BP’s Silent Disaster

2010 oil spill has left a legacy of psychological and social problems among residents in the impact zone.

John Gooding has suffered physical problems and now struggles with depression as well (Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera)

New Orleans, US – Most people believe only those who have experienced war can know post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But those living in the impact zone of BP’s 2010 oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico know differently.

John Gooding, a fisherman and resident of the coastal city of Pass Christian, Mississippi, began having health problems shortly after the disaster began. He became sicker with each passing month, and moved inland in an effort to escape continuing exposure to the chemicals after being diagnosed with toxic encephalitis.

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Jordan to Host “World’s Largest Refugee Camp”

As violence in Syria continues, the al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is on pace to become the largest in the world.

Jordan’s al-Zaatari refugee camp is currently home to 160,000 Syrian refugees (Dahr Jamail/Al Jazeera)

Amman, Jordan – Al-Zaatari refugee camp near Jordan’s northern border with Syria is the second largest refugee camp in the world. On days when violence in Syria worsens, between 2,000-4,000 Syrians flood into Zaatari, and the stories they tell are horrific.

“Things are happening in Syria that our minds couldn’t even imagine,” 65-year-old Nada Salim Abdullah, who has been in the camp four months, told Al Jazeera. “People were being captured and they were slaughtering them like chickens.”

Abdullah, who fled his home in Deraa with his family, spoke of atrocities committed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Other refugees told Al Jazeera of atrocities carried out by opposition forces.

Nearly half a million Syrian refugees have crossed into Jordan since the conflict began, and according to Jordan’s interior ministry, the Zaatari camp is now the fifth largest population centre in the country.

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Iraq’s Invisible Refugee Crisis

As violence in Iraq reaches levels not seen in years, untold numbers of Iraqis are once again seeking refuge elsewhere.

With April the bloodiest month in Iraq for nearly five years, more Iraqis are seeking safety in Jordan (Reuters)

Amman, Jordan – Maki al-Nazzal, a 57-year-old Iraqi from Fallujah, returned to Amman a week ago from a visit to his home city in Iraq. Having lived in Jordan since 2007, Nazzal, like most refugees, wants nothing more than to return to his home country.

He had returned to test the waters, after having to flee in 2007 under threat to his life from having been first an outspoken critic of the US occupation of Iraq, and more recently having been critical of the regime of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“When you tell the truth about what is happening in Iraq, this puts you in danger,” Nazzal, a political analyst who has frequently appeared on television, told Al Jazeera. “After two of my sons were arrested in Fallujah, I left Iraq. I had no choice but to leave.”

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Dahr Interviewed on Al Jazeera’s Listening Post

Dahr appeared on Al Jazeera’s Listening Post May 4, 2013, “Iraq: ‘Disciplining’ the Media.”

We assess the country’s factionalised media as Nouri al-Maliki’s government shuts down 10 satellite TV stations.


Dahr’s interview begins at 2:09.

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