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
8:59 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Shiite Militias Move Into A Sunni City: What Happens Next?

Iraqi security forces, most of them Shiite Muslims, gather Thursday in Tikrit at the entrance of a palace that belonged to the former dictator Saddam Hussein. The Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group, had held Tikrit since last summer. When it was in control, the group painted its black flag on a blast wall at the entrance to the compound.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 2:29 pm

A motley collection of forces is in the process of clearing out the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, from the Iraqi city of Tikrit. They include Iraqi army and police, as well as irregular forces. Those militias — and many of the security forces — are Shiite, and they are moving into a Sunni city.

When I arrived in Tikrit on Wednesday, the day after anti-ISIS fighters took the city center, militiamen on the roof of a government building were running up three of their yellow banners, just a little higher than the national Iraqi flag.

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Parallels
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

In Battered Tikrit, Iraqi Forces Claim Much, But Not All Of City

Iraqi security forces and allied Shiite militiamen look for Islamic State extremists in Tikrit on Tuesday. Iraqi forces were going house-to-house in search of snipers and booby traps.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 6:01 am

Driving from Baghdad north to Tikrit, we speed up a main road Wednesday through small towns that have been won back from the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. Some still have smoking buildings.

On the outskirts we pass through places that have obviously seen heavy fighting. Half-built houses are pocked with bullet holes, their windows shattered.

As we move into Tikrit proper, the excited fighters begin celebrating, Iraqi style, with gunshots into the air. They have reason to celebrate. A hard-fought battle appears to be nearing a conclusion.

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Parallels
3:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Lebanon's Reality TV: Like The Kardashians, Only Less Serious

A photo of the Abdelaziz sisters before their reality show aired.
Nadine Abdelaziz Via Instagram

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 2:51 pm

The Abdelaziz sisters live in a world of pretty artifice. Alice, Nadine and Farah answer the door in a flurry of hellos while their fluffball dog Stella barks and tinkles the bells on her tiny collar.

They usually live in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in a family home, but for the purposes of their new reality show, The Sisters, they reside in this apartment where green hillsides spill down from picture windows to the Mediterranean below.

"The view is amazing here," says Nadine, the middle sister. "And you see the weather today is sunny."

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Parallels
9:53 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Qatar Digital Library Preserves The Music Of A Vanishing Past

Ṣawt musicians during a performance in Kuwait in May 2014.
Rolf Killius Qatar Digital Library

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:30 pm

The songs our grandparents sang can tell us who we are. Here in the U.S., the Lomax family became famous in the 1930s, when they recorded America's folk music.

In other countries that are changing fast, people are also trying to hold onto their heritage. The tiny, super-rich state of Qatar takes pride in its modernity, with its gleaming skyscrapers and lucrative gas fields. But it is also investing in a huge history project.

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Middle East
5:52 am
Mon March 9, 2015

App Aims To Track Engrained Corruption In Lebanon

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
10:28 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Remembering The Relics And Rich History Of Mosul, Before ISIS

Then-U.S. ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill (right) tours the Mosul Museum of History in May 2009. This week the self-declared Islamic State posted a video online that showed militants going through the museum, pushing over statues and smashing artifacts with sledgehammers.
Mujahed Mohammed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 2:03 pm

When I visited the Mosul museum in 2010, it was as cool and damp as any tomb. It was winter; the power was out and the lights were off.

But as a State Department visit, escorted by U.S. soldiers, made its way around the gloomy rooms, the enthusiasm of the staff lit up the treasures that gradually became apparent.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu February 26, 2015

ISIS Video Shows Extremists Smashing Priceless Artifacts

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 1:41 pm

The self-styled Islamic State has released a video showing an orgy of destruction of ancient statues in the Iraqi city of Mosul, with footage at a museum and at least one archaeological site nearby.

The video begins with an image of the police known as the Hisba, tasked with enforcing their strict interpretation of Islamic law, patrolling the streets. Then, the scene cuts to bearded men ripping protective coverings from statues in the museum.

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Middle East
4:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

ISIS Video Purports To Show Killing Of Jordanian Pilot

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:02 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Parallels
2:27 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

The Other Battle In Iraq: Winning Over Sunni Muslims

Iraqi Sunni fighters from the Jubur tribe hold a flag in front of a house damaged during clashes with the Islamic State in the village of Sharween, northeast of Baghdad, on Jan. 27. The U.S. is trying to get more Sunni tribes to drop their support for ISIS and fight with the Iraqi government and the Americans.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 2:20 pm

The U.S. military says airstrikes have killed thousands of the extremists in the self-described Islamic State and has forced the group to retreat from some territory.

But winning the trust of Iraq's Sunni Muslims, some of whom have been helping the Islamic State, or ISIS, is proving to be another major challenge.

Nearly a decade ago, the U.S. managed to persuade many Sunni Muslim leaders and their followers to drop their support for al-Qaida in Iraq and side with the Americans. The so-called Sunni Awakening was widely seen as changing the trajectory of the war.

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Middle East
4:34 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Jordan Considers Handing Over Prisoner For Hostage Pilot

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:39 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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