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Cowboy of Love
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He helps little old ladies to cross the road as well!

Developer hoping to lead Iraq rebirth

1/ 6/2007

PROPERTY developer Bashar Issa is aiming to lead the regeneration of war-torn Iraq.

The 29-year-old entrepreneur, whose father was born in the troubled Middle East state, has recently returned from Baghdad where he spent a week in top-level talks with President Jalal Talabani, and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malaki.

Mr Issa, who is behind a clutch of regeneration projects in Manchester and Salford, including the ambitious £200m Canopus Greengate project which includes a 46-story tower being built close to the Lowry Hotel, believes he can use his skills, contacts and experience to lead the rebirth of Iraq.

He said: "Of course what is going on in Iraq with the fighting and instability is a dreadful thing. I am trying to paint a more optimistic picture for Iraq.

"The country has been ravaged by years of fighting and is going to require massive amounts of investment to meet the basic human needs of the Iraq people.

"Through family connections, I met with Mr Talabani, the President, and I stayed at his residence and we discussed a number of proposals."

South Iraq

He said that with insurgency in central and south Iraq, his immediate focus is on the north and the peaceful province of Kurdistan.

"We're at an early stage in what we are planning to do, but the proposal is for the birth of a new city. Iraq clearly needs development because of the increase in the population. I am hoping to be a catalyst for renewal and regeneration."

He said the exact location of the new city had not been selected yet, but it would be in Kurdistan.

"The government's has committed to making the land available and we're going to lead the design process. To raise the capital the land will then be sold off in parcels.

"Kurdistan is extremely stable as well as being very beautiful. I would expect that the total development of the new city will be something in the region of £45-50bn."

Kuwait-born Mr Issa, who has named two of his Manchester projects after his wife, Sarah, a poet and children's writer, says he is also looking at a major project in Jordan.

His company, BSC , is also involved in development in Buffalo, New York State.

10,022 Posts
And yet he's still not completed one major project.
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