Aside from infrastructural devastation and enormous loss of civilian life, the 2003 US invasion of Iraq has had some pretty fascinating effects on the way they live—particularly their absorption of American habits. Including the way we're glued to our phones, says NYT reporter Mahmood Al-Bachary:
The cellphone, this weird creature that entered our lives with the Americans, has spread in a mad way. Landlines were the only means of communication before 2003, but since the war Iraq has adopted cellphones faster than any other country in the world. But our use of the cellphone has been overdone, because even the guy pushing the cart in the market has one or two cellphones, and if you want to buy a tomato from the market you have to wait for the stall holder to finish his phone call with one of his friends or his wife. In that way, cellphones have become part of our culture. This, too, we adopted from the Americans, and it has entered every house and was welcomed by every person.