By John Lee.
In July 762 AD, Caliph Abu Jaafar al-Mansur commissioned the building of a city on the River Tigris.
Baghdad rapidly became a centre of learning and an economic and political powerhouse.
Today, despite a population of over 7 million, the city's standing is greatly diminished; security continues to be a problem, and it ranks at the bottom of the list for quality of living.
But Baghdad is not standing still, and efforts continue to improve this historic city for the benefit of its residents and the country as a whole:
- $500 million will be spent on building 15 new bridges to improve traffic flow;
- A major new road is to be built connecting the capital with Turkey;
- An $86 million contract has been awarded to upgrade the water supply;
- The third phase of the $250 million Nahrawan industrial complex is soon to be launched;
- The National Investment Commission (NIC) announced a new opportunity to build 20,000 houses at al-Dabash.
... and those are just the projects that were announced in August.
This 1,250-year-old city continues to transform itself, and should be dramatically improved over the coming years.