The Baghdad City of Peace Carnival started four years ago, with a young woman named Noof Assi.
"We started talking to people about a celebration for peace day in Baghdad," Assi says. She's referring to International Peace Day, which is September 21 — and which hadn't been celebrated in the war-beleaguered Iraqi capital.
"Everybody was taking it as a joke and never taking us seriously," she says, "because, like, in Baghdad? Celebrating peace?"