- Title: Iraqis numb pain of Islamic State in newly re-opened bar
- Date: 21st July 2017
- Summary: QARAQOSH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ (JULY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LARGE CROSS AND IRAQI FLAG FLYING NEXT TO MAIN STREET IN QARAQOSH KNOWN ALSO AS HAMADANIYA COMMERCIAL STREET EXTERIOR OF RESTAURANT AND BAR ENTRANCE TO BAR ELECTRONIC DISPLAY SHOWING SIGN READING (English) "WELCOME TO" CORRIDOR LEADING TO BAR WITH MEN SEEN SITTING AT TABLE INSIDE MEN SITTING AT TABLES INSIDE BAR ALCOHOLIC DRINKS IN BAR'S REFRIGERATOR TWO MEN SITTING INSIDE BAR BAR OWNER TALKING TO PEOPLE FROM BEHIND BAR (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BAR OWNER, ABU FIRAS, SAYING: "Day by day it (eds note: refers to business) is getting better. Thank God, it is good." VARIOUS OF BARMAN PREPARING DRINK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BAR OWNER, ABU FIRAS, SAYING: "What has made me return to my area - the work is not important -but to return to my origin, to return to my country, to return to my area and this is a good thing - not only for me but for the whole area - and a return to the area and our resettling in the are is (INTERRUPTED BY MAN NEXT TO HIM SAYING IN ARABIC "support") it requires support, particularly from those abroad if they would like and if they want to return, they can." MEN SITTING AT BAR MAN DRINKING ALCOHOL INSIDE BAR TWO MEN SITTING AT BAR, EMPLOYEE SERVING THEM DRINK MAN SITTING AT TABLE WITH BOTTLES OF BEER CUSTOMER, ABU SERJENYA SITTING AT TABLE SERJENYA OPENING BEER CAN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CUSTOMER, ABU SERJENYA, SAYING: "One comes here to relax after work. When one feels tired, one comes here to rest. It is a nice restaurant. It is air-conditioned and has electricity. Thanks God. Cheers" MAN DRINKING 22 EXTERIOR OF ALCOHOLIC SHOP SHOP SIGN READING (English) "JOHNNIE WALKERâ€ EXTERIOR OF EXCHANGE OFFICE TURNED INTO LIQUOR SHOP SHOP OWNER JACOUB HANNA SHOWING REFRIGERATOR WITH ALCOHOL BOTTLES VARIOUS OF BOTTLES OF LEBANESE RUM WHISKEY BOTTLES ON SHELF (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALCOHOL SHOP OWNER JACOUB HANNA, SAYING: "Many people are coming to buy. It is so normal and thanks God, the area is safe and secure." EXTERIOR OF ANOTHER ALCOHOLIC SHOP VARIOUS OF DIFFERENT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ON SHELF
- Embargoed: 4th August 2017 10:54
- Keywords: Iraq war Islamic State bar reopen town of Qaraqosh Christians in Iraq
- Location: QARAQOSH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: QARAQOSH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016QNSG93
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The first bar reopened and local customers had their drinks in the northern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh on Tuesday (July 18) nine months after Islamic State (IS) militants were routed from it in the early stages of a campaign to retake Mosul which ended last week.
The customers are mainly local Christians who are tentatively returning home three years after fleeing en masse when the jihadists overran their town and issued an ultimatum: pay a tax, convert to Islam, or die.
Some of the bar's patrons, however, are Muslims, savouring the freedom to drink and smoke, which they were denied under Islamic State.
They come here for respite from the grim realities of the conflict, but for Muslim and Christian customers alike, the conversation soon turns to the war and its aftermath.
For Christians, who trace their history in Iraq back two millennia, Islamic State has called into question the very future of their community in the predominantly Muslim Middle East.
The owner of the bar, Abu Firas, hopes that re-opening it will breathe life back into his town and help reverse the exodus of its Christian population.
The bar is only open to outsiders until 8 pm. After that, only Christians are welcome.
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