FROM RAGS TO RICHES: BAGHDAD AL-KARKH YOUTH AND SPORT DIRECTORATE RESTORES THE OLD GLORY OF ITS RUNDOWN THEATER

Baghdad Al-Karkh Theater, which belongs to the Directorate of Youth and Sport (DOYS), was recently restored and reopened, providing DOYS with a new location for youth activities and a new source for revenue generation. The theater had been closed for years and was in desperate need of rehabilitation. The theater was offi cially opened on March 28 in an inauguration ceremony led by Baghdad First Deputy Governor, Mr. Jasim al-Bukhati. The ceremony was followed by performances and other activities celebrating March as Women’s Month.

The theater, which seats 300, was reopened as a result of the DOYS Service Delivery Improvement Plan (SDIP), developed with technical assistance from GSP/Taqadum. DOYS has been contending with lack of funds and space for youth activities. One of the solutions called for the rehabilitation of the theater, which would be used for DOYS activities. It can also bring revenue through the sale of tickets to cultural and holiday performances and other activities.

The Director of Youth and Sport and staff, SDIP implementation committee members, and volunteers worked together to clean out debris, make repairs, paint, carpet, and install new lighting and ventilation systems. New curtains and ceiling tiles were also installed. By allocating existing resources and reusing salvageable materials, DOYS only needed to spend $1,150 US to complete the renovations.

The reopening of the newly restored Baghdad Al-Karkh Theater was celebrated with an inauguration ceremony followed by activities celebrating March as Women’s Month