As the low-key transfer of sovereignty back to the Iraqi people made the headlines, the real proof that life is slowly returning to normal in the war-torn country was happening less than a mile away from the US compound in Baghdad.
The Hotel Delmer, in a quiet residential neighbourhood, was the setting for the first Baghdad Rotary Club luncheon in nearly 18 months.
Rotarian Hakim Mulla Mohammed was the guest speaker at the lunch and reportedly gave an interesting, and at times inspiring, talk on ‘The role of the Hashirin in today's Iraq'.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Club President Ahmed Al Samarrai who said the address had "provided much food for thought" and he looked forward to greeting even more members at next week's lunch. He then announced details of the annual dinner dance in September.
Further evidence that life is returning to normal comes from the ranks of the city's Round Table with Tablers this weekend resurrecting the ever popular fancy-dress ‘Throw an infidel in the Tigris' competition.
Inner Wheel meetings resume next month with the Baghdad ladies extending an invitation to controversial US army reservist Lynndie England to speak on ‘The secrets of the perfect apple pie'.