Iowa City Mayor visits Iraq, attends floral festival - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City Mayor visits Iraq, witnesses deadly car bomb

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

In late April, Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton visited Baghdad, Iraq, on an invitation from it's mayor to attend Baghdad's International Flowers Cultural Festival. 

University of Iowa International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill was also invited. Both were invited by the city's first female mayor, Thikra Alwash. 

The festival aimed to strengthen international cooperation between cities in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, which Baghdad and Iowa City are both apart of.

Prior to his visit, Mayor Throgmorton proclaimed the week of April 23-29, 2017 to be a “Week of Peace and Friendship with the People of Baghdad,” which he read to Mayor Alwash during his visit.

“This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Mayor Throgmorton said. “We were able to absorb and appreciate Baghdad’s culture and beauty, while being treated with great warmth and generosity by everyone we met.”

Throgmorton said on his last night there, they witnessed a car bomb explode about 500 meters away from them. They said it killed at least four people and injured many others.

“The explosion was a stark reminder that Baghdad still faces formidable challenges,” Throgmorton said. 

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