Deborah Amos

Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Amos travels extensively across the Middle East covering a range of stories including the rise of well-educated Syria youth who are unqualified for jobs in a market-drive economy, a series focusing on the emerging power of Turkey and the plight of Iraqi refugees.

In 2009, Amos won the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University and in 2010 was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Life Time Achievement Award by Washington State University. Amos was part of a team of reporters who won a 2004 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for coverage of Iraq. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1991-1992, Amos was returned to Harvard in 2010 as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School.

In 2003, Amos returned to NPR after a decade in television news, including ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight and the PBS programs NOW with Bill Moyers and Frontline.

When Amos first came to NPR in 1977, she worked first as a director and then a producer for Weekend All Things Considered until 1979. For the next six years, she worked on radio documentaries, which won her several significant honors. In 1982, Amos received the Prix Italia, the Ohio State Award, and a DuPont-Columbia Award for "Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown" and in 1984 she received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "Refugees."

From 1985 until 1993, Amos spend most of her time at NPR reporting overseas, including as the London Bureau Chief and as an NPR foreign correspondent based in Amman, Jordan. During that time, Amos won several awards, including an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a Break thru Award, and widespread recognition for her coverage of the Gulf War in 1991.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Amos is also the author of Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East (Public Affairs, 2010) and Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World (Simon and Schuster, 1992).

Amos began her career after receiving a degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida at Gainesville.

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4:04am

Wed August 5, 2015
Parallels

A Syrian Refugee School: Nearly 2,000 Students, 5 Shifts, 3 Languages

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 8:01 pm

Girls plays basketball at a school for nearly 2,000 Syrian refugees in Reyhanli, in southern Turkey. The schools, which depends on private donations, is struggling to remain open. The students attend in five separate shifts throughout the day.
Deborah Amos NPR

It's the summer session at the Al Salam School in Reyhanli, a town in southern Turkey, just across the border from Syria. Girls are practicing their shots on the outdoor basketball court. A class of 8-year-olds is busy with English language drills. The computer lab is open.

Many of these Syrian refugees live in desperate conditions, but for a few hours a day there is the familiar world of school.

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5:55am

Fri July 24, 2015
Middle East

Turkey Grants U.S. Permission To Use Air Base Near Syrian Border

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 2:58 pm

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

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5:09am

Wed July 22, 2015
Parallels

As Challenges Shift, Syria's Moderates Navigate Unexpected Territory

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:06 pm

"What we are doing now has nothing to do with what we expected to be doing," says Rami Jarrah, who protested against the Assad regime in Damascus in 2011 and now runs a radio station from southern Turkey that broadcasts to civilians in rebel-controlled territory in northern Syria.
Alison Meuse NPR

When Syrian activists launched an uprising in 2011, their goal was clear: to overthrow the regime of President Bashar Assad. Now, as the war grinds into a fifth year, with more than 200,000 dead and militant Islamists seizing more ground, their revolt is hardly recognizable.

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4:31pm

Tue July 14, 2015
Middle East

Smuggled Photos Document Thousands Of Detainee Deaths In Syria

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 3:04 pm

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

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3:42am

Tue July 14, 2015
Parallels

Documenting Death Inside Syria's Secret Prisons

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 1:45 pm

Images of dead bodies in Syrian prisons, taken by a Syrian government photographer, are displayed at the United Nations on March 10. The photographer, who goes by the pseudonym Caesar, took the pictures between 2011, when the Syrian uprising began, and 2013, when he fled the country. His photos will be on display at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

A Syrian forensic photographer, who now uses the pseudonym Caesar, documented the death of thousands of detainees in Syria's brutal prison system. He made more than 55,000 high-resolution images before he fled the country, fearing for his safety, in 2013.

He spoke publicly for the first time in July 2014, when he appeared before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, wearing a blue jacket with a hood to protect his identity.

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6:47am

Mon June 15, 2015
Middle East

Saudi Arabia Opens Its Stock Exchange To Foreign Investors

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 8:07 am

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

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9:28am

Sun June 14, 2015
Parallels

For Yemen's Ousted President, A Five-Star Exile With No End In Sight

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 5:23 pm

Houthi supporters in Yemen's capital hold up at a defaced poster of the ousted president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, during a demonstration against air strikes by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, who have been bombing Yemen since March, are hosting Hadi and other officials from the former government.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters /Landov

When Houthi rebels stormed Yemen's capital in January, President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi was driven from power and placed under house arrest. He escaped and then fled by sea in March. Now, Hadi and his top ministers are comfortably ensconced in a five-star guest palace in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh.

While the surrounding may be pleasant, the wait is wearing. Hadi and his aides still dream of a triumphant return home, though optimism is in short supply.

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5:21pm

Mon May 11, 2015
Parallels

Saudi Women Can't Drive To Work; So They're Flocking To The Internet

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 9:14 am

Nouf al-Mazrou, with the red head scarf in the center, runs a barbeque catering business from her home in the Saudi capital Riyadh. She's shown here at a gathering of Saudi women who have launched businesses on Instagram. The event was held at a private girls school.
Deborah Amos / NPR

In a country where women are prohibited from driving themselves to work, technology is opening new avenues to the job market in Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of women use Instagram, the popular photo-sharing site, to launch businesses that sell goods and services, from cupcakes to sushi, in the desert kingdom.

At a recent convention of Instagram businesses, hundreds of women set up booths at a private girls school in the capital Riyadh to share success stories.

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3:49am

Wed April 22, 2015
Parallels

Last Armenian Village In Turkey Keeps Silent About 1915 Slaughter

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:45 am

Armenian refugees on the deck of the French cruiser that rescued them in 1915 during the massacre of the Armenian populations in the Ottoman Empire. The photo does not specify precisely where the refugees were from. However, residents of Vakifli, the last remaining Armenian village in Turkey, were rescued by a French warship that year.
Photo 12 Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

A hundred years ago this week, the Ottoman Empire began the killings and forced marches of Armenians in what most historians call the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey staunchly denies that label, saying the deaths — estimated by historians at around 1.5 million — were part of widespread ethnic fighting in a civil war.

Regardless of the label used, the result was destruction of virtually every Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed after the war. What was left of the country transitioned into the modern-day Republic of Turkey.

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3:42am

Fri April 17, 2015
Parallels

Turkish Educator Pledges $10M To Set Up Universities For Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:23 pm

Syrian children listen to a teacher during a lesson in a temporary classroom in Suruc refugee camp on March 25 in Suruc, Turkey. The camp is the largest of its kind in Turkey with a population of about 35,000 Syrians who have fled the ongoing civil war in their country.
Carl Court Getty Images

Once a sleepy border town, Reyhanli, Turkey, is now bursting with Syrian refugees, many of them school-age. More than half a million Syrian refugee children are out of school, and the education crisis is fueling an epidemic of early marriage, child labor and bleak futures.

"I just finished the 12th grade and I don't know what to do," says Abdullah Mustapha, a refugee from the Syrian town of Hama.

In fluent English, he talks about his dreams of a college education, but he doesn't speak Turkish well enough to pass the language test required for state universities.

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