Thursday, May 20, 2004

:: It's become a habit for me to carry me digital camera wherever I go, so today I've got some photos for you from my rides in Baghdad's streets. I've passed through some , fancy neighborhoods like Karrada, Zayoona and through old, simple ones. However, the common factor among these streets are the scenes of new buildings; some are still under construction while many others have been finished and this includes even the people's houses. You can't walk in any street now without seeing piles of bricks or small hills of building sand or gypsum.
It's also interesting to know that the prices of construction materials have considerably increased since the liberation; for example, the price of 4,000 bricks (the default load of a 6-wheel truck which are usually hired to carry bricks) was about 60,000 ID in 2002, compared with about 100,000 ID in May 2003, now, the same number of bricks cost about 400,000 ID. The same thing applies to cement as the price of one ton has increased from 50,000 ID in 2002, to about 200,000 ID in 2004. This is mainly a result of the increased demand of the Iraqi market for these materials and this includes both, private business and the governmental plans for the general reconstruction of the state foundations and it's surprising that despite these high figures, people are still building. In the suburbs, the demand has also relatively increased as people attempt to replace mud huts with real houses (last winter, we used to have causalities in the suburb where I work every time it rained as some of those huts tend to collapse because of the high moisture) so I hope we won't see such sad incidents next winter but I still wish they would keep building their traditional marsh reeds huts which are constructed exclusively from reeds without any other material. I had the chance to get into one of these some time ago when one of the local Sheikhs invited the medical staff in the suburb to have dinner.

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