BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 19, 2003 The Ghazeliyah Neighborhood Advisory Council held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Baghdad Sept. 19, to celebrate the opening of their newly-furnished council building, while thanking the Japanese officials for their generous contributions.
Before the war, this building served as a shop for officers of the former Iraqi military. Now, the people of the neighborhood have decided to convert the building into a place where citizens can come and talk to their neighborhood advisory council about issues regarding the restoration of the neighborhood.
Fortunately, the building survived the war, but looters took everything inside. The council could meet there, but they lacked the proper equipment and utilities for conducting business. There wasnt even furniture to sit on.
A certain amount of things were needed in the building before the Iraqis could perform the functions of an advisory council, said 2nd Lt. Charles J. Brown, C Company Fire Support Officer with the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Things such as desks, chairs and generators were all important to get the council started. Its hard to hold a committee meeting when you dont have chairs to sit in.
So when officials from the Japanese government approached soldiers with the 1st of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment with a desire to help the citizens of Iraq, soldiers led them to the advisory council.