Iraqis line up at a school in southern Baghdad’s Saydiyah neighborhood, Feb. 9, to stake their legal claim to property they had previously departed because of violence. A deed or an active lease was required before people were allowed to begin moving into their homes. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Nathaniel Smith)
Feb. 12, 2008 —
BAGHDAD (Feb. 9, 2008) – Prominent civilian leaders in southern Baghdad’s Rashid District, with the help of Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers, began the process of moving 200 displaced families back into their homes Feb. 9.
Members of the Saydiyah Neighborhood Council, along with Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, attached to Multi-National Division – Baghdad’s Task Force Dragon, began accepting paperwork to verify that families moving back were legal residents of the area.
Soldiers and Iraqis were looking for a deed or an active lease to show ownership of property.
If that property has been damaged or destroyed, the rightful owners will be reimbursed with up to one million Iraqi dinars.For one local man, to have the legal residents of the neighborhood coming back was a sign that things are looking up.
"To see people moving back into Saydiyah, this is one of the greatest days of my life," said one resident. "I’m very excited; the people from Saydiyah are good people, it’s just people from the outside who are causing problems."
Another man agreed.
"Right now, we’re in very good shape," he said. "We want to make it excellent; we don’t want to go down."
Due to the high volume of people trying to move back into the region, and the thorough process through which everyone’s paperwork is being vetted to guarantee no criminals are trying to infiltrate the area, the Soldiers extended the process through the weekend, with the intention of not quitting until all the displaced residents are back in their old homes.
A timetable could not be set on when the process would be complete.