Motor Scooters Are a New Sensation in Iraq

A new car can cost $20,000 or $30,000, and there is militia everywhere. If they see your car, they might ask to borrow it. Or kidnap you.

Published: 25-Dec-2007

Violence may be down in Iraq, but road rage is up.

Every day, more cars venture onto Baghdad’s dust-choked streets, adding to epic traffic jams and sending blood-pressure levels through the roof, as drivers spew invective, gesticulate wildly and steadfastly ignore any and all driving laws.

But tens of thousands of Baghdadis have found an antidote in the venerable motor scooter. Often imported from China and bearing almost familiar names like “Yomaha” or “Mucati Classic,” scooters have taken the city by storm, providing a nearly ideal way of getting about in a war-weary town riddled with checkpoints and bedeviled by car bombs.

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