Sunday, November 04, 2007

Democracy! Sexy! Whisky!

Liquor stores return to Baghdad.

It's Thursday night, the end of the Iraqi workweek, and Fami Ameen is scrambling in his crowded Assassin's Gate liquor store as customers clamor for everything from beer and whiskey to ouzo and arak, the popular local alcohol.Call Ameen an unexpected beneficiary of the "surge."

For decades, Iraq had a reputation as a modern, secular society that liked to drink and knew how to party, from wild hotel discotheques to genteel members-only social clubs. But after the fall of President Saddam Hussein, extremists unleashed waves of firebombings against liquor stores, even killing owners, because alcohol is forbidden under Islamic law.Just a year ago, Iraqis' taste for alcohol, and the businesses that sated it, were written off as a casualty of the country's new Islam-dominated order.But violence in Baghdad has dropped in recent months under the U.S. military's security crackdown. And although many stores are still shuttered, their faded Carlsberg awnings caked with dirt, the booze business has rebounded, as Iraqis negotiating the gulf between their faith and their proclivities strike a delicate balance, discreetly traveling from all over the city, and even other provinces, to the remaining liquor shops.

(Rock and roll hoochie koo! How would you like to buy your booze at Assassin's Gate Liquors? Geez, I buy mine at a place called "Bubbles".)
Patrons are still keeping it on the down low but you gotta know we are on the right track in Iraq when the LA Slimes (!) is publishing news like this.

Bottoms Up!

More at the link.