Iraqi women have lunch at a restaurant in Baghdad, Iraq.
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Iraqi businessman Zaid Nazo has always been sure of his nation's deep passion for food and wasn't afraid to dream big when he transformed his small Baghdad coffee shop in 1999 into a casual dining and takeaway restaurant. Today, the 41-year-old father of two has opened four branches and his chain is one of the most popular in Iraq. Many Iraqi entrepreneurs are finding restaurants and eateries a safe business bet, despite the slumping economy, prevailing violence and an ongoing war with Daesh.There are 40 percent more restaurants in Baghdad today than there were in 2013 – when security and economic conditions in the country were much better – according to Shakir al-Zamili, the chairman of Baghdad Investment Commission.Baghdad has now more than 100 restaurants, coffee shops and eateries that are licensed by his commission – and twice as many are in the planning stages.Nazo likes to trace the Iraqi passion for food to antiquity.
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