Bearing the scars of a decade of war: Poignant pictures of life in Baghdad ten years on from invasion

In the early hours of March 20 2003, coalition forces entered Iraq in a surprise 'shock and awe' assault against Saddam Hussein's regime.
A decade of turmoil and bloodshed has followed and the nation's capital city Baghdad still bears the scars of war with bullet ridden buildings and a large military presence on the street.
Military checkpoints on every main street are a stark reminder that Baghdad is not yet the safe haven of peace and democracy that Anglo-American forces set out, unjustifiably or not, to install a decade ago.
Indeed the country is still caught somewhere between violence - a wave of suicide bombings tore through the city just last week - and peace.
But while vast areas in the capital have fractured infrastructure and lack services, others are said to be showing promising signs of recovery.
And as these poignant pictures show, life still goes on in the city which is home to more than seven million people.
Ten years on: These Baghdadi children weren't even born when coalition troops invaded Iraq back in March 2013. Pictures of the country ten years on show that although the area is still a dangerous place to live, life does still go on
Ten years on: These Baghdadi children weren't even born when coalition troops invaded Iraq back in March 2013. Pictures of the country ten years on show that although the area is still a dangerous place to live, life does still go on

Rebuilding: Downtown Baghdad appears to be bustling with cars in this picture taken a decade after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled. The dome of the 17 Ramadan Mosque is pictured in the foreground
Rebuilding: Downtown Baghdad appears to be bustling with cars in this picture taken a decade after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled. The dome of the 17 Ramadan Mosque is pictured in the foreground

Armed guards: Iraqi policemen guard the entrance to the Baghdad Folklore Museum. The city continues to show the scars of war
Armed guards: Iraqi policemen guard the entrance to the Baghdad Folklore Museum. The city continues to show the scars of war and a large military presence remains on the streets

Freedom to express themselves: Performers rehearse at the National Theatre for the Athoudron Festival
Freedom to express themselves: Performers rehearse at the National Theatre for the Athoudron Festival. The future of Iraqi culture and the arts is looking more promising than it did in the bleakest hours of war

Boys play football along Haifa Street which is still heavily scarred from fighting between US and Iraqi forces
Ali Satar rides horses for pleasure in the upscale district of Karada
Leisure time: Boys play football along Haifa Street which is still heavily scarred from fighting between US and Iraqi forces, left, while Ali Satar rides horses for pleasure in the upscale district of Karada, right. Karada was subject to round the clock curfews and hit by heavy violence at the height of the troubles in Iraq
Building up: Hoseen Samer lifts weights in a gym in the affluent Karada district
Building up: Hoseen Samer lifts weights in a gym in the affluent Karada district. The area is said to be one of the more affluent in Baghdad, but it is still a dangerous place to live - almost 50 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the area a day after this picture was taken

Clean up: A young man collects trash in central Baghdad. Some areas of the city are still said to be lacking services
Clean up: A young man collects trash in a residential area of central Baghdad. But some areas of the city are still said to be severely lacking the most basic of services

Refurbishing: Workers on scaffolding attach aluminum siding to a building being refurbished on Al Jemhoori Street
Refurbishing: Workers on scaffolding attach aluminum siding to a building being refurbished on Al Jemhoori Street. Billions of dollars have been invested in rebuilding some of the city's buildings
Then: Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad,on April 9 2003
Then: Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad,on April 9 2003, in one of the most iconic images from the coalition invasion

Now: The Ishtar (locally known as Sheraton) and Palestine Hotels stand next to Firdos Square where the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by US forces almost a decade ago
Now: The Ishtar (locally known as Sheraton) and Palestine Hotels stand next to Firdos Square where the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by US forces almost a decade ago
At war: U.S. soldiers look at a burned-out military Humvee vehicle that was destroyed in an attack in the Karada area of Baghdad in 2003
At war: U.S. soldiers look at a burned-out military Humvee vehicle that was destroyed in an attack in the Karada area of Baghdad in 2003

Progress: Ali Hasan and Ali Satar ride horses for pleasure in the upscale district of Karada ten years on
Progress: Ali Hasan and Ali Satar ride horses for pleasure in the upscale district of Karada ten years on, the same area which was plagued by violence in the years that followed invasion

Hungry: A street vendor makes shwarma (lamb) sandwiches in Baghdad
Big business: A street vendor makes shwarma (lamb) sandwiches in Baghdad. Similar to doner, shwarma is normally served in Iraq as small pockets of white bread filled with shaved beef, lamb, or chicken, along with a touch of lettuce, tomatoes, and spicy onion

Surviving: Washer Kilani pushes goods through lines of heavy traffic in central Baghdad
Surviving: Worker Washer Kilani pushes goods through lines of heavy traffic in central Baghdad. The Iraqi government has recently launched an initiative aimed at driving down unemployment in the country and getting more people back in work

Opulence: A car showroom in the Al Nahza neighborhood illustrates that some neighbourhoods are thriving a decade after the Anglo-American invasion
Opulence: A top of the range car showroom in the Al Nahza neighborhood. Only one in 20 Iraqis own cars and most foreign models were banned during Saddam Hussein's reign. Interest in cars is now said to be increasing in the country
June 2004: Baghdad's Tahrir Square has been rocked by a suicide bomb during rush hour
June 2004: Cars burn and rubble litters the street as Baghdad's Tahrir Square has been rocked by a deadly suicide bomb during rush hour

March 2013: Iraq security forces search protesters arriving at Baghdad's Tahrir Square,
March 2013: Iraq security forces search protesters arriving at Baghdad's Tahrir Square, an illustration of the military presence that remains on the streets to try and thwart such attacks from happening again

New world: Iraqi government employees hold a peaceful protest in Baghdad's Tahrir Square
New world: Iraqi government employees hold a peaceful protest in Baghdad's Tahrir Square

Civilised: These men sit and relax outside a tea room in the Al Fazil area of Baghdad. The image is a stark contrast to the bloody events that these men would have witnessed over the past decade
Civilised: These men sit and relax outside a tea room in the Al Fazil area of Baghdad. The image is a stark contrast to the bloody events that these men would have witnessed over the past decade

Political message: An anti-American and Israeli slogan on a billboard reads 'Our strength is our Unity'. Gone are the statues, posters and murals of former leader Saddam Hussein that he had erected all around the country
Political message: An anti-American and Israeli slogan on a billboard reads 'Our strength is our Unity'. Gone are the statues, posters and murals of former leader Saddam Hussein that he had erected all around the country

Unfinished: The Al-Rahman mosque that was started by Saddam Hussein in 1998 and meant to be one of the biggest mosques in Iraq. Building work stopped following the invasion in 2003
Unfinished: The Al-Rahman mosque that was started by Saddam Hussein in 1998 and meant to be one of the biggest mosques in Iraq. Building work stopped following the invasion in 2003

Lack of supply: The Dora power plant in Baghdad. One of the main obstacles to Iraq's ongoing development is reported to be the lack of a regular electricity supply, with Baghdad residents receiving on average of just eight hours of electricity a day
Lack of supply: The Dora power plant in Baghdad. One of the main obstacles to Iraq's ongoing development is reported to be the lack of a regular electricity supply, with Baghdad residents receiving on average of just eight hours of electricity a day

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