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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12:55pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Parallels

Syrian President Issues New Stamps, But Can't Deliver The Mail

One of the three stamps issued recently to commemorate Syrian leader Bashar Assad's presidential election victory.
Via Syrian Arab News Agency

As the Middle East froths with blood — from Iraq to Syria to the Gaza Strip — a commemorative set of three stamps depicting Syrian President Bashar Assad may not seem hugely relevant.

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4:44pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Iraq

Amid Bloodshed, Brotherhood: Links Forged From Iraq's Game Of Rings

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 pm

In Iraq, a Ramadan game called Mheibbis brings even Sunnis and Shiites together in peaceful competition. A ring game traditionally played between neighborhoods during the holy month, Mheibbis has offered men the opportunity to break Baghdad's tension and offer messages of unity and brotherhood — even between rival sects.

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7:55am

Sun July 6, 2014
Iraq

Iraqi Lawmakers Fail To Reach Deal On A New Government

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Iraq is looking more and more like a country being divided into three parts. Hard-core Sunni militants have taken much of the west. Well-organized Kurdish soldiers have grabbed the north. And everywhere else, Shiites are mustering sectarian militia. Thousands of Iraqis have been killed in just the last month. NPR's Alice Fordham reports there are a lot of ideas for helping the Iraqis, but the country's newly elected politicians are not exactly rushing to address the situation.

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4:25pm

Tue July 1, 2014
Iraq

Iraqi Parliament, And Maliki's Fate, Float In Limbo

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 7:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. With Iraq in crisis under the onslaught of Sunni extremists, the country's government is unable to pull together. A meeting of the Iraqi parliament fell apart today, and the issues before the body are critical for the government to function. The parliament was elected back in April, but members still have yet to agree on a speaker, a president and a prime minister. NPR's Alice Fordham is in Baghdad.

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4:17pm

Mon June 30, 2014
Iraq

ISIS Gets A Rebrand, Declaring Its New Caliphate In The Process

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:53pm

Wed June 25, 2014
Parallels

Angry At Shiite-Led Government, Sunnis Are Loath To Help Calm Iraq

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:30 pm

A leading Sunni tribal chief, Sheik Abu Ali al-Jubbouri says he misses former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who favored his sect.
Hussein Malla AP

Iraq is looking increasingly like a state partitioned along sectarian lines. Shiites control the south, but Sunni militants are sweeping through the north and west — and they're doing it with help from local Sunni populations.

Interviews with Sunni leaders show how hard it will be to build the kind of trust needed to put the country back together under one functioning authority.

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4:07pm

Mon June 23, 2014
Iraq

Maliki's Power Base Crumbles As Iraq Slips Into Chaos

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:18 pm

Will Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki be able to unite Iraq's various factions, or will he be forced out?
Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Iraqi men brandishing assorted weapons are responding to a call to arms. They invoke the Mahdi, a figure from Shiite Muslim prophecies, as they march in a recent parade in Sadr City, a Shiite suburb of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

"We volunteer to protect our dear country," says Hazem al-Shemmari.

When Sunni militants took over parts of Iraq this month, Shiite religious leaders called for volunteers to fight back.

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4:56pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Iraq

Even Amid Onslaught, Hints That Violence In Iraq Could Escalate

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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6:08am

Fri June 13, 2014
Middle East

Iraq's Army Is Ineffective Against Islamist Insurgents

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 9:30 am

There are reports of Iraqi government troops just fleeing, dropping their weapons and shedding their uniforms. The U.S. spent a lot of time and money training Iraqi forces.

5:22am

Thu June 12, 2014
Iraq

Islamist Militants Gain Ground In Northern Iraq

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:41 am

Sunni Islamist militants have seized control of the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit and appear to be preparing an assault on Baghdad. Americans fought and died trying to prevent that from happening.

4:00pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Iraq

Half A Million Iraqis Flee As Militants Move South

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 6:24 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. In Iraq, swaths of the country of fallen to Islamist militants. They took the largest city of Mosul earlier this week. Now they're heading south. Today there are reports the militants have taken the city of Tikrit, an hour's drive from the capital, Baghdad. NPR's Alice Fordham has the latest.

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6:40am

Wed June 11, 2014
Iraq

In Iraq, Mosul Falls To Insurgent Group

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are dramatic developments in Iraq where an extremist group, that's taken over large parts of Syria, has stormed into the major Iraqi city of Mosul. Leaders there are saying that this Al Qaeda offshoot, which is called the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, may even be pushing south in the direction of Baghdad. NPR's Alice Fordham joins us now from northern Iraq for more. And tell us, what exactly the situation is there, in Mosul.

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4:33pm

Tue June 10, 2014
Iraq

Key Iraqi City Falls To Islamist Militants

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:30 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin the hour with the threat of a de facto Islamist state stretching across parts of Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi government has now lost control of one of its biggest cities, Mosul, to extremist Sunni militants. The group is known as ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has been rejected as too extreme, even by some leaders of al-Qaida.

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4:08pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Middle East

As Polls Close, Many Syrians Fear The Days To Come

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Syria's highly questionable, and carefully choreographed, election leaves many people concerned about how it may embolden President Bashar al-Assad. NPR's Alice Fordham has been talking with people inside Syria and in neighboring Beirut.

ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: At the end of the day, Assad will be able to show that there were many Syrians who vote for him because they want to or because he made them. It's a demonstration of power, either way.

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2:02pm

Sun June 1, 2014
Middle East

What Elections? Syrian Opposition Rejects Assad's Expected Win

A mock election poster depicts Syrian President Bashar Assad as Mafia boss Don Corleone, with token candidates kissing his hand.
Ahmed Jalal/Kafranbel Syrian Revolution

Tuesday's elections in Syria are sure to result in another term for President Bashar Assad, even as the international community says his regime is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.

The opposition is railing against his inevitable triumph.

At a demonstration Friday by some of the 1 million Syrians who have fled into neighboring Lebanon, the view on the election was clear.

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