Alice Fordham

Alice Fordham is an NPR International Correspondent based in Beirut, Lebanon.

In this role, she reports on Lebanon, Syria and many of the countries throughout the Middle East.

Before joining NPR in 2014, Fordham covered the Middle East for five years, reporting for The Washington Post, the Economist, The Times and other publications. She has worked in wars and political turmoil but also amid beauty, resilience and fun.

In 2011, Fordham was a Stern Fellow at the Washington Post. That same year she won the Next Century Foundation's Breakaway award, in part for an investigation into Iraqi prisons.

Fordham graduated from Cambridge University with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics.

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Parallels
2:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ambushes, Mines And Booby Traps: ISIS Militants Change Tack

Peshmerga look out from a front-line outpost β€” a few sandbags, soldiers, and grenades perched on the brow of a hill β€” to the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula. The Kurdish fighters are grappling with how to combat changing ISIS tactics.
Alice Fordham NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:56 pm

At a front-line outpost β€” a few sandbags, soldiers and grenades perched on the brow of a hill β€” the Iraqi Kurdish soldiers known as Peshmerga are looking out toward the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula, maybe three miles away.

A few months ago, the so-called Islamic State seized Jalula. The Peshmerga took it back, but now the militants have retaken it. The soldiers catch sight of three vehicles belonging to the Islamic State rolling toward the outpost.

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Parallels
3:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Kurds Leave Life In Europe To Fight ISIS In Their Iraqi Homeland

Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training β€” his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle.
Alice Fordham NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:33 am

The men of the Betwata tribe gather to drink tea every morning in Irbil, Iraq, in an outdoor courtyard with curving pillars and climbing plants.

In northern Iraq, almost everyone is ethnically Kurdish, and most of them wear a traditional Kurdish baggy blue suit with a colored sash, and a black-and-white headdress. And they all talk about the war.

One of the men β€” Sarhad Betwata β€” is a general. The grizzled officer says he commands about 1,000 men and later this morning will head off from Irbil to the front lines against the Islamic State, close to the Syrian border.

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Iraq
3:07 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

In Iraq, Anbar Province Remains Fiercely Contested

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 5:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Iraq
3:31 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Islamic State Fighters Gain New Ground In Iraq's Anbar Province

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 3:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
3:05 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

U.N. Envoy To Syria Pleads For Action To Save Kobani

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 5:43 pm

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Cities Project
2:23 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Ghosts Of The Past Still Echo In Beirut's Fragmented Neighborhoods

Lebanon's parliament sits in Beirut's rebuilt Nejmeh Square, near the center of the city. Unlike many of Beirut's neighborhoods, the square is often mostly empty.
Tim Fitzsimons NPR

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 2:26 pm

The heart of downtown Beirut is an elegant area, fringed with expensive buildings. But on a beautiful sunny day, you may not find anyone there β€” there's no cafe, no park, no place for people to hang out.

Even though the Lebanese capital is a bustling and even glamorous place, the heart of Beirut is empty.

That's because the ghosts of this otherwise vibrant city's past still play out in Beirut's neighborhoods. Decades after Lebanon's civil war in the 1980s, those divides still carve up the city and help determine who lives where and who interacts with whom.

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Parallels
4:58 am
Sun September 21, 2014

U.S., Iraqi Militias Join In Uneasy Alliance

Members of the Mehdi Army militia, which once fought U.S. forces in Iraq, take part in training in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on June 17. The militia's fighters now find themselves allied with the U.S. against the self-declared Islamic State.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 10:15 am

In the Middle East, alliances have a strange way of shifting. And as the United States again becomes deeply involved in the conflict in Iraq, it's found itself making some strange alliances too.

Militias that used to fights American forces in Iraq are now fighting against the Islamic State β€” on the same side as the U.S. β€” and all sides involved have reservations about it.

A decade ago in Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite suburb of Baghdad, the Mehdi Army, led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, began to fight bitterly against American forces, calling them occupiers.

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Parallels
3:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs.
Graham Smith NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:27 am

It's a hot night in Baghdad, and the national theater is packed with people who are here to see the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.

They're fanning themselves with programs that show conductor Karim Wasfi, a striking man with thick eyebrows and a pointed beard, playing the cello. Tonight, he'll be conducting for the first time in more than a year.

Iraq has been in the headlines lately, with extremists taking over parts of the country, American airstrikes, the militias and the politics.

But the country was once a sophisticated center for learning and the arts.

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Iraq
8:57 am
Sun September 14, 2014

U.S. Call To Fight Militants Stirs Bitter Memories For Iraq's Sunnis

Iraqi troops in Anbar province in June. It's unclear whether Sunnis will join the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 10:56 am

If President Obama's plan to battle Islamic State militants by bringing Iraq's Sunnis on board to fight sounds oddly familiar, that's because it is.

When the U.S. faced a raging insurgency by Sunni militants β€” then called al-Qaida in Iraq β€” seven years ago, it recruited local Sunni leaders and paid their tribesmen to fight against those militants.

The effort, dubbed the Awakening, quieted the threat β€” for a while. But the local leaders who led the tribesmen back then say that this time, the U.S. might have trouble convincing Sunnis to rejoin the fight.

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World
3:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

New Iraqi Government Still Faces ISIS Threat

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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