Despite Violence, Baghdad Preps for Valentine's Day

PHOTO: An Iraqi woman walks past a shop displaying red teddy bears in preparation for Valentines day in Baghdads Karrada district, Feb. 12, 2015.Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images
An Iraqi woman walks past a shop displaying red teddy bears in preparation for Valentine's day in Baghdad's Karrada district, Feb. 12, 2015.

Despite near-weekly blasts in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad is ramping up for Valentine’s Day Saturday.

And the city is decked out. An Agence France-Presse photo caught an Iraqi woman walking past a shop displaying red teddy bears in Baghdad's Karrada district.

For the first time in 12 years, couples and families will be able to stay out past midnight to celebrate after the city’s midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew was lifted last week. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi recently lifted the curfew imposed during the aftermath of the American invasion in 2003 -- an effort, according to AFP, to normalize life in Baghdad.

Shop owner Marwan Hashem told AFP, "We were waiting for this decision for years."