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.



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.

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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)


Fri April 29, 2011
Middle East

200 Members Of Syria's Baath Party Resign

Steve Inskeep talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers for the latest developments in Syria, where more anti-government protests are expected after Friday prayers.