Security measures hinder easy relocation

Baghdad residents complain of security hassles for furniture deliveries in booming Arab Jibor

BAGHDAD — Residents in Baghdad’s rapidly growing Arab Jibor neighborhood are calling for an easing of security measures and rules that govern how and when furniture can be moved to and from homes in the area.

Currently, moving furniture in and around Baghdad requires approval from multiple authorities, including Baghdad Operations Command, the district commissioner, a local guarantor, and the Mukhtar (community leader). The procedures can vary by region but often lead to delays and frustration among residents.

The rules are reportedly part of efforts to maintain security in the capital by closely monitoring the movement and origin of trucks and goods going in and out of residential neighborhoods.

The emergence of companies offering to handle the entire moving process has addressed some of the challenges. However, these services come at a cost, with some companies charging upwards of 400,000 Iraqi dinars (approximately $300 USD) for intra-city moves.

Sabah Awad, an employee at a delivery company, explained that movers can cut the time and hassle of moving by securing approvals from authorities within a day and fees include the permit process, as well as packing, delivery, and unloading furniture.

Abu Laith Al-Jibouri, a resident of Arab Jibor, told 964media that demand for homes in his neighborhood has jumped recently thanks in part to improved security but that complex procedures for moving to the area are causing concern and dissatisfaction.

His sentiment was echoed by Umm Muhammad, a new resident of Arab Jibor, who said she was surprised when security forces stopped her furniture delivery because she lacked the necessary approvals. She then paid a facilitator 150,000 dinars to handle the process on top of other costs, she said.

Umm Muhammad, along with other residents, have suggested that authorities simplify the process by relying solely on the approval and stamp of the local Mukhtar for residents moving within the district.

A source from Baghdad Operations Command asserted, however, that approvals are intended as precautionary security measures and not meant to cause headaches, but that delays can occur when residents file petitions without the necessary information or documentation.

As Arab Jibor and other peri-urban areas experience a surge in popularity due to their lower population densities, authorities are facing increasing pressure to streamline bureaucratic procedures associated with relocation.