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 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 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.


Wed March 30, 2011

Many Iraqi Artists Struggle, Suffer In Silence

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:25 am

An Iraqi man walks past paintings displayed at a gallery in the Karrada district of central Baghdad on April 13, 2010.
Sabah Arar AFP/Getty Images

For more than a century, Iraq was a beacon of visual art in the Arab world.

The Ottomans, the British and the Iraqi rulers who followed prided themselves on the fact that Iraqi artists studied their craft abroad, then returned to practice it back home.

Artists even thrived under Saddam Hussein. Then came the Iran-Iraq War, crippling U.N. sanctions, the first Gulf War, the U.S. invasion and the brutal sectarian fighting. Three decades of hardship sent most of Iraq's artists into exile.

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