Deborah Amos

Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Amos travels extensively across the Middle East covering a range of stories including the rise of well-educated Syria youth who are unqualified for jobs in a market-drive economy, a series focusing on the emerging power of Turkey and the plight of Iraqi refugees.

In 2009, Amos won the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University and in 2010 was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Life Time Achievement Award by Washington State University. Amos was part of a team of reporters who won a 2004 Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award for coverage of Iraq. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1991-1992, Amos was returned to Harvard in 2010 as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School.

In 2003, Amos returned to NPR after a decade in television news, including ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight and the PBS programs NOW with Bill Moyers and Frontline.

When Amos first came to NPR in 1977, she worked first as a director and then a producer for Weekend All Things Considered until 1979. For the next six years, she worked on radio documentaries, which won her several significant honors. In 1982, Amos received the Prix Italia, the Ohio State Award, and a DuPont-Columbia Award for "Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown” and in 1984 she received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "Refugees."

From 1985 until 1993, Amos spend most of her time at NPR reporting overseas, including as the London Bureau Chief and as an NPR foreign correspondent based in Amman, Jordan. During that time, Amos won several awards, including an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award and a Break thru Award, and widespread recognition for her coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. 

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Amos is also the author of Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East (Public Affairs, 2010) and Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World (Simon and Schuster, 1992).

Amos began her career after receiving a degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida at Gainesville.



Wed June 1, 2011
Middle East

Boy's Brutal Death Becomes Rallying Cry For Syrians

In a photo from a Facebook page in memory of Hamza al-Khateeb, an image of 13-year-old Hamza is surrounded by candlelight.

In Syria, the brutal death of a 13-year-old boy has spurred further demonstrations as the uprising there enters a third month.

Syrian protesters now shout the boy's name, Hamza al-Khateeb. He has become a symbol of the victims of the government's crackdown on dissent.

The Syrian government has promised to investigate his death. A video of his mutilated body was so gruesome that YouTube administrators blocked it, but they reinstated the images on Wednesday after a petition from human rights organizations.

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Mon April 25, 2011
Middle East

Syria Cracks Down On Demonstrators

Security forces in Syria are cracking down on opponents of President Bashar Assad's regime. Steve Inskeep talks to NPR's Deborah Amos about the latest news out of Syria.


Fri April 22, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Activist In Hiding Presses Mission From Abroad

In Syria, young social media activists are playing a major role in what began as a demand for reform and now seems to be a call for revolution.

They are part of the same Facebook generation that helped topple autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt. But in Syria, protest is a very dangerous business. Some activists have been forced to flee. They now work across the border in Lebanon, with simple tools — cell phones and touch pads.

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Wed April 20, 2011
Anti-Government Protests Roil Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood Maverick Eyes Presidential Bid

Egypt's powerful Muslim Brotherhood says it will not field a candidate in the presidential election expected later this year. But that hasn't stopped a leading Brotherhood maverick from considering a campaign as an independent.

Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh is charismatic and known as a moderate, and he's challenging the leadership of Egypt's largest Islamist movement to run for the leadership of the country.

These days, Cairo is a city alive with political discussion groups. No topic is off-limits, which gives Abol Fotouh plenty of places to speak his mind.

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Wed April 20, 2011
Middle East

In Egypt, Revolution Moves Into The Factories

Egypt's popular revolution was launched from a public square. Now there's an uprising on factory floors — with labor strikes across the country.

Under the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, many industries were privatized as Egypt turned from a state-controlled to a market-driven economy. But government-owned factories were frequently given to loyalists or foreign buyers who had the right connections. Many of them got rich by cutting wages and benefits.

Now, the workers are fighting back.

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Tue April 12, 2011
Middle East

Egypt's Islamist Hardliners Embrace Democracy

Islamist groups in Egypt are joining the democracy bandwagon, even those with a violent past.

Just this week in Luxor, a militant Islamist group jailed for the massacre of Western tourists in 1997 returned to the site to talk about nonviolence, tolerance and political participation.

Two months after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, ultra-conservative Islamist groups known as Salafis have come out of the shadows. The hard-liners' embrace of democracy has alarmed some Egyptians.

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Mon April 11, 2011

Egypt Update



Next door in Egypt, former President Hosni Mubarak may be out of power but is back on the airwaves. In an audiotape broadcast by an Arab satellite channel, Mubarak said he and his family were hurt by allegations of corruption, which he insists are false.

Egypt's public prosecutor doesn't seem impressed - he issued a summons yesterday for Mubarak and his two sons to face an anti-corruption panel. That move came amid new tensions between the protest movement in Egypt and the military counsel that succeeded Mubarak.

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Wed April 6, 2011

Response To Arab Uprisings Causes U.S.-Saudi Rift

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spent a few hours in Riyadh on Wednesday, to thaw deeply damaged relations Gates is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Saudi Arabia since the wave of uprisings began in the Arab world.

Those uprisings have sparked tensions in U.S.-Saudi relations. In a rare open disagreement with the Obama administration, King Abdullah chastised the president for abandoning Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime ally.

The Saudis have since developed a more aggressive regional policy.

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