Nadia Hamdan | KUT

Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Nadia Hamdan is a reporter, producer and host at Austin's NPR station, KUT 90.5.

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

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

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. 

Vaping360.com/Flickr

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.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore
Julia Reihs / KUT

Part III 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.

Only 5 out of 1,000 rapists will go to prison in the U.S., according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The numbers aren’t much better when zoomed in locally.

A crowd during SXSW in 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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

At an Austin City Council meeting in January, a large number of people had signed up to give public testimony on the last item on the agenda. Most were women; each wore a yellow bandana – a sign of solidarity for sexual assault survivors.

Marina Garrett was one of them.

Gensler Architects

After more than 130 years in Austin, a portion of the University Medical Center Brackenridge downtown will come down this month and be replaced by a 17-story office building. The demolition is part of UT Austin's plan to expand its health care district centered around the Dell Medical School. 

Margaret Moore, the Travis County District Attorney, at a Travis County press briefing in 2017.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore resigned from the state’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force on Friday. Her appointment was cut short after critics, including survivors suing over Moore’s record of handling sexual assaults, expressed concern

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Austin’s yearslong effort to rewrite the city’s rules for what can be built where is going to take a bit more time.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore has been appointed to the Sexual Assault Survivors' Task Force inside the governor's office, despite being sued over her office's alleged mishandling of rape cases

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sayed Musa Hashimi was an interpreter for the U.S. military in his native Afghanistan. After he was attacked in his home, he applied for a special immigrant visa. In 2014, he and his family came to Austin.

Sayed and his daughter, Hajera, talk about their journey, missing family and their hopes for the future.

Lakeside area with water sports zone
Austin Parks and Recreation Department

Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board unanimously endorsed a plan this week to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for improvements at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Mark Charbonneau’s neighbor was visiting a widower one day and noticed something a little odd: pictures of babies all over his house. When she asked him what the story was, he told her he and his wife used to be foster parents.

The United States Geological Survey reported a 3.1 magnitude earthquake just outside the city of Smiley in Gonzales County, about 50 miles southeast of New Braunfels.
USGS

A 3.1-magnitude earthquake struck about 45 miles east of San Antonio Tuesday morning, marking the third time a quake was recorded in the region in the past week. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas Cowboys – a spirit group known for firing the cannon during Longhorn games – has been suspended for six years by the University of Texas following an investigation into hazing allegations.

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