NEWS CENTER

Reporter's Note: Baghdadis live in "reinforced concrete jungle"


Release time:

Sep 21,2011

In the concrete jungle." This lyric was used to describe the psychological depression caused by the urban environment of high-rise buildings to modern people. However, in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, it has been given another layer of ubiquitous reinforced concrete blast walls. While strengthening security, it has caused inconvenience to people's lives and kept people on alert. It has been more than eight years since the Iraq War began, but in Baghdad, "three steps, one post, five steps, one post" is by no means an exaggeration. The ubiquitous checkpoints, blast walls and barbed wire are a constant reminder that this is still a war zone and one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Driving

In the concrete jungle." This lyric was used to describe the psychological depression caused by the urban environment of high-rise buildings to modern people. However, in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, it has been given another layer of ubiquitous reinforced concrete blast walls. While strengthening security, it has caused inconvenience to people's lives and kept people on alert.

It has been more than eight years since the Iraq War began, but in Baghdad, "three steps, one post, five steps, one post" is by no means an exaggeration. The ubiquitous checkpoints, blast walls and barbed wire are a constant reminder that this is still a war zone and one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Driving on the streets of Baghdad, hundreds of meters away and tens of meters near, there must be bunkers made of khaki sandbags. Heavily armed Iraqi soldiers or police officers look at passing vehicles with nervous, watchful eyes behind machine gun posts. From time to time, they stopped vehicles to check their documents and used detection instruments to check whether weapons were hidden in the trunk.

In the business district of Kailadei, grocery store owner Mohamed Fahimi complained to Xinhua that there were too many checkpoints in the city: "Many times, traffic jams are due to queues for security checks. Many people are late for work because of this."

Indeed, most Baghdad citizens have had the experience of waiting in line for hours at checkpoints. The same journey to work, which took 30 minutes before the Iraq war, now takes at least two hours.

As well as sentry posts, there are concrete blast walls and blast barriers. Cement barriers can slow down the speed of suicide car bombers driving to their targets, winning valuable time to prevent attacks; blast walls can effectively weaken the impact of explosions and reduce casualties. Almost everyone in Baghdad is aware of their efficacy, but some are still quite critical of them. Some people believe that the security forces have consciously built blast walls between Sunni and Shiite settlements, deepening the alienation and separation between people of different sects. In addition, cement blast walls and blast-proof roadblocks aggravate traffic jams and indirectly create a "good opportunity" for suicide car bombers ". Whenever there is a traffic jam, people are very anxious and pray that tragedy will not happen to them.

The Iraqi government once planned to reduce the number of checkpoints and blast walls in downtown Baghdad, but continued terrorist attacks forced the cancellation of the plan. "Checkpoints and blast walls make it more difficult to travel, but compared with the loss of life, I think the price is worth paying," said Sajjad, a 23-year-old soldier."

Like it or loathe it, checkpoints and blast walls have become part of everyday life in Baghdad. Umm Muntajar, a vegetable vendor, said: "This thing (blast walls) really works, and Baghdad is much safer now than it used to be. A few years ago, my son had the same hair as the canopy, but he didn't dare to go out for a haircut. Now we can go out and even stay out late at night."