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Iraq: First Bank Branch Run By And Catering To Women Only Opens In Najaf

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By Reuters

NAJAF, IRAQ (OCTOBER 21, 2009) (REUTERS): PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET OF NAJAF/ IMAM ALI SHRINE AT FAR END OF STREET PEOPLE NEAR IMAM ALI SHRINE MORE OF PEOPLE NEAR SHRINE TWO MEN STANDING GUARD AT ENTRANCE TO WOMEN'S BANK BRANCH IN CITY "BABEL BANK/ WOMEN'S BANK BRANCH" WRITTEN IN ARABIC ON TOP OF ENTRANCE GATE TO BANK WOMAN BANK EMPLOYEE DEALING WITH WOMAN CUSTOMER BANK EMPLOYEE IN HER BOOTH SPEAKING TO WOMAN CUSTOMER WOMAN CUSTOMER COUNTING HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS IN FRONT OF BANK BOOTH CLOSE-UP OF WAD OF DOLLAR BILLS BANK EMPLOYEE SPEAKING TO WOMAN BANK CUSTOMER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAZEN ABDUL RAZZAQ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF BABEL PRIVATE BANK, SAYING: "Commercial activities have gained momentum, encouraged by security and stability in Najaf province. All the business sectors were involved and the competition was not confined to men only, but women too. This competition between men and business women in consequence has prompted us to come up with something new of its kind in Najaf and in Iraq as a whole, which is the opening of a special branch for women to enable them to practice business in a free and comfortable way." WOMAN CLIENT STANDING IN FRONT OF BANK EMPLOYEE IN BOOTH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAZEN ABDUL RAZZAQ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF BABEL PRIVATE BANK, SAYING: "All the employees of the bank are women except for the guards outside the bank, who protect the bank. The move was greatly welcomed in a way that surpassed all the expectations and the feasibility studies of the bank. The number of the bank accounts in the first week has exceeded 50 accounts including current accounts and savings accounts and loan requests for business women in the province of Najaf." EMPLOYEE COUNTING HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS IN MONEY COUNTER MONEY COUNTER FLUTTERING THROUGH WAD OF HUNDRED U.S. DOLLAR BILLS WOMEN CLIENTS AT BANK BOOTH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UM ZINA, BEAUTY PARLOUR EMPLOYEE, SAYING: "The idea of opening a bank (for women) in Najaf is good. Najaf needs such a step. Woman will go out freely to places where there are only women. I am one of the women who will take part and open a business and will encourage women who have projects to come to the bank to get help " WOMAN STANDING NEAR BANK BOOTH WOMAN HANDING RECEIPT TO BANK EMPLOYEE THROUGH OPENING IN WINDOW OF BOOTH IQBAL MOHAMMED, HEAD OF ACCOUNTS AT THE BANK, HELPING WOMAN CLIENT WOMEN INSIDE BANK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IQBAL MOHAMMED, HEAD OF ACCOUNTS AT THE BANK, SAYING: "It is a great step to meet the business woman's demands in Najaf. We opened this branch to support the Iraqi woman, especially in Najaf, who is isolated in her house and busy raising and instructing children as her sole occupation. We are supporting her so she can practice one of her rights. Most of the time the man is busy, so we have given her the right to go outdoors and do some business." WOMAN IN FRONT OF BOOTH BANK EMPLOYEES
Dateline: 2009

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