By Haydar Hadi
BAGHDAD (AA) – Despite the rampant violence that continues to plague war-torn Iraq, the spirit of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, can still be seen and felt everywhere across capital Baghdad.
Residents of the capital turn out in droves to shop at Baghdad’s Azamiya market -- the target of several terror attacks in recent months.
Many go to the Azamiya market located near the tomb of Muslim scholar Abu Hanifah al-Nuaman -- especially in the morning -- to stock up on food for iftar, the Ramadan fast-breaking meal.
"The market is very busy from iftar until suhour," shop owner Ali Mohamed told Anadolu Agency, referring to the pre-dawn meal Muslims often take before the dawn-to-dusk fast.
Most customers, he said, tended to buy cool drinks to help them make it through Baghdad’s hot summer evenings.
At night, many Muslim Baghdad residents flock to mosques across the capital to perform tarawih (Ramadan evening) prayers.
"Despite the violence, we continue to perform tarawih and other prayers," Baghdad resident Haji Abdul-Kader Dawud told Anadolu Agency.
Dawud, who lost two relatives to recent bomb attacks, lamented the violence Iraq has continued to groan under.
"The Daesh terrorist group has destroyed this country," he said.
Iraq has suffered from a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this report from Ankara