There are many ways to measure progress in Iraq. Most of them tend to involve unpleasant and horrifying metrics, with the goal to keep them as low as possible. But, every now and then, it's possible to find something to celebrate. These days, it's an increase in upscale Iraqi weddings. More than mere nuptials, the country has seen a spike in elaborate and well attended ceremonies.
During the week following Ramadan, a holiday called Eid al-Fitr, approximately 630 couples tied the knot in Baghdad's six most luxurious hotels, according to the Tourism and Antiques Ministry. This rivals the number of weddings at these hotels conducted in both July and August.
In past years, the high volume of weddings, particularly during Eid, wouldn't have been possible, as potential celebrants would have feared insurgent attacks, suicide bombers and other threats to safety. Though precise data isn't available, September is estimated to be the busiest wedding month since the war began in 2003.