| Friday 2nd May
2008 | Issue 630
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After smashing 7000-year-old relics from the Sumerian civilisation to dust under the tracks of US tanks during the invasion of Iraq, one US philanthropic venture capitalist firm is giving something back to the war-torn city.
Central Baghdad is about to have a new Disneyland-style amusement park, called The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience - courtesy of $500 million from US investment firm C3. Designed by the same people that did Disneyland, it will feature all the big rides, plus a zoo, museum and concert theatre.
Says Mr Werner, chairman of C3, “The people of Iraq need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact... I think people will embrace it. They’ll see it as an opportunity for their children regardless if they’re Shia or Sunni.” A Sunni family’s money is as good as a Shias’ obviously.
The amusement complex is set for land annexed by the imperialist-capitalists handily adjacent to the Green Zone – the fortifi ed control centre for the occupation – on land which was previously the old zoo and Al-Zawra park, the most popular in Baghdad. Werner now magically has a 50 year lease on the land now, and retains rights to housing and hotel developments around the site.
And while on the subject of the zoo, SchNEWS may not be a big fan of incarcerating animals for entertainment purposes, but a startling fact about Baghdad Zoo is that during the invasion in 2003, only 35 of the 700 animals survived – most perishing, some being eaten by starving Iraqis.
The first part of the new centre is about to open – a skateboard park – where 200,000 skateboards have been fl own in from the US and given out free to ‘the kids’.
It would be bad taste to speculate whether the park will have a ghost train or a house of horrors or whether the scariest ride will be called ‘insurgency attack’...
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