NPR: Kelly McEvers

After three years covering the Middle East for NPR, Kelly McEvers is taking on a new country: the U.S. In the fall of 2013, she will become a correspondent for NPR's National Desk.

Previous to this role, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to moving into that reporting location in January 2012, McEvers was based at NPR's Baghdad Bureau.

In 2011, she traveled undercover to follow Arab uprisings in places where brutal crackdowns quickly followed the early euphoria of protests. While colleagues were celebrating with protesters in Egypt or rebels in Libya, McEvers was hunkered down with underground activists in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria. She has been tear-gassed in Bahrain; she has spent a night in a tent city with a Yemeni woman who would later share the Nobel Peace Prize; and she has spent long hours with the shadowy group of anti-government rebels known as the Free Syrian Army.

In Iraq, she covered the final withdrawal of U.S. troops and the political chaos that has gripped the country since. Before arriving in Iraq in 2010, McEvers was one of the first Western correspondents to be based, full-time, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also covered Yemen and other Persian Gulf countries.

In 2008 and 2009, McEvers was part of a team that produced the award-winning "Working" series for American Public Media's business and finance show, Marketplace. She filed sound-rich profiles of a war fixer in Beirut, a smuggler in Dubai, a sex-worker in Baku, a pirate in the Strait of Malacca and a marriage broker in Vietnam.

From 2004-2006, McEvers covered the former Soviet Union for PRI's The World. She investigated the Russian military's role in the violent end to the three-day school siege by Chechen militants in the Russian town of Beslan. She was later accused of spying and detained for three days by Russian security forces near the border with Chechnya.

After 9/11, McEvers covered Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore for NPR and other outlets — including in-depth stories on Jemaah Islamiyah, the region's Al Qaeda-linked terrorist network that planned and executed deadly attacks at two Bali nightclubs in 2002.

McEvers was based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 1999-2000 for the BBC World Service. From there, she filed her first NPR story on then-emerging plans to try former members of the Khmer Rouge. She is one of the first reporters to knock on the door of Nuon Chea, the so-called "Brother No. 2" who served under Pol Pot.

Beginning her journalism career in 1997 at the Chicago Tribune, McEvers worked as a metro reporter and spent nearly a year documenting the lives of female gang members for the Sunday magazine.

In addition to NPR, her radio work has appeared on PRI/Chicago Public Radio's This American Life, NPR's Hearing Voices and On the Media, American Public Media's Weekend America, and the CBC. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books Online, The Washington Monthly, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a founder of Six Billion, an online magazine that was a regular feature at Harvard University's Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.

McEvers served as a fellow with the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. She earned a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and has been a professor of journalism at universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has a bachelor's in English literature and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Tue May 31, 2011
Middle East

Activists In Bahrain Lay Low After Crackdown

NPR's Kelly McEvers has an update on how things are going in Bahrain after security forces cracked down on anti-government protests.


Sat May 28, 2011

Iraqi Leader Reconsiders U.S. Troop Withdrawal

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been saying for months that he'll stand by his agreement with the U.S. for the withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

In recent weeks, though, Maliki has done a turnaround. Now he says he'd support keeping some troops in the country after the deadline, if he can get a majority of Iraq's politicians to agree.

Maliki outlined his position in a news conference, saying he's willing to meet Iraq's elected officials and consider whether some U.S. troops should stay beyond this December.

Read more


Fri May 13, 2011
Middle East

In Syria, Thousands Protest Regime

Originally published on Fri May 13, 2011 7:01 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with news out of Syria. Thousands of protesters across that country took to the streets today for the ninth Friday in a row, this despite one of the most brutal crackdowns against an uprising anywhere in the Arab world. In a moment, we'll hear from a reporter who recently slipped into Syria posing as a tourist and was detained by government security forces there.

Read more


Thu May 12, 2011
Middle East

Al-Jazeera Reporter Missing

Until recently, the whereabouts of a reporter for the Al-Jazeera English-language channel were unknown. Dorothy Parvaz, who was born in Iran, flew to Syria last month. Syria has deported her to Iran.


Wed May 11, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Refugee: Protesters Can't Stop Now

Tank shells crashed into residential neighborhoods in the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday. The country's third-largest city has been a hub of anti-government protests in recent weeks.

Abu Omar recently fled Homs to Lebanon. Before the trouble in Syria started, he was a housepainter. The country's economy was opening up and people were building. He says his children had free education and free health care.

Read more


Tue May 10, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Forces Tighten Grip On Homs

The latest city in Syria to be surrounded by tanks and troops is the northern city of Homs. Residents of the country's third largest city say tanks moved in under cover of darkness and electricity, water and phones have been cut off. Activists say more than a dozen people have been killed and scores more detained and interrogated.


Fri May 6, 2011

Syria Strains Turkey's 'No Problems' Foreign Policy

The brutal government crackdown on protesters in Syria has drawn criticism, sanctions and the threat of more sanctions from the U.S., the U.N. and the EU. But some of the toughest talk in recent days has come from one of Syria's key allies: Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar Assad have long been close. But that might be coming to an end.

On a Turkish TV news channel, Erdogan said he was beginning to have doubts that Assad will keep his promises to release political prisoners and enact serious government reforms.

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Wed May 4, 2011
Middle East

Syria Hopes Arrests Will Still Stop Protester

Steve Inskeep talks with NPR's Kelly McEvers about recent arrests of protesters in Syria. (03:45)


Wed April 20, 2011

Grave Discovery In Iraq Unearths Sectarian Unease

In western Iraq, authorities have discovered a mass grave they say holds the remains of more than 800 people who are thought to have been killed during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

It's believed the country has hundreds of mass graves from the Saddam era — and countless new graves from more recent conflicts. But not all sites get the same treatment.

Into The Grave

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Mon April 18, 2011

Sectarian Divisions Linger In Iraq

As the U.S. military looks to pull out most of its troops from Iraq by the end of this year, the country still faces the problem of sectarianism. In Diyala province south of Baghdad, a Shiite tribe that had recently returned to its land after being displaced during sectarian fighting was attacked by a neighboring Sunni tribe. Now the Shiite tribe is forcing the Sunni tribe out of the area.


Mon April 11, 2011

Iraq's Chalabi Advises Protesters Abroad

The revolutionary fervor sweeping the Arab world is opening a new door for a familiar but controversial figure in Iraq. Ahmed Chalabi, the man who helped persuade the United States to topple Saddam Hussein, is now taking up the cause of freedom fighters around the Arab world.

Chalabi says Iraq should lead the way toward democratic change in the region. But Chalabi might have other motives as well.

Reaching Out To Bahrainis

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Sun April 10, 2011

Iraq Protests Urge U.S. Out Sooner

The U.S. has contended that its troops likely will remain in Iraq beyond the December 2011 withdrawal deadline, but recent anti-American protests could change the game. It's no longer politically expedient for Iraq to ask the Americans to stay, and protests this weekend underscore that.