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.

Pages

5:34am

Sat July 25, 2015
The Salt

Put An Herb In It: Lebanon's Fresh Approach To Beer And Cocktails

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 11:38 am

At Anise, a bar in Beirut, Lebanon, beloved local herbs like za'atar, sage and rosemary are making their way into cocktails. "We want to do something fresh in our cocktails," says co-owner Marwan Matar.
Alice Fordham NPR

The sun has very nearly set on Beirut, and in a bar called Anise, they're mixing the first cocktail of the evening.

There's vodka, vermouth and iced glasses. And next to the bunches of mint for mojitos are sage, wild oregano, rosemary and the Lebanese favorite, za'atar, a kind of wild thyme.

Here in Lebanon, mixologists and brewmasters are taking a national cuisine and reimagining it in liquid form.

Read more

5:01pm

Wed July 15, 2015
Middle East

Lebanon Residents Divided Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 8:01 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more

7:57am

Sun July 5, 2015
Parallels

Tunisia Seeks Its Way On A Winding, Bumpy Path

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 1:05 am

In Kairouan, Tunisia, Muslims visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and best-known mosques in North Africa. Tunisia has made more political progress than other Arab Spring countries, but it has suffered two major terror attacks in recent months.
Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Editor's Note: An attacker opened fire on a beach in Tunisia and killed 38 people on June 26. NPR's Alice Fordham went to cover the story. She used to live in Tunisia and reflects on how the country's changed in recent years.

Two years ago, I first went to the town of Kairouan, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Tear gas drifted around the beautiful old stones of the Great Mosque and nervous police sheltered in small patches of shade. They were there preventing a rally by an Islamic extremist group who wanted to wave black flags and chant intolerant slogans.

Read more

5:08am

Thu July 2, 2015
Parallels

Sunnis Flee The Islamic State, But Still Fall Under Suspicion

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 11:00 am

Displaced Sunni Iraqis, who fled the violence in Ramadi, arrive at a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Baghdad, in April.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

The al-Nidaa mosque in northern Baghdad looks grand, with clean, modern lines swooping up to a blue mosaic dome. But inside it's squalid, with piled-up mattresses, cooking pots and almost 60 families. Most are Sunni Muslims who fled the western province of Anbar when the self-proclaimed Islamic State advanced against the Iraqi security forces two months ago.

"We suffered a lot in our journey," says Wafaa Ahmed, a widow who walked for days with three sick children. "But the worst suffering was here in Baghdad."

Read more

5:08pm

Sat June 27, 2015
World

After Tunisia Attack, Tourists Leave — And Locals Worry

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 6:36 pm

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

4:07pm

Tue June 23, 2015
Parallels

Iraqi Soldiers, Generals Shift The Blame For Battlefield Defeats

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 9:26 am

Iraqi Sunni volunteers take part in a graduation ceremony at the Habaniyah military base near Ramadi on June 17. Iraq's military is dominated by Shiites and is trying to recruit more Sunni soldiers.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

When the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to the self-declared Islamic State last month, it was a big defeat. Ramadi is a provincial capital just 60 miles west of Baghdad, and the setback played into the notion that the Iraqi army is weak and inept.

The U.S. Congress and Pentagon were scathing, saying the Iraqi army lacked the will to fight. There were plenty of other critics as well, though we haven't heard much from the Iraqi soldiers themselves.

Read more

4:31pm

Wed June 3, 2015
World

Former U.N. Envoy To Syria: Iran Has 'Too Much Influence In The Region'

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 10:47 am

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more

7:31am

Sun May 24, 2015
Parallels

With Syria's Army Losing Ground, A Boost From Hezbollah

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:43 am

Mourners attend the May 14 funeral of Hezbollah fighter Ahmad al-Amin in Babliyeh, Lebanon. Hezbollah is fighting alongside the Syrian army and Amin was killed while fighting in Syria's Qalamoun mountains against Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria. The Syrian army has suffered multiple setbacks recently, but Hezbollah did help dislodge rebel fighters along the Syria-Lebanon border.
Mohammad Zaatari AP

The dirt roads on the border between Syria and Lebanon wind across a mountain range dotted with little wildflowers.

It's windswept and deserted except for a few hilltop outposts with clumps of gray tents, machine-gun nests and flags that fly the green and gold colors of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.

These posts are new. In a three-week offensive, Hezbollah has worked with Syrian government forces and other allies to push rebel fighters out of a chunk of territory that the rebels held along this border for two years.

Read more

9:33am

Fri May 22, 2015
Parallels

A Wedding And A Challenge: Lebanese Couples Fight For Civil Marriage

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 11:52 am

Kholoud Succariyeh (right) and Nidal Darwish, who got married in defiance of Lebanon's ban on civil unions, walk past Beirut's landmark Pigeon Rock in 2013.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Like lots of young married couples, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish love to show their wedding video. They go all misty-eyed remembering that day two years ago.

"Very beautiful," says Succariyeh. "Everything is nice."

Their wedding was special, not only as a personal milestone for the couple. It was a political milestone, as well.

Darwish says their union was a challenge to the state: It was Lebanon's first civil marriage.

Read more

6:47pm

Tue May 19, 2015
Parallels

After A Big Victory For ISIS, Iraqi Forces Look To Regroup

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:06 pm

A car is engulfed by flames during clashes in Ramadi on Saturday. Islamic State militants drove Iraqi security forces out of the city, which is just 70 miles west of Baghdad.
Reuters/Landov

The black flag of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is flying over the Iraqi city of Ramadi after government forces collapsed and the extremists seized control over the weekend.

Thousands of civilians have fled Ramadi and those left behind face a chaotic situation.

"No food, no fuel, no electricity. It's very difficult there," says Sheikh Hekmat Suleiman, an adviser to the governor of Anbar Province. Ramadi is the provincial capital, and the local government has now fled the city, just 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Read more

Pages