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Can Baghdad's Rasheed Street save its name, glory?

Once a cultural and economic hub, Baghdad's Rasheed Street will need a lot of work and investment to return to its days of glory.
Iraqi men gather and socialise at Umm Kulthum Cafe on Rasheed street, the oldest street in the capital Baghdad on January 20, 2019. - Behind the dilapidated storefronts and collapsing colonnades of Rasheed Street lie the treasures of the Iraqi capital's cultural boom years but with young Iraqis listening to modern music and spending hours in hipster-style coffee shops, the boulevard that bustled non-stop in the 1970s is at risk of being passed over. (Photo by SABAH ARAR / AFP)        (Photo credit should re
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BAGHDAD — Adjacent to the Tigris River, Rasheed Street has been called “the memory of Baghdad” by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. But efforts to revive the once bustling street — or even to maintain its name — may prove to be an arduous task.

The Iraqi government has worked doggedly to restore the old glory of Baghdad, which has been the target of more bombings and explosions than its residents care to remember. The city is slowly returning to normal as dozens of security checkpoints and roadblocks are removed, enabling the flow of traffic. Construction of the new central bank, designed by the late Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid on the west bank of the Tigris River, is expected to be completed within the year.

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