and the picnics in gathering places around Baghdad like Zawra Park.
Date Posted:10.05.2008 16:10
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