Diaa Hadid covers South Asia with a focus on India from NPR's bureau in Mumbai. It's a position she began in October 2023. She arrived there after spending six years in NPR's Islamabad bureau, where she covered Pakistan and Afghanistan.
There, Hadid and her team won a 2019 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for their story on why abortion rates in Pakistan are among the highest in the world.
Hadid has documented the challenges Pakistan faces as one of the world's most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, from the Himalayas, down the Indus River, to the Arabian sea. She's boated to villages after floods in mid-2022 left a third of the country underwater. She's hiked up snowy mountains to see how residents of a remote Himalayan district are reviving an ancient tradition of glacier mating to grow ice babies to replace the ones that are rapidly melting away. She's waded through newly planted mangrove forests that a Pakistani company hopes will suck out millions of tons of carbon from the air.
Hadid has also documented Pakistan's love affair with Belorussian tractors and with Vespa scooters. She visited a town notorious in Pakistan for a series of child rapes and murders – and through shoe-leather reporting, uncovered crimes that had been unreported.
In Afghanistan, she's met the young men celebrating the Taliban's victory over their Afghan rivals, two decades in the making, and young women who read Anne Frank in a secret book club in defiance of their Taliban rulers. She's profiled a village divided between Taliban supporters and those who fought them for decades.
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 Muammar Gaddafi'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.
Meet Hadid on X, formerly Twitter, @diaahadid, or see her photos on Instagram.