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.
The Taliban banned secondary education for girls. In one secret book club, teens gather to discuss a book from another era that they find deeply relevant: Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl
For the first time in decades, Afghans are living in relative peace. But with sanctions on the Taliban, the economy is in shambles and hunger is widespread. Girls are still out of school.
About two dozen women marched in Kabul chanting "bread, work, freedom," "we want political participation" and "no to enslavement," just days before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover.
Two Pakistani friends make videos in which those who lived through India's 1947 Partition describe loved ones they lost at the time. With viewers' help, siblings and others are reunited after decades.
Since the Taliban came to power, food insecurity has risen. Women in blue burqas sit in front of the city's upscale bakeries, silently waiting for charitable passersby to purchase bread for them.
The official rule: no secondary school for girls. But behind a veil of secrecy, women are opening small schools so that at least some of these teenagers are able to continue learning.
The hardest hit areas were remote farming villages in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika. "All the village completely is destroyed," said one man, showing collapsed homes on a cell phone video.
Pakistan doesn't recognize Israel. After a delegation visited Israel and even met with its president, Pakistani senators were outraged and one visitor got fired.
The decree, which calls for women in Afghanistan to show only their eyes and recommends they wear the burqa, evoked similar restrictions during the Taliban's previous rule.
For 9 months, teen girls have been pretty much unable to go to school. Protests have been shut down. Now clerics — including some affiliated with the Taliban – are urging an end to the school ban.