In pictures – he was subjected to a bomb attack in 2007.. The famous Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad reopened in its new look

Al-Mutanabbi Street was subjected to a car bomb attack in 2007 that left dozens dead and injured, and destroyed old historic shops, including Al-Shahbandar Café.

Baghdad- After restoration and rehabilitation that took several months, the Iraqi authorities reopened – last Saturday – the ancient Mutanabbi Street in the center of the capital, Baghdad, in its new look, amid a festive atmosphere and a large presence.

This is the first celebration to be held at night on the street, after its patrons, artists, writers and students used to go to it every Friday morning, to enjoy the artistic and cultural activities that it hosts, and to browse the various literary titles offered by bookstores located along the street.

Iraqis take souvenir photos at the statue of the poet Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi (Al-Jazeera)

And near the statue of the poet Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi, whose name was given to the street in 1932 during the reign of King Faisal I, the pioneers of culture and literature gathered to celebrate the reopening of the street after its restoration with the support of the Tamkeen initiative of the Central Bank of Iraq and the Association of Iraqi Banks, as part of the Baghdad Renaissance Project launched by the Baghdad Municipality. To beautify the streets of the capital and its heritage places.

The street was named after Al-Mutanabbi in 1932 during the reign of King Faisal I (Al-Jazeera)

Various activities

The sidewalks and walls of Al-Mutanabbi Street were decorated with lights, and the opening night included the presentation of many artistic and cultural events, in addition to a theatrical show and musical event presented by the Iraqi orchestra, historical fashion shows and other events, accompanied by the launching of fireworks to celebrate the opening of the street and to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The opening of Al-Mutanabbi Street coincided with the Christmas and New Year celebrations (Al-Jazeera)

The street is about one kilometer long, and leads to one of the banks of the Tigris River. The visitor can find in the bookshops and kiosks that the street is filled with, a variety of books in English and Arabic, in addition to university and school books.

What is remarkable in the libraries of Al-Mutanabbi Street is the presence of old publications, including books in French, English and Arabic, some of which may be rare and date back to the last century.

Iraqis flocked to Al-Mutanabbi Street with dozens eager to see him wearing a new dress befitting his past (Al-Jazeera)

Mayor of Baghdad Alaa Maan said – in statements to reporters on the sidelines of the celebration – that “the restoration included the organization of shop fronts and sign boards, and the rehabilitation of water and sewage networks, the lighting network and electric power lines,” stressing that the completion of the street came within a broad plan that included several axes to develop the urban landscape and structures. The infrastructure of the city of Baghdad, which has suffered greatly in the past period.

Maan explained that “the plan includes projects to clean and remove dust from the city,” noting that the appearance of the street in its new look will be an incentive to develop the center of the capital, Baghdad.

Part of the events that Al-Mutanabbi Street witnessed on the night of its reopening (Al-Jazeera)

Flick neglect

Many intellectuals considered that the celebration of one of the most important and oldest cultural and heritage monuments in the country, and its restoration after the neglect suffered by these important edifices, represents a prominent point in the path of returning cultural life to its previous era for Baghdad, the metropolis of the world, literature and culture, as confirmed by the Director of the Baghdadi Cultural Center, Talib Issa. .

Issa saw that the development of Al-Mutanabbi Street represents a prominent point in the path of the return of cultural life in Baghdad to its previous era (Al-Jazeera)

Issa indicated that the reopening of Al-Mutanabbi Street after completing its maintenance and rehabilitation of most of the areas in it, is an important turning point for the old neighborhoods of Baghdad, wishing that this street would continue to be preserved and developed without compromising its important heritage buildings, and that the restoration would expand to include the rehabilitation of Al-Rasheed Street, which It is one of the oldest and oldest streets of the capital, Baghdad.

Al-Baghdadi Cultural Center on Al-Mutanabbi Street is one of the landmarks included in the development (Al-Jazeera)

Iraqis flocked to Al-Mutanabbi Street in their dozens, eager to see him wearing a new dress worthy of his past and his impact on minds, especially after years of neglect and violence.

Iraqis do not forget the horrific car bombing that hit the street on March 5, 2007, killing 30 people and wounding more than 60 others, as well as destroying historic old shops, including the Shahbandar Café. However, the image of yesterday’s destruction was erased by today’s adornment and the splendor of the sidewalks, which seemed vibrant after their restoration and adornment.

The head of the Baghdad Cultural Councils Association, Sadiq al-Rubaie, indicates that the restoration of the street, which was suffering from neglect, came finally after appeals made by the cultural and literary elites over the years, pointing out that the restoration came with the support of civil bodies and not government funding as he had hoped, and stressed the need for The government is fulfilling its duty by restoring life to all archaeological and heritage facilities, and by presenting stronger works that are compatible with Iraq’s capabilities and status.

Al-Rubaie: The restoration of the street came after appeals made by the cultural and literary elites over the years (Al-Jazeera)

a gesture of hope

Despite all the joy that filled many street-goers with the restoration it underwent, which allowed this vital artery in the Iraqi capital to restore some of its former glory, there were some who did not see this as an achievement, as the former MP Faeq Sheikh Ali wrote, who criticized the closure of all The central branches leading to the street have iron doors, and he demanded attention and extrication from their bad situation, just like the neglected Rashid Street.

Another night shot of Al-Mutanabbi Street after its rehabilitation (Al-Jazeera)

On the other hand, Mohsen Al-Bahadli – one of the street pioneers – believes that the rehabilitation process, with all the comments that some have mentioned about it, is good and satisfactory because it gave the street an aesthetic, and is an introduction to the development of Al-Rasheed Street and other heritage streets, noting that “the restoration of the street without prejudice to With its heritage monuments and its preservation, it is a sign of hope for the future.”

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