Nadia Hamdan | KUT

Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Nadia Hamdan is an award-winning reporter, producer and host at KUT. 

Her reporting has been heard on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, WBUR’s Here & Now and the BBC World Service, among other programs.

She’s won numerous awards for her reporting, including a national PMJA award, a regional Edward R. Murrow and multiple Texas AP Awards. Hamdan was awarded a Texas Gavel Award from the State Bar of Texas for a podcast on why sexual assaults are so hard to prosecute in Austin. 

Nadia received her bachelor's in International Relations & Global Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

She once conducted an entire interview while riding a mule through downtown Austin.

Ways to Connect

The podium at Austin Police headquarters
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Four women filed a class-action lawsuit Monday accusing Austin and Travis County law enforcement of mishandling their sexual assault cases because of gender discrimination. A similar lawsuit filed by eight other sexual assault survivors was dismissed by a federal judge in February

UT Austin students show their support for sexual assault survivors during a demonstration in October 2018.
Salvador Castro for KUT

Attorneys representing eight sexual assault survivors are appealing a federal court's decision to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging Austin and Travis County officials mishandled the survivors' cases. 

A sign outside Crockett High School says the property is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District Board has scheduled a vote Thursday night to delay the start of the school year from Aug. 18 to Sept. 8, because of COVID-19. The district says the delay would give employees time to adjust to new health and safety requirements for in-person instruction.

Talib Abdullahi created a Black history social bike ride through Austin.
Tamir Kalifa

When Talib Abdullahi first shared his idea on Instagram, he wasn’t expecting much.

He wanted to get some friends together for a bike ride to explore Austin’s Black history. He figured maybe 20 or 30 friends would join him.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Read this story in English.

La actual fiscal del distrito Margaret Moore ha concedido la victoria luego de que su contrincante, José Garza, obtuviera una ventaja en la votación anticipada y en los votos por correo.

La segunda vuelta de las primarias demócratas para el cargo enfrentó a la asediada titular con un autodenominado progresista que dice que espera renovar la justicia criminal desde ese puesto. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Incumbent District Attorney Margaret Moore has conceded after a commanding lead in early voting and mail-in votes in support of challenger José Garza.

The Democratic primary runoff for the office pitted the embattled incumbent against a self-described progressive who says he hopes to revamp criminal justice at the office.

Julia Reihs/KUT (left); courtesy of Garza campaign

The district attorney is considered the most powerful actor in the criminal justice system. These prosecutors have total discretion when it comes to pursuing criminal cases, operating with broad legal immunity. 

Hole in the Wall had reopened at 50% capacity but was forced to shut down again after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order June 26 requiring bars in the state to close.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Travis Tober was finally finding a rhythm. 

When people entered his East Austin bar, Nickel City, they were greeted by an employee who laid out all the ground rules: No mask, no entry. Tables would be 6 feet apart. No loitering at the bar top. A waiter or waitress would take their orders. 

A voter enters a polling place at the North Austin YMCA on March 3, 2020.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Some Travis County voters say they are missing races on their mail-in ballot for the July 14 primary runoff elections. The Travis County Clerk's Office says that's because they didn't read their mail-in ballot application closely.

Michael Minasi/KUT

It’s Pride Month – a time usually filled with parades and celebrations. But after recent unrest in Austin and across the country in response to the police killings of unarmed black people, the LGBTQIA+ community took to the streets for a different reason.

A protester holds a sign that says "Stop killing us" outside Austin police headquarters.
Michael Minasi / KUT

kYmberly Keeton is tired. 

“I’m one of the go-to people for black history now in Austin. [I] get phone calls all the time: ‘We want you to talk about the history of blackness,'" Keeton says. "But even I get tired of telling the same story over and over and over. Even I get tired.”

Sam Biscoe served as Travis County judge for 15 years before returning to the position on an interim basis in May.
Office of County Judge Sam Biscoe

Sam Biscoe is no stranger to racism. He grew up in the shadow of segregation in Tyler, participated in the civil rights movement and started his career as a lawyer with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP. 

Chas Moore, founder and executive director of the racial justice group the Austin Justice Coalition, speaks to a crowd at the Capitol on Sunday during a rally protesting police violence against black people.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets in and around downtown Austin over the weekend – demanding an end to police violence against black people. The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis, sparked protests here and across the country. But protests in Austin were also demanding justice for Mike Ramos – an unarmed black and Hispanic man killed by an Austin Police officer in April. 

Dive Bar and Lounge
Michael Minasi / KUT

Texas bars can reopen at 25% capacity today – just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Even with the limited number of customers, it’s a good opportunity to make back some of the money these businesses have lost after months of closures. 

But while many bars are eager to reopen, some aren't quite ready yet.

Rocio and Leo Nunez in their scrubs at a hospital in Detroit.
Courtesy of the Nunezes

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every doorstep of every home in every part of the world. But the reality is some cities are being hit harder than others. New York. Chicago. Los Angeles. Detroit. There, the crisis is overwhelming hospitals and leaving health care workers depleted. 

Ava Karimi is one of 50 students who will graduate from UT's Dell Medical School on May 21.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Ava Karimi wanted to study medicine for as long as she can remember. But while growing up in Iran, she couldn’t because of her religion. 

“I actually couldn’t go to university,” she said. “It was basically more like a dream than a reality.” 

A business on South Congress is closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Nonessential businesses have been told to close to slow the spread of the disease.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin is expecting Great Depression-era job losses as the coronavirus continues to shut down the economy. Current forecasts predict a quarter of a million people in Austin could be without jobs in the next couple months, an unemployment rate of about 25%. 

Former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle (second from right) at the dedication of the Ronald Earle Building in Austin on Sept. 24, 2018. District Attorney Margaret Moore is shaking Earle's hand.
Travis County District Attorney's Office

Former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle died Sunday morning at the age of 78. Earle first ran for the office in 1976 and went on to serve eight terms.

"Will You Marry Me?" is painted on the side of the Martinez Brothers Taxidermy Shop in South Austin last summer.
Hazel O'Neil for KUT

It all started with a mural.

“I just remember asking: What is the deal with this mural?” Tony Garcia says. “I mean, was there a message to it? What’s behind it?” 

Nickel City Co-owner Travis Tober and Manager Amanda Carto go over delivery orders.
Michael Minasi / KUT

To say businesses in Austin are getting hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic is putting it lightly. The City of Austin on Tuesday ordered all bars and restaurants to close their dining rooms, restricting businesses to takeout and delivery-orders only.

Lisa Thurau, CEO of Strategies for Youth, leads a game called Juvenile Justice Jeopardy at the Boys and Girls Club in North Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

At what age can you be charged with a crime in Texas? 

The question appears on a screen in front of a group of teenagers at the Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Austin on a recent Tuesday. Half the room is deliberating as a timer slowly ticks down.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Hays County is conducting its first census of the county’s homeless community Thursday. The so-called point-in-time count is a tally of people experiencing homelessness – both sheltered and unsheltered – at a single time.

The backs of three Austin police officers
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

An independent review of how Austin police investigate sexual assault cases won't be completed until February 2022, the Austin Public Safety Commission said. 

A diagram used to mark injuries during a sexual assault exam
Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas lawmakers added more than $75 million to the budget in the last legislative session for sexual assault-related initiatives.

The unregulated marketing of e-cigarettes is increasing the number of young people who vape, according to a new study from researchers at UT Austin. 

Stand with Survivors rally
Salvador Castro for KUT

Austin had the highest number of rapes reported in large Texas cities in 2017. The rate of reported rapes that year was also nearly 40% higher than U.S. cities of similar size

The Travis County District Attorney says law enforcement responded to more than 600 adult sexual assault allegations that year. Only one person was found guilty by a jury. 

And that case wasn't from Austin. 

Marina Garrett, sexual assault survivor
Julia Reihs / KUT

Part I in a four-part series on why sexual assault cases are so hard to prosecute in Austin.

Warning: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

When I first met with Marina Garrett, she was preparing to graduate from UT Austin. Like most seniors, she said she was nervous but excited. It was an especially significant moment for Garrett because, for a long time, she didn’t think it would happen.

Former Austin Police Sgt. Elizabeth Donegan
Julia Reihs / KUT

Part II in a four-part series on why sexual assault cases are so hard to prosecute in Austin.

Warning: This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a crime that can happen to anyone, but women are twice as likely to be victimized in Texas. In a 2015 study, UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault found 1 in 5 men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. But for women, it's 2 in 5.