In December 2011, after eight years of war, American troops finally abandoned Iraqi territory. Erbil, in the heart of the area inhabited by the long repressed Kurdish minority, became the capital of a secretly held dream capable of mixing autonomous politics, social stability and economic prosperity.
Unfortunately, it did not last long.
Three and half years later, in June 2014, the Islamic State terrorist organisation captured Mosul (about fifty kilometres from the capital).
Their intervention in the Syrian civil war (that began in 2012) against the government of Bashar al-Asad has increased their control of Iraqi territory and has destabilised the peace that Erbil and the autonomous Kurdish region had managed to achieve.
It is too soon to say whether or not the dream has ended. However, the prospects for peace and growth in the medium term have undoubtedly suffered a setback.