Despite challenges after Saddam era, Kurdistan region made significant progress
The Kurdish semi-autonomous region in Iraq has made remarkable progress since the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, despite the challenges and conflicts that followed.
The region, which was granted constitutional status in 2005, has improved its infrastructure, attracted foreign investment, and maintained relatively good security.
In contrast, the rest of the country has experienced sectarian violence and terrorism, with daily suicide bombings and kidnappings by radical Islamist groups.
The Kurdish people had suffered greatly under Saddam Hussein's rule, with thousands of civilian deaths and the destruction of thousands of villages in successive genocidal campaigns.
However, the Kurdish leadership had established its first democratic institutions in the history of the country under the No-Fly Zone imposed by the US, France, and UK in the northern Kurdish region.
For the first time, Kurds held free and fair elections, formed their own government and parliament, and joined the Iraqi opposition coalition to topple Saddam Hussein's brutal regime.
Since the regime change in Baghdad, the Kurdish region has become a strong partner in Iraq, achieving some degree of self-determination for the Kurdish people.
The region has also attracted thousands of Turkish and Western companies to invest in its oil and gas, real estate development, and education sectors.
This progress stands in stark contrast to the rest of the country, which continues to struggle with sectarian violence and political instability.