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Valentine’s Day a day of hope in Iraq

Iraqis began celebrating Valentine’s Day after the fall of the regime of former President Saddam Hussein in 2003, but it is not just for couples — it serves as a means to express one’s love for the country.
Women demonstrate against the lack of basic services in central Baghdad on Valentine's Day February 14, 2011. About 100 residents carried placards and chanted slogans demanding better basic services and a stop to corruption in the country. The placards read "Do not erect a tower, just fix the sewage" and "We need electricity power, not ministers' promises".   REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR2IKXM
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Iraqi youth do not need special occasions for sadness and despair, because their lives are full of that already. Terrorism has haunted the country for more than a decade. A culture of violence and hatred is spreading amid waves of sectarianism, and successive Iraqi governments have done nothing to give the people hope.

In such an atmosphere, Valentine’s Day has become more than an occasion to celebrate and exchange gifts between couples. It has become a symbol of hope, evidence that life goes on, a way to show that love for the homeland and a way to protest against everything that calls for violence and hatred in the country. This day is an expression of the Iraqis’ dreams before 2003, which evaporated over the past 10 years and remain only in memory.

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