The floor-to-ceiling shelves are kept stocked with Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and a mysterious clear liquid in bottles plastered with the Hertz logo. Until a few months ago, buyers often had the storekeeper disguise their purchases, pouring their whisky into soft-drink bottles before venturing back to the street. Now the trade is brisk and wide open. It’s fueling Khalaf’s dreams of getting back in the business, maybe even opening a casino—one of those dimly lit rooms where Iraqi men sip drinks while playing cards or backgammon.
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