United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

Market Helps Bring Normalcy to Basra

By Army Spc. Maurice A. Galloway
Special to American Forces Press Service

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq, Sept. 24, 2009 – “If you build it, they will come” is a line made famous by the 1989 film “Field of Dreams.” Iraqis and Americans are hoping it will hold true with the completion of the al Quibla market in Basra City, Iraq.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Abul Azariq Muhammad, left, Iraq project manager for al Zaquri Group, discusses opening preparations for Basra City’s newest market with Army Staff Sgt. Hugo Rivera, with the 17th Fires Brigade’s civil liaison team, while another official looks on. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Maurice A. Galloway
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Al Quibla market will provide a venue for up to 22 Iraqi entrepreneurs to sell their goods and services in a safe and alluring environment. The market is expected to meet an abundance of needs in one key location with additional room for a café and pharmacy.

“Markets, in general, create both opportunities for employment as well as enhance the community overall, but with such an ideal location, this market could become a centerpiece for the area,” said E. Walter Koenig III, economic leader for the Basra Provincial Reconstruction Team.

“I’m very impressed with the quality of work that the Iraqis put forth in terms of a design that is both exquisitely pleasing as well as functional,” he said. “In addition to providing goods and services, this market will give the citizens of Basra a sense of normalcy.”

Normalcy is exactly what the Army’s 17th Fires Brigade, based here, is looking to return to the city, with several other markets approaching the end of construction in Faw and Dier.

Army Capt. Jayne Ellen Strathe, 1314 Civil Affairs Company, 17th Fires Brigade, said the importance of such projects is what makes her job so enjoyable. Strathe, who is part of the team that communicates with the public about ongoing projects like the market, expressed appreciation for the market’s commercial value and worth as an avenue for employment. She also admired its design and functionality.

“I think this is an excellent facility,” she said, “not only beautiful but practical, with its parking located within the complex. It’s a wonderful community market.”

“This is the only market in the area, so it’s going to be very busy,” said Peter Hunt, a project manager for British-owned MOTT MacDonald Group Ltd. designers.

Located in the heart of the Hayy Muhandisn district, Hunt said the market fills an immediate need for commerce in the area, as well as employment for Basra residents.

“What’s important about this project is that it’s being built by a local team of Iraqi contractors,” he said. “Not only will the community benefit from the market, but the market’s construction has provided jobs for the community.”

“Our part is complete, we’ve spent a great deal of time and attention on building this market and we are greatly pleased with the results of our efforts,” said Abul Azariq Muhammad, project manager for the al Zaquri Group, the local company that built the market. “With the completion of a few minor detail repairs, the only thing left will be for MOTT MacDonald to conduct their final inspection of the market and officially take control of the facility.”

(Army Spc. Maurice A. Galloway serves with 17th Fires Brigade public affairs.)

Contact Author


Click photo for screen-resolution imageLocal Iraqis and Americans serving in Basra hope the recently completed al Quibla Market will bring a sense of normalcy to Basra City, Iraq, September 2009. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Maurice A. Galloway  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageAl Quibla market will provide a venue for up to 22 Iraqi entrepreneurs to sell their goods and services in a safe and attractive environment. The market is planned to meet an abundance of needs in a one-stop location with additional room for a café and pharmacy. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Maurice A. Galloway  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution



Additional Links

Stay Connected