Known in the 1960s and 70s as one of the Middle East's more permissive societies, Iraq grew slowly more conservative during years of war, sanctions and hardship, a trend accelerated after 2003 as deep divisions over identity bubbled to the surface.
In the dark days of sectarian carnage in 2006-07, women didn't leave home without carrying a headscarf. Young men and women thought twice before being seen together outside.
"When the religious militias were active and the range of sectarian violence was top ... most people suddenly adopted religious ideas, clothes, appearance and even behavior," said Jamal, a security guard who has been working close to a Baghdad park once famous as a spot for lovers' trysts.
"When the security situation improved and militias disappeared, the people also responded to these changes."
Interesting. I wonder who they will give credit for these changes to?