Monday, July 28, 2003


Early attempts at governing.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 27 — After years of dictatorship, local Baghdad councils met for the first time in joint session Sunday to discuss the capital's infrastructure and how to improve the lives of residents.

In a scene unimaginable before the capital fell to U.S. invaders 3 1/2 months ago, the Baghdad Interim City Advisory Council, the Interim Advisory Neighborhood Council of Baghdad's 88 neighborhoods, and representatives from the U.S.-backed Governing Council held their first joint meeting.

Local leaders trooped to the podium to talk about life in the city.

''It is the beginning of enfranchisement of the Iraqi cities, especially in Baghdad,'' said Samir Shakir Mahmoud, member of the Governing Council who attended the meeting...

Al-Thawra, a sprawling Shiite-majority slum in Baghdad known for years as Saddam city, was named al-Sadr City after the late Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, who was killed by Saddam's regime in 1999. The April 7 district, named for the day when Saddam's Baath Party was created, was renamed April 9, the day Baghdad fell to the Americans.


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