NPR: Peter Kenyon

Peter Kenyon is NPR's international correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Prior to taking this assignment in 2010, Kenyon spent five years in Cairo covering Middle Eastern and North African countries from Syria to Morocco. He was part of NPR's team recognized with two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards for outstanding coverage of post-war Iraq.

In addition to regular stints in Iraq, he has followed stories to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco and other countries in the region.

Arriving at NPR in 1995, Kenyon spent six years in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of positions including as a correspondent covering the US Senate during President Bill Clinton's second term and the beginning of the President George W. Bush's administration.

Kenyon came to NPR from the Alaska Public Radio Network. He began his public radio career in the small fishing community of Petersburg, where he met his wife Nevette, a commercial fisherwoman.

Pages

3:23pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Refugee Gives Vivid Description Of Torture

Syrian refugees gather for a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the Turkish Red Crescent camp in the Yayladagi district of the Turkish city of Hatay, near the Syrian border, on June 20.
Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

When Syria's mukhabarat, the secret police, couldn't get Abu Ali to tell them the names of the leading activists in his town of Jisr al-Shughour, the 43-year-old says they blindfolded him and tied his hands and feet to an apparatus on the floor.

His interrogators told him he was about to take a trip on the "Flying Carpet."

"I felt my body coming off the ground, then they beat me with a cable on my legs and feet. I could stand it on the legs, but on the feet it was extremely painful," he says. "This was the first stage of the Flying Carpet."

Read more

3:00pm

Fri June 17, 2011
Middle East

Syrians Flee Government Crackdowns

Originally published on Fri June 17, 2011 6:39 pm

A family prepares dinner in Syria. Many of the people who have gathered in the makeshift camp at the border say they are waiting for family members before crossing into Turkey.
Peter Kenyon NPR

Just outside the Syrian village of Khirbet Al-Jouz, a 27-year-old Syrian named Ali splashes water on his face in a muddy creek.

He jokingly cries out, "Syria hurra! ["Free Syria!"]"

In a valley framed on one side by Syrian mountains and on the other by the Turkish border, tents and blankets are strewn across the hillside. Displaced Syrians continue to make their way over rough mountain roads and trails to the northwestern corner of the country. Free Syria, for these uprooted farm families, is a long valley studded with evergreens and strewn with boulders.

Read more

3:50pm

Wed June 15, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Refugee In Turkey: 'We Had To Run'

Syrian refugees greet each other at the Turkish Red Crescent camp in Hatay, Turkey, less than 2 miles from the Syrian border, on Wednesday.
Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

As Syrian troops continue their crackdown against demonstrators in the north of the country, more Syrians are massing on the border with Turkey. Nearly 8,500 Syrians are already seeking refuge there, and Turkish officials are scrambling to keep the situation from getting out of hand.

Read more

12:01am

Mon June 13, 2011
World

Arab Spring Leaves Egypt In An Economic Slump

A vegetable seller waits for customers at Ataba market in Cairo. Tourism has dropped since the revolution that removed President Hosni Mubarak from office, and Egypt's economy is sagging.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Following the revolution that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, the country's economy is sagging — tourism has plummeted, unemployment is soaring and poverty is spreading.

This week, a delegation of U.S. business leaders is expected to visit the Arab world's most populous state, looking to give the economy a boost.

In Cairo, it's easy to see how devastating the Arab Spring has been to economies in the Mideast and North Africa. Nowhere has the damage been greater than in Egypt.

Read more

12:01pm

Fri June 10, 2011
World

Turkey's Ruling Party Poised For Election Victory

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters during an election rally for his Justice and Development Party, or AK Party. Critics are concerned that the party could win a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which would allow them to rewrite the constitution without input from secular forces or the public.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

The party of Turkey's sitting prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is poised to win a third term in power when Turks go to the polls Sunday.

Turkey's secular opposition, having failed to convince voters that the ruling party has a "secret Islamist agenda," is hoping to keep the government from winning a two-thirds majority in Parliament. If it does, the Justice and Development Party, known as the AK Party or AKP, could rewrite Turkey's Constitution essentially without constraint.

Read more

12:01am

Fri May 27, 2011
Middle East

Lebanese Fear Collateral Damage From Syrian Crisis

Originally published on Fri May 27, 2011 2:36 pm

Smoke billows from the Jabal Mohsen community while a Sunni gunman takes cover behind a wall in the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood during clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon, on July 9, 2008.
Ramzi Haidar AFP/Getty Images

The unrest in neighboring Syria has the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on edge. Thousands of refugees have poured over the border, the demand for weapons is skyrocketing, and the pro-Syrian Alawite minority is warning of chaos if Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime falls.

Though Hezbollah is the best known of the pro-Syrian actors in Lebanon, residents in Tripoli are more worried about the Alawites, members of the same minority that has ruled Syria for more than 40 years. Their numbers may be small, but they are well-armed and fiercely loyal to Damascus.

Read more

3:00pm

Fri May 20, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Troops Open Fire On Protesters

Witnesses inside Syria say security forces have once again fired on protesters. That comes less than a day after President Obama demanded that Syria stop shooting demonstrators and open a dialogue with the opposition. Anti-government and human rights groups said some two dozen people were killed Friday — and many more wounded.

4:00am

Fri May 20, 2011
Middle East

Syria's Anti-Government Activists Skeptical Regime Will Change

NPR's Peter Kenyon has reaction to President Obama's speech from Beirut.

12:01am

Tue May 17, 2011
Middle East

As Egypt Moves Toward Elections, Anxiety Grows

In Egypt, political parties are frantically trying to organize, register and make themselves known before elections scheduled for this fall.

In addition to the short timeline, people are increasingly worried about lawlessness and sectarian strife that could lead ordinary Egyptians to support postponing the revolution in favor of stability.

Reaching Out

Decades of repression and corruption have left Egyptians in all walks of life with deep scars and a hunger for justice.

Read more

5:20pm

Thu May 12, 2011
Middle East

Egypt Eyes Neighbors Anew After Mubarak's Ouster

An Egyptian soldier (top) keeps watch on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing as Hamas policemen stand guard on the Palestinian side. Egypt announced on April 29 that it would permanently open the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip.
Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

In Egypt, no one seems ready to predict what the government will look like after this fall's election. But there's no shortage of fears about what might happen now that Hosni Mubarak's iron control is lifted.

Egypt's international allies have noticed — with some unease — signs that old agreements and assumptions may no longer hold.

Read more

12:01am

Wed April 27, 2011
Africa

In Deserted Libyan City, A Family Holds On To Home

In Libya, the focus has been on the continued siege of the western town of Misrata.

But there is also sporadic fighting in the east between rebels and forces loyal to the government of leader Moammar Gadhafi. The front line there is outside the city of Ajdabiya.

A bustling city just a few weeks ago, Ajdabiya now has the feel of a ghost town. Chunks of concrete, twisted light poles and other debris litter the streets. Much of that was dragged there to slow the traffic, of which there is very little these days.

Read more

8:00am

Sat April 23, 2011
Middle East

In The East, Plans For A Post-Gadhafi Libya

Although the battle is still raging in Libya, the people in the eastern part of the country are already making plans for the new society they hope to have if and when Moammar Gadhafi falls. But after 40 years of dictatorship, there is a steep learning curve. NPR's Peter Kenyon takes a look at how younger and older generations are approaching the problem.

12:01am

Tue April 19, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libyan Rebels Look For Ways To Fill Coffers

Originally published on Tue April 19, 2011 9:21 am

A Libyan cashier counts money as citizens queue at a bank in Benghazi on Feb. 27.
Hussein Malla AP

As the conflict in Libya drags on, economic conditions for Libyans on both sides of the country are growing tenuous.

In the rebel-held east, cash supplies are dwindling, shortages are emerging, and prices are rising as officials scramble to hold the economy together and fund a revolt against a much stronger army.

The Same On The Surface

How does an economy work when the government vanishes? As long as the money holds out, on the surface things can appear much the same.

Read more

2:38pm

Sun April 17, 2011
Africa

Boats Are Lifeline In Besieged Libyan Port City

Rebel fighters in Libya say forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi unleashed a fierce rocket attack on the besieged western city of Misrata on Sunday. The rebels have stubbornly held out against a sustained military attack as thousands of people wait for rescue ships to come from Misrata's only lifeline — the sea.

A car ferry, the Ionian Spirit, leased by the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, has been pressed into emergency service, plying the Gulf of Sirte to save thousands of civilians from their life-threatening situation.

Read more

7:34am

Sat April 16, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Hope Amid Ruins: Clues To The Future In Libya's Past

Much of the news broadcast from Libya these days features the ungentle sounds of war. But even in the throes of the Libyan uprising, oases of calm can be found.

One of these is Cyrene, looming over the Mediterranean on a limestone plateau in the lush Jebel Akhdar, or Green Mountains, of eastern Libya. Historians consider Cyrene one of the most impressive Hellenic ruins outside Greece.

Read more

4:25pm

Thu April 14, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Rebel Leader Finds Hope In 'Courageous' Misrata

Ali Tarhouni shocked his University of Washington students when he abruptly left his faculty job to try to help wrest Libya from leader Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year grip on power.

Then, Tarhouni, who became the opposition's finance and oil minister, startled even his rebel colleagues by getting on a fishing boat last week and sneaking into Misrata — a western city under siege by Gadhafi's forces.

Read more

4:00am

Wed April 13, 2011
Africa

Evacuees From Libya Tell Terrifying Stories

Another group of wounded civilians from the besieged Libyan city of Misrata has been evacuated by sea to the rebel-controlled eastern part of the country. The evacuees gave chilling accounts of the situation in Misrata.

4:26pm

Sun April 10, 2011
Africa

African Union Arrives In Libya, Calls For Cease-Fire

In eastern Libya, anti-government rebels say NATO airstrikes helped them push pro-government forces out of a strategic city 100 miles from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. NATO warplanes also destroyed pro-government tanks shelling the Western city of Misrata.

As the fighting continues, a delegation from the African Union arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli Sunday in search of a cease-fire agreement.

Outmatched In Terms Of Firepower

Read more

Pages