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 Afghanistan's economy declines, more people are relying on bikes to get around. But women and girls who rode bikes before the Taliban takeover no longer have the option.
In the south, the monsoon floods of summer have drastically altered the landscape, creating a lake that stretches for miles over villages and farmland. Fishermen are aiding the beleaguered residents.
With few supplies in makeshift clinics, these warriors are not only caring for thousands of pregnant women who've lost their homes, they're also making sure that women and children get food and water.
As unprecedented rains lashed Pakistan, residents built their own embankments to save a large town, took over public schools for shelter and set up a boat highway for transport.
As the economy unravels, "everyone is getting a bike," says one young resident. It's the cheapest way to get around. But the Taliban's conservative culture means women cyclists are not welcome.
In southern Pakistan, this year's unprecedented floods have left people homeless, sick and struggling. A lake 70 miles wide has submerged entire villages.
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
In the city of Nowshera, tent cities for flood refugees are springing up on college campuses. At one such haven, mothers spoke to NPR about their struggle to survive.
Displaced residents of a flooded Pakistani town have flocked to colleges, hotels and institutes to live while they wait for government aid to help them rebuild after the heaviest rains in decades.
A third of Pakistan is under water from catastrophic flooding. Nowshera, in northwestern Pakistan, has managed to avoid the worst losses — thanks in part to the efforts of a local official.