July 28, 2014
40 MILLION BUSH FANS CAN'T BE WRONG:
Kurds hope for a brighter future (Deutsche Welle, 7/28/14)
Billed as "Irbil's newest jewel that glitters under one of the region's largest glass domes," the Family Mall is a Western-style shopping arcade a few miles from the Kurdistan regional capital's city center. Opened in 2010, it's now home to an amusement park, a vast new cinema complex and over 100 different stores, including international brands such as Carrefour, Mango, and DKNY.In short, wandering through the neon-lit halls, you could be at any mall anywhere in the world.And while that might disappoint foreign visitors hoping for a taste of Middle Eastern culture, for many locals the mall symbolizes Kurdistan's rapidly developing economy and the success of its first decade as a fully autonomous region within an increasingly unstable and fragmented Iraq.Kurdistan's economic boom also provides the ground for the regional government's recent announcement that it plans to seek full independence from Baghdad and set itself up as its own nation state, says Mewan Dolamari, a 21-year-old student at the University of Kurdistan-Hewler.
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2014 5:59 PM