Now And Then: Rephotographing Iraq

A lot of photographers are revisiting 2003 this week — the year the U.S. invaded Iraq — and sharing photos from the years of war that followed. Even more literally, Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo revisited various sites photographed during the war to see what has changed and what hasn't.

One scene speaks volumes: Today, shoppers pass through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. But in the 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban for AP, the sidewalk is covered in fresh stains from a bombing that killed 22 people.

  • Today, shoppers pass through Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. The 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban, shows the scene after a bombing that killed 22 people. Bloody attacks launched by terrorists who thrived in the post-invasion chaos are still frequent, although less so than a few years back.
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    Today, shoppers pass through Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. The 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban, shows the scene after a bombing that killed 22 people. Bloody attacks launched by terrorists who thrived in the post-invasion chaos are still frequent, although less so than a few years back.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • The park that runs along Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad, named for an Arabic poet, is now a popular destination for families who are drawn by the manicured gardens, playgrounds and restaurants famous for a fish called mazgouf. Ten years ago, the park was home to a tribe of children — like Fady al-Sadik in Alleruzzo's 2003 photo — orphaned by the war and was rife with crime.
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    The park that runs along Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad, named for an Arabic poet, is now a popular destination for families who are drawn by the manicured gardens, playgrounds and restaurants famous for a fish called mazgouf. Ten years ago, the park was home to a tribe of children — like Fady al-Sadik in Alleruzzo's 2003 photo — orphaned by the war and was rife with crime.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Today, Iraqi policeman Ahmed Naji stands on the grounds of the Iraqi National Museum — which was guarded by U.S. soldiers in the 2003 photo taken by Anja Niedringhaus. Tens of thousands of artifacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos the followed the the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
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    Today, Iraqi policeman Ahmed Naji stands on the grounds of the Iraqi National Museum — which was guarded by U.S. soldiers in the 2003 photo taken by Anja Niedringhaus. Tens of thousands of artifacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos the followed the the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Ten years ago on live television, U.S. Marines memorably hauled down a Soviet-style statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdous Square — photographed in 2003 by Jerome Delay of AP. Today, that pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides.
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    Ten years ago on live television, U.S. Marines memorably hauled down a Soviet-style statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdous Square — photographed in 2003 by Jerome Delay of AP. Today, that pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Hussein, 3, poses in Firdous Square in Baghdad with a 2003 photograph taken by Jerome Delay — showing the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down by U.S. forces and Iraqis.
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    Hussein, 3, poses in Firdous Square in Baghdad with a 2003 photograph taken by Jerome Delay — showing the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down by U.S. forces and Iraqis.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Saddam Hussein commissioned the crossed-sword archways during Iraq'’s nearly eight-year war with Iran. They stand defiantly in the fortified district for the U.S. Embassy and other government offices. Iraqi officials began tearing down the archways in 2007 but quickly halted those plans and then started restoring the monument two years ago. Captured originally in 2008 by Karim Kadim.
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    Saddam Hussein commissioned the crossed-sword archways during Iraq'’s nearly eight-year war with Iran. They stand defiantly in the fortified district for the U.S. Embassy and other government offices. Iraqi officials began tearing down the archways in 2007 but quickly halted those plans and then started restoring the monument two years ago. Captured originally in 2008 by Karim Kadim.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Street photographer Raad Mohammed poses with a photograph taken by photographer Khalid Mohammed in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. The 2006 image shows an Iraqi soldier manning a checkpoint. It was taken after Baghdad was subjected to a vehicle ban — an effort to prevent reprisal attacks from suicide car bombs after the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
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    Street photographer Raad Mohammed poses with a photograph taken by photographer Khalid Mohammed in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. The 2006 image shows an Iraqi soldier manning a checkpoint. It was taken after Baghdad was subjected to a vehicle ban — an effort to prevent reprisal attacks from suicide car bombs after the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Today, motorists fill the main street in Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. The 2008 image was taken by Hadi Mizban after a bombing that killed 53 people and wounded 130.
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    Today, motorists fill the main street in Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. The 2008 image was taken by Hadi Mizban after a bombing that killed 53 people and wounded 130.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Abu Nawas park in Baghdad, the site of a 2003 photograph taken by Maya Alleruzzo, shows Iraqi orphans playing soccer with a U.S. soldier from the 3rd Infantry Division.
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    Abu Nawas park in Baghdad, the site of a 2003 photograph taken by Maya Alleruzzo, shows Iraqi orphans playing soccer with a U.S. soldier from the 3rd Infantry Division.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP
  • Abdullah, 8, poses with a 2003 photograph taken by Niko Price, showing a U.S. soldier visiting the newly opened zoo. The zoo was destroyed during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Only a handful of animals survived, and later the grounds were used as a holding facility for looters detained by U.S. soldiers. It reopened later in 2003 and today houses more than 1,000 animals.
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    Abdullah, 8, poses with a 2003 photograph taken by Niko Price, showing a U.S. soldier visiting the newly opened zoo. The zoo was destroyed during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Only a handful of animals survived, and later the grounds were used as a holding facility for looters detained by U.S. soldiers. It reopened later in 2003 and today houses more than 1,000 animals.
    Maya Alleruzzo/AP

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Another notable retrospective is a new book by Michael Kamber, who covered the war for The New York Times, called Photojournalists On War — a compilation of testimonies by photographers who covered Iraq (featured recently on The New York Times' Lens blog). NPR's own David Gilkey also looked back at the eve of the American invasion.

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