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Coalition Provisional Authority

Contact: Mike Hardiman  

Baghdad Beautification Comes to Al Rashid District

A new multipurpose recreation facility has opened in the Al Dura neighborhood, benefiting thousands of residents in Baghdad’s Al Rashid district.

The Al Dura Sports Complex includes a soccer field with bleachers, basketball court, a place for volleyball and a playground with several types of exercise equipment. The area was a vacant lot full of trash when the project started. It is an example of renovating and improving areas for public recreation called for by Ambassador Bremer in his Baghdad Beautiful initiative.

This success is the result of neighborhood District Advisory Council (DAC) leaders working together with the US Army First Cavalry Division to determine a project which would most help the area.

The ribbon cutting ceremony opening the facility was led by Sami Ahmed Sharif, the Al Rashid DAC Chairman, and Colonel Stephen Lanza of the US Army First Cavalry Division. Also in attendance were Baghdad City Councilman Sabin Radhi Zubun and US Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Hammond. Over 500 local residents, mostly children and their parents, attended the ceremony

Councilman Saba’ Radhi Zubun said, “This will benefit many families in my district. For example, 60 soccer teams will play here in a tournament soon. And there are five schools with over 1,000 children each who can use this facility.”

The children liked it as well. A twelve year old named Jafa said, “This is a very good idea. I play soccer, and my brother is on the field right now playing for the Iraqi Police Service team.”

His friend Mustafa added, “Thank you, American Army!”

A soccer game was played between the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) and the Iraqi Police Service (IPS). IPS was victorious by a score of 2 to 0.

Shirts promoting “progress and prosperity” were given to everyone in attendance. Also distributed was a calendar featuring drawings by school children of police helping the community.


Please address any questions to Mike Hardiman, Baghdad Central Press Officer, at 

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