The streets of Fallujah, Ramadi and other cities in Anbar are filled and busy with people enjoying their lives.
Despite years of conflict and ISIS rule, the people of Anbar are starting to have hope that their towns and cities return to life once again as the reconstruction efforts in the province continue. The province of Anbar, particularly the major cities of the province such as Fallujah and Ramadi were some of the most badly damaged areas in Iraq.
ISIS rule had left these cities completely isolated from the outside world and their scorched earth tactics as the Iraqi army were on their way to liberate the cities left large urban areas destroyed and key infrastructure damaged.
According to some reports, almost 80% of the entire city of Ramadi was either damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the fighting. In an example of the ISIS’ destructive and brutal nature, the group planted explosives in most of the homes in the al-Bakr, reducing every one of its 328 homes to ruins. While the destruction in Fallujah was not as widespread, the city and its people suffered great losses under ISIS rule and during the intense fighting that took place as the city was being liberated.
However, the liberation of the province has ushered in a period of stability that has allowed people to return to their homes and has allowed many areas to develop and rebuild. As a result of the peace and security, the streets of Ramadi are now filled with people until the late hours of the night.
“Today the families of Ramadi are living their lives normally, reconstructing their city and going out. These results prove our words: people are comfortable and safe in Ramadi,” said one resident.
The Iraqi Government is seeking to invest $100 billion into rebuilding the country and diversifying its economy. With the levels of violence at their lowest levels in years, this period of stability will be a crucial opportunity for the country and its economy to get back on its feet and move past the destructive legacy of ISIS.