Kelly McEvers

After many years in the Middle East, Kelly McEvers is back home and working as a national correspondent based at NPR West. She previously ran NPR's Beirut bureau, where she earned a George Foster Peabody award, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia award, a Gracie award, and an Overseas Press Club mention for her 2012 coverage of the Syrian conflict. She recently made a radio documentary about being a war correspondent with renowned radio producer Jay Allison of

In 2011, she traveled undercover to follow Arab uprisings in places where brutal crackdowns followed the early euphoria of protests. 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 spent weeks inside Syria with 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 gripped the country afterward. Before arriving in Iraq in 2010, McEvers was one of the first Western correspondents to be based, full-time, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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 profiled 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.

She previously covered the former Soviet Union and Southeast Asia as a freelancer for NPR and other outlets. She started her journalism career in 1997 at the Chicago Tribune, where she worked as a metro reporter and documented the lives of female gang members for the Sunday magazine.

Her writing also has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Monthly, Slate and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work has aired on This American Life, The World, and the BBC. She's taught radio and journalism in the U.S. and abroad.

She lives with her family in California, where she's still very bad at surfing.



Tue May 31, 2011
Middle East

Women The Latest Target Of Bahrain's Crackdown

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered at Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama in mid-February. On March 18, the government demolished the monument.
Adam Jan/AFP/Getty

For the past two and a half months, the government of Bahrain has cracked down brutally on opposition figures who led massive anti-government protests in February and March. Doctors, journalists, human rights workers and even elected officials have been detained and beaten.

The government's most recent targets are women.

"They took me from my work," one woman says. "And from the beginning they slapped me on my face, on my head, shoulder."

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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.

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Fri May 13, 2011
Middle East

In Syria, Thousands Protest Regime

Originally published on Fri May 13, 2011 5:01 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.

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Thu May 12, 2011
Middle East

Al-Jazeera Reporter Dorothy Parvaz Detained In Iran

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.