I think that this is what the country needs after so many years of violence and fighting. Iraqi hairdressers and beauticians gather in Baghdad to show off their talents at the Make Up, Hairdressing and Fashion Show, a symbolic move to empower the people and break from fear that has gripped the country for years. The festival was the first of its kind since 2003 US led invasion and violent aftermath. This latest effort in a series of events has benefited the residents of this once dynamic city in the Middle East as a decline in violence has become more apparent. “The most important thing about this festival is spotlighting the brightness of Iraqi women, which has gone unseen by the world,” said Nadya Hamza Fuad, one of the organizers. She continued to explain,” Darkness used to dominate, and the light of beauty was extinguished 10 years ago, especially in women’s salons. Society has been held back because of the dark period.” The festival brought together a range of participants who as models were dressed to the nines and made up by beauticians and hairdressers who showcased their talents. The event was held in two conference rooms where experts showed the aspiring beauticians tricks of the trades and best practices, while hairdressers showed their skills to onlookers before their models strutted on the catwalk. This is in sharp contrast to years before, when tens of thousands were killed in insurgency ans sectarian wars that followed the ousting now executed dictator Saddam Hussein. Religious extremists in particular would target hairdressers, most of whom closed their shops, causing women, few of whom were veiled pre 2003, were forced to cover themselves and stay home. Even though violence has dropped, Baghdad attacks are still common and remains one of the world’s most dangerous cities. The one day festival was limited to word of mouth to avoid the attention of militants who would carry out attacks in Baghdad and across Iraq.