In the months after the last U.S. troops left their country, Iraqis are surprisingly optimistic about the future given the horrors of war they have endured for nearly a decade. Housing developments, shopping centers and hospitals are rising from the rubble, stores that had been closed for years are reopening, and familiar sights are returning. But every step forward is weighed down by continued bloodshed, brutality and corruption.

Read the full story on The Washington Post:

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