New Bank Opens in Baghdad

April 27, 2008

Here in the United States, it’s commonplace to see a bank on almost every street in the business districts. That hasn’t been the case in Baghdad, where, until recently it would have been too dangerous to do so. A bank would have just been an invitation to the insurgents to cause trouble and manipulate the populace.

On April 20th, in the Doura district of Baghdad, excited residents, along with Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment attached to the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, gathered around a doorway that had been secured by a strand of ribbon. Residents were seeing tangible proof that economic resurgence in the area of the city they live in, was in fact true. Suddenly, the ribbon was snipped and the crowed of citizens began filing inside to utilize the services of the new bank.

“Today is a historic day for us,” said Zuhair al-Jumaily, the banks’ manager. “We are pleased to reopen this branch and provide services to the residents of Doura.”

As the eager citizens filed into the bank, tellers were already in place and ready to begin their days work. Though this marked a definitive step in the revitalization of the area, no one was taking any chances and tight security was present.

“In the past, Doura’s situation was very bad,” Jumaily said. “Today the area is safe and secure. The bank will serve a large number of residents, and we are very pleased with the efforts of the coalition forces.”

According to Army Captain Daryl Carter, commander of 10th Mountain Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, as little as 8 months ago, the area had a deserted and desolate feel. Residents avoided coming outside unless absolutely necessary, due to insurgent activity. Now businesses have opened in the market section and are thriving. The area is now teeming with people.

The opening of the bank is a result of the hard work of Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces working side by side. The cooperation of the citizens of the area is another reason that things such as the opening of businesses and the bank are now taking place.

“It was a pretty monumental event,” said Army 1st Lt. Justin Chabalko, a mortar platoon leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment. “Since security has been good, there has been a lot of progress in the area.” The bank’s re-opening shows there is stability in the region and also that the government can provide for its people.”

This is great news for the people of the neighborhood, as well as for our Troops. It’s yet another piece of evidence showing that the job our Troops are doing is having the desired effect; making things safer and more secure for the Iraqi people.



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