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Pictures | Mon Aug 19, 2019 | 12:32am BST

Baghdad bikers dance as parties return to battle-weary city

A biker does a burnout on his motorcycle during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, Iraq August 16, 2019. Members of rival Iraqi biker gangs, clad in studded leather and black berets, burst out of their semi-circles to break dance, their tattoo-covered arms waving neon glowsticks.

REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

A biker does a burnout on his motorcycle during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, Iraq August 16, 2019. Members of rival Iraqi biker gangs, clad in studded leather and black berets, burst out of their...more

A biker does a burnout on his motorcycle during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, Iraq August 16, 2019. Members of rival Iraqi biker gangs, clad in studded leather and black berets, burst out of their semi-circles to break dance, their tattoo-covered arms waving neon glowsticks. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. The Mongols Motorcycle Club dance circle was one of several at the Riot Gear Summer Rush event, a car show and concert held at a sports stadium in the heart of Baghdad. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. The Mongols Motorcycle Club dance circle was one of several at the Riot Gear Summer Rush event, a car show and concert held at a sports stadium in the heart of Baghdad....more

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. The Mongols Motorcycle Club dance circle was one of several at the Riot Gear Summer Rush event, a car show and concert held at a sports stadium in the heart of Baghdad. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young women dance as they attend an electronic music concert. The scene was a far cry from the usual images broadcast from the city of violence and mayhem. But nearly two years since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State, the capital has been quietly remaking its image. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young women dance as they attend an electronic music concert. The scene was a far cry from the usual images broadcast from the city of violence and mayhem. But nearly two years since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State, the capital has been...more

Young women dance as they attend an electronic music concert. The scene was a far cry from the usual images broadcast from the city of violence and mayhem. But nearly two years since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State, the capital has been quietly remaking its image. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young men attend a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. Since the blast walls - a feature of the capital since a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein - started coming down, a less restrictive way of life has emerged. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young men attend a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. Since the blast walls - a feature of the capital since a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein - started coming down, a less restrictive way of...more

Young men attend a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. Since the blast walls - a feature of the capital since a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein - started coming down, a less restrictive way of life has emerged. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance. "We held this party so people can know that Iraq has this kind of culture, and has these kinds of people who love life and music," said Arshad Haybat, a 30-year-old film director who founded the Riot Gear events company. Riot Gear has thrown similar parties in Iraq before, but Friday's was the first open to the public. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance. "We held this party so people can know that Iraq has this kind of culture, and has these kinds of people who love life and music," said Arshad Haybat, a 30-year-old film director who founded the Riot Gear events company. Riot Gear...more

Young people dance. "We held this party so people can know that Iraq has this kind of culture, and has these kinds of people who love life and music," said Arshad Haybat, a 30-year-old film director who founded the Riot Gear events company. Riot Gear has thrown similar parties in Iraq before, but Friday's was the first open to the public. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people attend an electronic music concert. The day started with young men showing off imported muscle cars and motorcycles. By nightfall, it had turned into a pulsating electronic dance music (EDM) show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people attend an electronic music concert. The day started with young men showing off imported muscle cars and motorcycles. By nightfall, it had turned into a pulsating electronic dance music (EDM) show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people attend an electronic music concert. The day started with young men showing off imported muscle cars and motorcycles. By nightfall, it had turned into a pulsating electronic dance music (EDM) show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young men attend a car and motorbike show. It was a heady mix of Baghdad's burgeoning subcultures: bikers, gamers, EDM enthusiasts. What most had in common was they'd never been to a party like this in Iraq. "We have only ever seen this kind of concert on TV and films," said 21-year-old Mustafa Osama. "I can't describe my feelings to see such a thing in Iraq." REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young men attend a car and motorbike show. It was a heady mix of Baghdad's burgeoning subcultures: bikers, gamers, EDM enthusiasts. What most had in common was they'd never been to a party like this in Iraq. "We have only ever seen this kind of...more

Young men attend a car and motorbike show. It was a heady mix of Baghdad's burgeoning subcultures: bikers, gamers, EDM enthusiasts. What most had in common was they'd never been to a party like this in Iraq. "We have only ever seen this kind of concert on TV and films," said 21-year-old Mustafa Osama. "I can't describe my feelings to see such a thing in Iraq." REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people attend an electronic music concert. Iraqi hip-hop collective Tribe of Monsters played a mix of EDM and Trap music as young men, clasping elaborate vape pens, danced through strobe lights and smoke machines, livestreaming their moves on Snapchat and Instagram. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people attend an electronic music concert. Iraqi hip-hop collective Tribe of Monsters played a mix of EDM and Trap music as young men, clasping elaborate vape pens, danced through strobe lights and smoke machines, livestreaming their moves on...more

Young people attend an electronic music concert. Iraqi hip-hop collective Tribe of Monsters played a mix of EDM and Trap music as young men, clasping elaborate vape pens, danced through strobe lights and smoke machines, livestreaming their moves on Snapchat and Instagram. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show outside the closed Hall of Shaab Stadium. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance. Though dominated by young men, lots of women attended, with some dancing near the main stage. But event organizers ensured a "family section" was available, so groups of women, families and couples out on dates could dance, away from the lively crowd. "All the young people are happy here," said Ain, one of the female partygoers who declined to give her last name. "I hope there will be more and more of these events in Iraq." REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance. Though dominated by young men, lots of women attended, with some dancing near the main stage. But event organizers ensured a "family section" was available, so groups of women, families and couples out on dates could dance, away...more

Young people dance. Though dominated by young men, lots of women attended, with some dancing near the main stage. But event organizers ensured a "family section" was available, so groups of women, families and couples out on dates could dance, away from the lively crowd. "All the young people are happy here," said Ain, one of the female partygoers who declined to give her last name. "I hope there will be more and more of these events in Iraq." REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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A man uses his phone as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

A man uses his phone as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

A man uses his phone as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Members of the Iraq Bikers are seen during a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young man dances as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young man dances as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young man dances as he attends an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young men attend a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young men attend a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young men attend a car and motorbike show. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Young people dance and cheer as they attend an electronic music concert. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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