- Title: In parts of Mosul, a semblance of normality despite war
- Date: 15th January 2017
- Summary: ZUHOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD, MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 12, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TRAFFIC DRIVING DOWN A STREET AND PEOPLE VISITING A MARKET MAN SELLING LETTUCE PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH MARKET MAN SELLING FISH AT STALL FISH ON DISPLAY PEOPLE WALKING IN BUSY MARKET MAN STANDING NEXT TO A CAR FILLING UP THE TANK MAN FILLING UP CAR TANK USING A PLASTIC BOTTLE PEOPLE BUYING GASOLINE VARIOUS OF CARS DRIVING DOWN STREET VARIOUS OF FOOD DISPLAYED OUTSIDE SUPERMARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT AND MARKET STALL VENDOR, ABU RAKAN, SAYING: "The situation is good, we are comfortable. The streets have reopened and people are back to work. Thank God, and thanks to the security forces, this is a blessing from God. Nutritional goods are available, we have everything we need. It takes time for life (to return to normal), it does not happen overnight, it needs time." WOMEN WALKING DOWN STREET MEN WALKING DOWN STREET VARIOUS OF DIGGER/MUNICIPALITY WORKERS DIGGING STREET TO FIX WATER PIPES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MUNICIPALITY WORKER AND MOSUL RESIDENT, AHMAD FATHI, SAYING: "We are fixing the pipes to make sure that people have water. I hope people will live happily and comfortably. There are many broken water pipes, we were able to get water to Tahrir (district) but the network isn't back to normal yet. We have pipes in Sukkar (district) that are broken, we will keep working to get water to everyone." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CLEANING STREET EXTERIOR OF FOOTBALL PITCH / BUILDING BROKEN WINDOWS IN BUILDING NEXT TO PITCH VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PLAYING FOOTBALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT AND MANAGER OF THE FOOTBALL PITCH, OSAMA (NO SURNAME GIVEN), SAYING: "When Islamic State came here, the young men would slowly begin to leave. People stopped coming here. The (militants) had many rules. Clothes with logos were not allowed, shorts were not allowed, our beards had to be long, we would have to stand in line in the pitch. They had many rules." CARS DRIVING DOWN A STREET
- Embargoed: 29th January 2017 09:11
- Keywords: Mosul Islamic State civilians recovery Zuhoor market living
- Location: ZUHOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD, MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: ZUHOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD, MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Z6W9XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In some parts of Mosul, you can almost forget that a war is being waged over the city between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants who still control more than half of it -- at least momentarily.
Cars clog the streets, stalls are heaped with fresh produce and bicycles weave through the traffic, as the city slowly emerges from more than two years under the iron grip of Islamic State.
As Iraqi forces prise away more and more of the militants' largest urban stronghold, a semblance of normality is returning to eastern districts that were retaken in the early stages of a campaign that began nearly three months ago.
The market was bustling with people.
"The situation is good, we are comfortable. The streets have reopened and people are back to work. Thank God, and thanks to the security forces, this is a blessing from God. Nutritional goods are available, we have everything we need. It takes time for life (to return to normal), it does not happen overnight, it needs time," Abu Rakan, a vendor and resident said.
Many people stayed in their homes throughout the battle, defying predictions of an exodus from the city where as many as 1.5 million were said to reside.
Those who left -- both during the fighting and before -- are also returning, even though basic services such as electricity, health facilities and water remain absent.
The municipality has resumed work, but much of its equipment was damaged by Islamic State, which converted some of its vehicles into car bombs, so local authorities in Mosul are borrowing them from other Iraqi provinces.
At a busy intersection, workers were digging up the road to fix a water pipe damaged by an air strike.
"There are many broken water pipes, we were able to get water to Tahrir (district) but the network isn't back to normal yet," a municipality worker, Ahmad Fathi said.
Young men ran after a ball on a soccer pitch, some wearing shorts, which were forbidden under Islamic State. The logos on their football shirts, however, are still missing: the militants deemed them un-Islamic and ordered they be removed, particularly those resembling a cross.
Occasionally, the militants themselves came to play, prompting everyone else to flee in fear of being caught in the crosshairs of coalition planes targeting Islamic State, said 22-year old Osama, who runs the pitch.
There is still a mark where a mortar tore through the synthetic turf, and only shards of glass remain in the window panes after a car bomb exploded nearby when Iraqi forces retook Zuhour in early November.
Some residents were still celebrating their returned freedoms. A taxi drove past, its passengers singing along to loud music and dancing in their seats. A man in the front passenger seat, from a district recently retaken by the security forces, said it was an indescribable feeling.
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