Produced by Nabeel Kamal
BAGHDAD, IRAQ– The primary markets in Baghdad for gold are Share’a Al-Nahr and Al-Khadimyia and those two markets consider by some to be the oldest in the world because since the Abbasid Dynasty these markets existed for the sale of gold and jewelry. Shara’a Al-Nahr witnessed some of the worst gang wars in all of Iraq and the gold robberies there were the worst in all of Iraq history. It even it contested with the worst and largest burglaries and lootings until 2004 when the Iraqi Government implemented strict rules to protect the goldsmiths and their gold.
Now people in Iraq journey to Khadimyia to buy gold for several reasons, the safety of the place, the cheap prices they can get in therem and the quantity of the shops there. At the same time the market is close to the shrine of Imam Kadhim, which makes it an important place, not only for Iraqis but also Iranians, who come all the way fro Tehran just to visit the Khadimiya shrine, but tend to by a great deal of gold at the same time.
The current security condition made people less active in buying gold from the Iraqi markets, because it’s considered one of the most dangerous items a person can buy in Baghdad. The chance of getting robbed is very high, and gangs are hanging around those areas as a routine. Many accidents have happened during the day time which is something that never happened here before the invasion of Iraq. So far Iraqi people have decided not to stop their life and they have continued to buy gold because gold is a very important element for any person wanting to get married, the Iraqi tradition states that a person should buy a certain amount of gold for any woman he wants to marry.
Editor's Note: The concept for Alive-in/ began in 2005 with the launch of Alive in Baghdad. Many of the stories produced by our team of Iraqi reporters were taken offline with the closure of blip.tv.
In remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the United States war against Iraq, we are republishing as much of Alive in Baghdad's original content as possible here on Alive-in/. Each story has been given its original date so that these posts don't overwhelm our current stories, and tagged as relevant.