Iraq: Fallujah residents celebrate the festive period

In the city of Fallujah, located in Iraq’s western Anbar Province, residents have come out to celebrate the festive period and new year.

These celebrations are the first of their kind in Fallujah given the city’s tumultuous history since 2003. As part of the occasion, two people dressed up as santas and travelled around the city handing out present to kids and putting a smile on other residents’ faces.

“We as Muslims are celebrating today the birth of Jesus (PBUH) and the happiness we feel today builds upon the happiness felt during the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birth,” said one resident, adding that he is happy about the “victory that the security forces achieved over the terrorist group Daesh”.

The hope is that events like these can become the norm, rather than the exception, and be a springboard for further growth in civil society activism.