That's Baghdad's Paradise Square, today only a single boot remains of the statue of Saddam Hussein.
For many, the day Iraqis -- aided by U.S. troops -- toppled the statue marked the the end of a brutal dictatorship and the beginning of a new hope. Today the square is bedecked with campaign posters for this month's elections, the fifth in Iraq since multiparty democracy was installed.
In central Baghdad, the main streets seem cleaner and in better repair than during the years after the war. New cars clog the intersections at rush hour. Traffic jams can last for hours. But most Iraqis say democracy has not improved their lives. Unemployed construction worker Mahdi al-Moussawi survives on occasional day-work.
"In general the security situation has improved a little bit, but there still are security problems," said Mahdi al-moussawi, unemployed construction worker.
The bombings have diminished from the height of the sectarian conflict several years ago. But the largely-sectarian violence continues to kill and maim hundreds of people every month.
1.statue n. 雕像，塑像
She superseded the old statue.
2.topple vt. 推翻；颠覆；使倒塌
The wrestler toppled his opponent.
3.symbolize vt. 象征；用符号表现
Olive branch symbolizes peace.
4.dictatorship n. 专政；独裁权；独裁者职位
A dictatorship contravenes the liberty of individuals.
5.bedeck vt. 装饰；修饰
The hall was bedecked with flags and flowers for the wedding ceremony.
6.maim vt. 使残废
Tom was seriously maimed in the war.