This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

10 Years After US Invasion, Kurds Look To The West

More than half the region's 5.3 million people were born after 1991, when a Western-enforced no-fly zone made Kurdish self-rule possible for the first time by shielding the region against Saddam Hussein. In the preceding years, Saddam's forces had destroyed most Kurdish villages, killing tens of thousands and displacing many more.

Students at Irbil's private Cihan University say they feel Kurdish, not Iraqi, and that Iraq's widespread corruption, sectarian violence and political deadlock are holding their region back.

"I want to see an independent Kurdistan, and I don't want to be part of Iraq," said Bilend Azad, 20, an architectural engineering student walking with a group of friends along the landscaped campus. "Kurdistan is better than other parts of Iraq. If we stay with them, we will be bad like them, and we won't be free."

Kurds are among the main beneficiaries of the March 20, 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam, and sympathy for America still runs strong here.

Rebaz Zedbagi, a partner in the Senk Group, a road construction and real estate investment company with an annual turnover of $100 million, said his success would have been unthinkable without the war.

The 28-year-old said he won't do business in the rest of Iraq, citing bureaucracy and frequent attacks by insurgents, but said opportunities in the relatively stable Kurdish region are boundless.

"I believe Kurdistan is like a baby tiger," said Zedbagi, sipping a latte in a Western-style espresso bar in the Family Mall, Irbil's largest shopping center. "I believe it will be very powerful in the Middle East."

The Kurdish region has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past decade.

Its capital, Irbil, once had the ambiance of a large village. It has grown into a city of 1.3 million people, with the beginnings of a skyline, several five-star hotels and construction cranes dotting the horizon.

2 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,126.12 -36.87 -0.20%
S&P 500 2,120.79 -2.69 -0.13%
NASDAQ 5,097.9760 -8.6170 -0.17%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs