Baghdad at 10 million: fragile dreams of normality as megacity status beckons
The next 15 megacities #1: Iraq’s capital remains a profoundly damaged place, but the city feels more stable these days – at times even vibrant
After an exhausting journey through Baghdad’s vast and grimy suburbs, the pastel-coloured blocks of Besmaya Dream City rise up above the rushes just beyond one of the modern gates marking the edge of the city.
The orderliness of these dozens of towers – some lived in, some unfinished – is a shock in the otherwise chaotic jumble of low-rise cityscape. The residential complex is being built by a South Korean company, Hanwha, and will house 100,000 people once its delayed construction is complete.