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In Baghdad, It's Time to Shop
Just how much has the situation improved? It's hard to tell, because Iraq is still a largely cash based society so there is no way to track sales numbers. A man with a clothing stall in Souk al-Araby Market explained the reason behind the apparent surge in retail to a Reuters reporter: "Iraqis have got used to [the violence]. Till when are we supposed to stay at home? We Iraqis are used to war by now." The proprietor of a nearby shoe stall mentioned the success he was having with higher priced footwear: "We didn't sell Mizuno trainers last year. There was little demand as they were expensive, but more people have money and decent salaries."
So while tourists won't be rushing to book a shopping junket to Baghdad anytime soon, there is plenty of evidence that things are looking up.