Five years ago Wednesday, U.S. forces entered the heart of the Iraqi capital, and Saddam Hussein's regime fell. While much of the world watched the downfall of Hussein and the destruction of his huge statue in central Baghdad's Firdos Square on television, Iraqis lived it. They have memories of what they were feeling as Hussein was toppled from power. Here are some of them:
When the war began, I took my family to the south because our home was too close to Baghdad's airport road, where fighting was expected.
I brought them to my home city of Amarah, 190 miles southeast of the capital. People there were known for their opposition to Hussein's Baathist government. The regime had deprived the Shiite Muslim city of resources. Many residents had been imprisoned or killed and buried in mass graves after the 1991 Shiite uprising after the Gulf War.
In Amarah, we had no electricity and operated our TV off a car battery. We received news of the war from the Iranian channel Al Alam. When Hussein was ousted, one of his best-known opponents, Abdul Kareem Mohammedawi, entered the city. People called him the "prince of the marshes" because he had fought Hussein from the south's wetlands.