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Sun 18 Aug 2019 11:51 AM

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Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival

Neon red, yellow and white stage lights helped transform the basketball court in the People's Stadium in central Baghdad into a club for the "Summer Festival", the first celebration of its kind in the city

Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
Hundreds of Iraqi teenagers clapped along exuberantly to techno beats pumping across a makeshift dance hall on Friday night, a scene their capital had not witnessed in decades.
Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
Neon red, yellow and white stage lights helped transform the basketball court in the People's Stadium in central Baghdad into a club for the "Summer Festival", the first celebration of its kind in the city.
Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
The party started at noon with a car show: classic cars, souped-up four-wheelers and motorcycles with proud owners revving their engines.
Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
As the DJ took the stage, boys and girls alike swayed and sang along to Western tunes, alternated with popular Iraqi hits.
Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
Though there were only a few young women among the 1,000 or so revellers, their presence was notable in a country where public spaces remain conservative.
Gallery: Baghdad sees huge crowds attend Summer Festival
Friday's festival was the latest indication that Iraq is entering a phase of relative stability, with blast walls and checkpoints coming down across the capital.