Triple shifts

Erbil speeds up restoration of Qaysari Bazaar after devastating fire

ERBIL — The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Municipalities announced Friday that it is accelerating the restoration of Erbil’s historic Qaysari Bazaar, with teams working around the clock in three shifts to complete the work swiftly.

“The acceleration of the work is aimed at benefiting the merchants and shopkeepers within the Qaysari Bazaar,” the ministry stated.

A major fire on the evening of May 5 caused extensive damage to the Qaysari Bazaar, destroying 227 shops, seven warehouses, and injuring 132 people.

Zhiar Jalal, head of Erbil’s Environmental Protection Department, said the cleanup of the bazaar was completed within three days after the fire. Restoration efforts began Thursday, with funding from the governorate’s budget.

“The renovation project costs 5.3 billion dinars ($4,043,900), and is funded by the Erbil governorate’s budget,” Umed Khoshnaw, governor of Erbil, told reporters.

Nearly a month after the fire, shopkeepers gathered to voice their frustrations over the slow pace of reconstruction. Salar Taha, a fabric store owner in the bazaar, expressed the hardships faced by the business community.

“We have been left without work. People cannot live even a day without work, and we have been without work for a month. We cannot manage our lives in this situation,” Taha told 964media.