February 15, 2018
Narges Bajoghli is a media and political anthropologist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute. Joost Hiltermann is Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa for International Crisis Group. We spoke with them recently during a break in the Middle East Toxic Wars conference here at the Institute.
The Middle East has been ground zero for the major chemical attacks of the past 40 years. From the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), to the Persian Gulf War (1991), to the Syrian Civil War (2011-present), countless civilians and soldiers have been exposed to chemical agents and hundreds of thousands of survivors live with the long-term consequences of these bombs. Yet, there has been limited scholarly and public work about chemical warfare and the traces it leaves behind in the region: from its illicit international trade, to the lives of survivors post-exposure, to the environmental disasters these bombs unleash.