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.

The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump have met before — on Twitter, where they sparred. Next week, they will be meeting in real life, as Khan heads to Washington, D.C., for a three-day visit.

On a Sunday in early December, about two dozen women and girls weaved their bikes down the streets and alleys of the gritty Lyari neighborhood in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

They nudged their bikes between rickshaws, motorbikes and crowds of men — men everywhere. Some turned their faces away to avoid the sight of women rattling past on bikes. Others gaped.

A nearby samosa seller, Saqlain Usman, 18, shook his head. His three sisters wouldn't dream of undertaking such an offensive act. They stayed home, he said, where they belonged.

Youths sporting peach fuzz sway as they chant parts of the Quran. They sit in the courtyard of a sprawling Islamic seminary, or madrassa, on the outskirts of the village of Meer Muhammad, in Pakistan's rural heartland in Punjab.

By graduation, these students should have memorized Islam's holiest book and finer points of Islamic law. They will have mastered little else.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Pakistan, Islamic seminaries, better known as madrassas, are widely seen as places where students are indoctrinated with extreme interpretations of Islam. Well, now Pakistan's prime minister wants to change them. Here's NPR's Diaa Hadid.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

When Suhai Aziz Talpur was training to be a police officer, she was ordered to jump off a cliff during an endurance test. She recalls staring seven feet down to the ground. "I said no, I won't jump and break my leg."

So her supervisor pushed her.

Talpur landed unscathed. Later, her supervisor told her, "The fear is here." Talpur taps her head. "So fight it from here."

Pakistan has expelled 18 international aid groups from the country, after they were accused of deliberately spreading disinformation, according to a series of tweets issued by the country's human rights minister, Shireen Mazari.

The expulsions reflect what aid workers say is a hardening toward organizations that provide health care, education and food assistance as well as working on human rights, women's rights and free speech issues.

Among the groups were charities such as Catholic Relief, Plan International and World Vision.

For decades, India's Sikhs have longed to reach one of their holiest sites, a soaring white temple, built on a river bank. From about 2 miles away, they constructed viewing platforms simply to gaze at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When at 19 Mehnaz became pregnant for the fifth time, she panicked. She already had four daughters, and her husband was threatening to throw her out if she had another. So she did what millions of Pakistani women do every year: She had an abortion.

Like many of those women, her abortion was partly self-administered. "I kept taking tablets — whatever I laid my hands on," she says. "I lifted heavy things" — like the furniture in her tiny living room. She drank brews of boiled dates — many Pakistanis believe the beverage triggers labor.

Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET

Separatist militants armed with guns and a suicide vest tried to storm the Chinese consulate in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Friday, in one of the most serious attacks in years against Chinese nationals in the Islamic state. No Chinese nationals or consulate staff were harmed.

At least seven people were killed as police clashed with the militants: three militants, two policemen and a father and son, Pakistani nationals, who were apparently at the consulate to pick up visas, The Associated Press said.

Last year, the Chinese wife of a Pakistani man traveled back home to China with their two children. She wanted to introduce her younger boy, 18 months old, to her mom.

But after she landed in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, she was detained, says her husband, a doctor named Rehman. His wife is a Uighur Muslim, a member of a minority group that has been targeted in a Chinese crackdown.

Security officials left their sons at their grandmother's house. Weeks later, they returned and took away the older boy, age 6.

A Christian woman who was acquitted by Pakistan's Supreme Court after spending eight years on death row for insulting Islam is still being held in an undisclosed location. Her release was delayed after negotiations failed between the government and an extremist religious group that is demanding she be killed.

Asia Bibi's sentence was reversed on Wednesday in Islamabad. Almost simultaneously, followers of a hard-line Pakistani religious group rushed onto major highways across the country to paralyze traffic in protest of the decision.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are just days away from the midterm election. And President Trump has laid his bets on immigration as the issue that will drive Republicans to the polls.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pages