Diaa Hadid

Diaa Hadid chiefly covers Pakistan and Afghanistan for NPR News. She is based in NPR's bureau in Islamabad. There, Hadid and her team were awarded a Murrow in 2019 for hard news for their story on why abortion rates in Pakistan are among the highest in the world.

Hadid has also documented the culture war surrounding Valentines' Day in Pakistan, the country's love affair with Vespa scooters and the struggle of a band of women and girls to ride their bikes in public. She visited a town notorious in Pakistan for a series of child rapes and murders, and attended class with young Pakistanis racing to learn Mandarin as China's influence over the country expands.

Hadid joined NPR after reporting from the Middle East for over a decade. She worked as a correspondent for The New York Times from March 2015 to March 2017, and she was a correspondent for The Associated Press from 2006 to 2015.

Hadid documented the collapse of Gadhafi's rule in Libya from the capital, Tripoli. In Cairo's Tahrir Square, she wrote of revolutionary upheaval sweeping Egypt. She covered the violence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from Baghdad, Erbil and Dohuk. From Beirut, she was the first to report on widespread malnutrition and starvation inside a besieged rebel district near Damascus. She also covered Syria's war from Damascus, Homs, Tartous and Latakia.

Her favorite stories are about people and moments that capture the complexity of the places she covers.

They include her story on a lonely-hearts club in Gaza, run by the militant Islamic group Hamas. She unraveled the mysterious murder of a militant commander, discovering that he was killed for being gay. In the West Bank, she profiled Israel's youngest prisoner, a 12-year-old Palestinian girl who got her first period while being interrogated.

In Syria, she met the last great storyteller of Damascus, whose own trajectory of loss reflected that of his country. In Libya, she profiled a synagogue that once was the beating heart of Tripoli's Jewish community.

In Baghdad, Hadid met women who risked their lives to visit beauty salons in a quiet rebellion against extremism and war. In Lebanon, she chronicled how poverty was pushing Syrian refugee women into survival sex.

Hadid documented the Muslim pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia, known as the Hajj, using video, photographs and essays.

Hadid began her career as a reporter for The Gulf News in Dubai in 2004, covering the abuse and hardships of foreign workers in the United Arab Emirates. She was raised in Canberra by a Lebanese father and an Egyptian mother. She graduated from the Australian National University with a B.A. (with Honors) specializing in Arabic, a language she speaks fluently. She also makes do in Hebrew and Spanish.

Her passions are her daughter, photography, cooking, vintage dress shopping and listening to the radio. She sings really badly, but that won't stop her.

Meet Hadid on Twitter @diaahadid, or see her photos on Instagram. She also often posts up her work on her community Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

As the Taliban launched an offensive over the weekend to take areas of Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, there were hundreds of casualties amid some of the most intense urban fighting since Afghan peace talks began last month.

Among the victims was a pregnant woman struck by a stray bullet. She survived but her fetus died in utero, apparently the result of the bullet's impact, Doctors Without Borders says.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Afghan peace talks began back on Sept. 12, but they have been stalled for weeks now over a Taliban demand that has put many Afghans on edge. NPR's Diaa Hadid reports.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

On her first foray into tree planting, Laiba Atiq forgot a key item — a shovel, which her mom later fetched.

But the 17-year-old is clear about why she is leading volunteers in the northern Pakistani city of Mardan to plant dozens of pine trees in a scrubby park.

"It's our duty as citizens," she says in formal English, "to implement actions that can make planet a better place to live in."

After a suicide bomber struck a Kabul academy that prepares students for university entrance exams, one promising student briefly dropped out.

That was in 2018. Shamsia Alizada, the daughter of a coal miner, returned to school and now has topped Afghanistan's nation-wide university entrance exams, according to local media reports. According to Khaama news, which cites Abdul Qadir Khamoosh, the head of the National Examination Authority, more than 200,000 students sat for the exam this year.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Updated on Aug. 19 at 8:53 a.m. ET

To pave the way for historic peace talks, the Afghan government is freeing thousands of Taliban detainees in phases, including men accused of one the deadliest attack in nearly two decades of insurgency: a 2017 truck bombing in Kabul that killed more than 150 people.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Historic peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected any day now. Those meetings will try to end 40 years of conflict. But as NPR's Diaa Hadid explains, Afghans are worried.

The Taliban has declared a rare cease-fire in Afghanistan for a Muslim holiday this week, in a move that could renew momentum for talks with the Afghan government.

The negotiations are meant to end the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan and give the Taliban a role in governing the country.

In an online English statement on Tuesday, the Taliban said it will "halt offensive operations against enemy forces during the three days and nights" of Eid al-Adha, which begins Thursday.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

When Talia Khattak's father was bundled out of his vehicle by men in plain clothes in November, she stayed quiet, fearing he'd be harmed by his abductors if she spoke out. Months later, his whereabouts still unknown, she realized her father, Idris, might never be released without a fight.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

In Pakistan, people who annoy the government often disappear. Thousands have vanished in recent years. One group of people in Pakistan has taken advantage of their special status to demand their release. NPR's Diaa Hadid has the story from Islamabad.

Abbas has worked in this Kabul cemetery for more than a decade, since he moved to the Afghan capital for work. He's sometimes called to dig quickly to bury the victims of militant attacks. But the last six weeks are the busiest he's ever seen.

"People bring their dead during the day and during the night," says Abbas, who like many Afghans, has only one name. He believes the cause of death is COVID-19.

Pages