NPR assigned correspondent Kelly McEvers to Iraq in 2010 with instructions not to miss a day ahead of the expected troop withdrawal by the end of 2011.
“Then in late 2010, a young man in Tunisia set himself on fire, and literally changed everything,” McEvers says. “At first I was watching it on TV in Baghdad, sitting there thinking, ‘Do we really have to stay in Baghdad? C’mon, you know? Put me in coach!’ asking to be sent out on the stories.”