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.
As neighboring Afghanistan plunges further into conflict, Pakistani officials fear fighting and refugees will surge across the border. Many in Pakistan welcome the Taliban's attempts to wrest Kabul.
The Taliban have been sweeping through Afghanistan as the U.S and other forces pull out of the country and Afghan security forces surrender or flee.
The beleaguered nation is seeing a surge. The lack of testing means it's difficult to know the extent. One doctor says his Facebook feed is 30% to 40% of notices about those who died of the virus.
As foreign troops withdraw, the Taliban have seized parts of Afghan highways and closed in on cities. One arms dealer in the country says they're even buying heavier weaponry.
Some Kabul residents fear a Taliban takeover. Others are eager for the departure of troops they see as foreign intruders. "Afghans will have to come together and listen to each other," says a cleric.
"Should we ask children to go to school when the schools are not safe for them? Can we do that?" asks an education activist. One wounded student says she wants to go back. "Continue school," she says.
A U.S.-backed conference with the Taliban and Afghan government was derailed, raising doubts about progress toward a negotiated settlement to end decades of war in Afghanistan.
Afghans are coming forward to describe past alleged killings by Australian forces, as the Australian government launches investigations into its troops' suspected war crimes in Afghanistan.
President Biden's announcement for U.S. and foreign forces to withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 appears to have derailed the peace process that was meant to wind down the conflict in that country.
As President Biden faces a decision on whether to withdraw troops from the country, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin went to tour the region himself in a visit to the capital of Kabul.