The Americanization of a Middle Eastern City

Iraqi Kurdistan has an amazing nature and beautiful parks. But the capital Erbil was long a city with little infrastructure because of the many wars, and has only started to build up the last decade. Where other cities in Kurdistan had roads, sidewalks and restaurants, Erbil is still in many of it’s neighborhoods a city someone called “The wild west”.

So what happens when a region starts to rise up, especially if it’s full of oil? The international companies enters big-time, most of them American – and the urban planning of tags along. Kuwait saw the same development after the Gulf War.

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So in a city that copies the big cities overseas, before you plant trees you build villas guarded by fence.

erbil 1

Or high-rise buildings before you finish the roads.

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…and no supermarkets to add some life to the suburban blocks. Internationalization has its benefits, but also its doubts.erbil 4

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