Five years on: Baghdad remembers 'shock and awe'...

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The Independent Online

It was a day of shame for the Arab nation and the Islamic nation. I am pessimistic because day by day the Iraqis are failing to unify themselves. Sunni and Shia, Arab and Kurd ought to get together to end the occupation. The only good thing is that people working for the government now get a good salary

Mohammed Rahaz, 21, Student at Baghdad University, Sunni

I am so happy because of the fifth anniversary. We achieved our dream of capturing Saddam Hussein, putting him on trial and executing him. I don't care whether the Americans occupy us or not, but they did us a good turn when they freed us from Saddam

Arkan Hamid, 31, Bookshop owner, Shia

Last year was the worst because so many innocent people were killed in Karada and all over Baghdad. Terrorism is being promoted by our neighbours, especially Syria and Saudi Arabia. Our life before under Saddam Hussein was so bad, but we are in a bad situation now. But in spite of this we have to try to build a new Iraq

Abdul Karim Jassim, 32, Butcher in Karada district, Shia

I have lost relatives and friends but I hope for a bright future for Iraq. Security comes first. I want the Americans to leave our country. The economy is better than under Saddam. I have a BA in agriculture and now I earn 435,000 Iraqi dinars ($350), while I got only 21,000 Iraqi dinars ($11) a month when Saddam was in power

Ansar Mardan Halim, 41, Office worker in Baghdad, Sunni

There's not much difference for me because I couldn't get a job before or after the war. I can't get a job because I don't belong to a political party and I don't have the money to pay a bribe. The situation is going to get worse because the Americans and the Iraqi government are too busy lining their pockets to care for the poor Iraqi people

Ali Karim Kassim, 27, Unemployed in Karada, Shia

It was the worse day of my life because my country was destroyed. Everything was destroyed – ministries and buildings – but also more important things like our beliefs and thoughts. Nowadays we are fighting each other. I believe that we can solve our problems as Iraqis without the support of the Americans

Muhdi Said, 20, Student at Baghdad University, Sunni

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