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
Mon April 28, 2014

How To Survive In Iraqi Politics

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is seeking another four years in power. The country votes Wednesday amid increased violence between the security forces and opposition groups.
Sabah Arar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:21 pm

Low to the dusty ground, by a reed-fringed river and a lush date palm orchard, is the farmhouse where Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, grew up.

The place is Junaja, one of hundreds of poor, Shiite Muslim farming towns in southern Iraq. Donkey carts jog alongside battered buses. No monument, no ostentation honors Maliki. The only new thing in town is the mosque.

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Parallels
5:27 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Syria Gives Up Chemical Weapons ... But A War Rages On

A Syrian woman cries as she leaves a residential block in Aleppo, Syria, reportedly hit by an explosives-filled barrel dropped by a government forces helicopter on March 18.
Khaled Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Sunday is the deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over his government's chemical weapons stockpile, and he will have surrendered the vast majority of his declared arsenal.

Some call this a triumph. Others say Assad used the deal to buy time for brutal offensives in the civil war raging through the country. Western governments are investigating reports of more chemical attacks, although Russian officials said Friday that Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.

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Middle East
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Chemical Weapons Deadline May Be Met, But Results In Syria Are Mixed

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:17 pm

Transcript

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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Parallels
1:45 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

For Extremists In Syria, Extortion Brings Piles Of Cash From Iraq

Rebel fighters inspect the wreckage of a Syrian army helicopter after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, allegedly destroyed it in March in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
Mohammed Al-Khatieb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:26 pm

The renegade Islamist group known as ISIS now controls swaths of Syria and Iraq, and it's partly because the fighters are so rich. ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is known for having the biggest guns and paying the highest salaries.

While kidnapping, oil smuggling and donations from sympathizers have been well-known sources of money, the groups also run complex and brutal protection rackets, according to analysts.

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Middle East
8:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Syrian Rebel Stronghold On The Verge Of Government Takeover

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

The Syrian city of Homs has been a rebel stronghold since the anti-government uprising began. But one rebel tells NPR that they're low on ammunition and medical gear.

Parallels
3:33 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Sunni Discontent Fuels Growing Violence In Iraq's Anbar Province

Iraqi Sunni masked protesters burn tires to block the main highway to Jordan and Syria, outside Fallujah, Iraq, on Dec. 30. Violence has returned to Iraq's Anbar province, with discontented ordinary Sunnis joining forces with al-Qaida-linked militants battling the Iraqi government.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:10 am

Violence has reignited in western Iraq, with Islamist fighters taking over much of Anbar province three months ago. A renegade al-Qaida group has set up its headquarters in Fallujah — the city where hundreds of U.S. soldiers died a decade ago, trying to wrest it from insurgent control.

But this time, the enemy isn't the U.S. and it's not just extremists fighting. Ordinary Sunnis in Anbar, furious at what they call years of discrimination by the Shiite-dominated government, have joined the militants' battle against the Iraqi army.

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Middle East
4:08 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

As Refugees Stream In, Lebanon Copes With Human Flood Tide

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The United Nations has now registered more than a million refugees who have fled the war in Syria and gone to Lebanon. There are many more who have gone to other countries, but this massive flow of people creates a perilous situation for Syria's tiny next door neighbor. Lebanon's own security is always fragile and its resources, like water, are in short supply.

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Iraq
3:43 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought

Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a soldier killed in clashes with anti-government fighters in Fallujah earlier this month. The government faces a months-long crisis in Anbar province, where it has lost the city of Fallujah as well as shifting parts of provincial capital Ramadi to anti-government militants.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am

The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department's top officials for Iraq.

The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.

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Iraq
4:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Splinters From Syria Reach Iraqi Kurds

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Middle East
9:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Beirut's Suburbs Take New Precautions As Syrian Unrest Expands

Many shops in this area of Beirut, Lebanon, known as the Dahiyeh, are now lined with sandbags to shield them against possible bombings.
Tim Fitzsimons for NPR

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:45 pm

Riding the bus to Beirut's southern suburbs used to be a bumpy, crowded but fun experience. Everyone crammed in next to each other, bouncing around on the way to the area they call the Dahiyeh, the Arabic word for "suburb."

This sprawling southern district of Lebanon's capital is the place where the Shiite militant group Hezbollah enjoys its strongest support. But it is also a bustling, residential area. There are garages and vegetable stalls. And in the center of the neighborhood, there are juice bars and cafes.

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Middle East
6:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Two Rounds Down, Syria Peace Talks Have Unfinished Business

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. And we have an update now on the efforts to end the civil war in Syria. Representatives of both the government and opposition are wrapping a second round of peace talks in Geneva, but they made little progress at the conference, raising questions about whether a third round of talks will happen. NPR's Alice Fordham is in Geneva and joins us on the line with the latest.

And Alice, first, sum up this round of the peace talks for us.

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Middle East
5:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Syria Peace Talks Appear Near Collapse

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:38 pm

The Syrian peace talks in Geneva are in deep trouble. Representatives of the opposition met a delegation from Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime several times this week. But the two sides can't agree on an agenda.

Middle East
5:39 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Under A Hail Of Barrel Bombs, An Exodus Departs From Aleppo

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:23 pm

For the last two weeks, the barrel bombing of the rebel-held area of Aleppo in Syria has intensified. Warplanes drop leaflets on neighborhoods warning civilians to flee — and it seems they're listening. Residents of Aleppo districts held by the regime say they are seeing an influx of families, while aid agencies working in Turkey say hundreds of thousands of the displaced are trying to get in.

Middle East
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Welcome To Homs, A Syrian City Under Siege

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The ongoing Syrian peace talks in Geneva have raised hopes for humanitarian relief in cities, towns, and villages across the country that are under siege by government or rebel forces. And no place is more in need than the central city of Homs, whose residents were among the first to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Middle East
5:06 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

There's A Whole Lot Of Waste Outside Beirut's Gates

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Lebanon's stylish capital is looking shabby. Mounds of stinking garbage are piled in Beirut's streets, byproducts of an ongoing political crisis that has paralyzed the government. Angry locals have staged a sit-in outside an overflowing landfill, and waste disposal has ground to a halt. The protesters — and the trash — could be there awhile.

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