Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning veteran international correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previous to his current role, he covered Europe out of NPR's bureau in London.

Reeves has spent two decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq, Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists Association.

In 2010, Reeves moved to London from New Delhi after a stint of more than seven years working in and around South Asia. He traveled widely in India, taking listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road. He also made numerous trips to cover unrest and political turmoil in Pakistan.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004, after spending 17 years as a correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories - from the Waco siege, to the growth of the Internet, Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Graduating from Cambridge University, Reeves earned a degree in English literature. He and his wife have one daughter. His family originates from New Zealand.

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Middle East
5:07 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Pakistan's Dilemma: Should It Assist Saudi Arabia In Yemen Operation?

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 7:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
7:37 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Will New Zealand Rebuild The Cathedral My Forefather Erected?

The badly damaged Christchurch Cathedral is pictured on Sept. 7, 2011 during a tour given to foreign journalists visiting the city ahead of the rugby 2011 World Cup. England rugby manager Martin Johnson and several members of the playing squad visited the city to see the stadium and the city center which were damaged by an earthquake in February.
Paul Ellis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 11:19 am

He has a swirl of graying whiskers stretching down to his collar, yet he wears a tiny mustache so precisely groomed that it almost could have been typed. His face is confident and stern, befitting a gentleman of substance.

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NPR Ed
7:53 am
Sun March 15, 2015

From Afghanistan's Rubble, A Teacher Builds A School Of Ideas

Aziz Royesh is one of 10 finalists for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
Zabihullah Tamanna for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 3:44 pm

Aziz Royesh is a man whose life has been defined by one over-arching ambition: He says he simply wants to be a teacher.

At 46, he has achieved that goal in one of the most difficult and dangerous environments in the world — Afghanistan. He has also founded a school that is now winning international acclaim as a model for education in that war-battered nation.

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Afghanistan
5:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

New Defense Secretary Makes Unannounced Trip To Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 7:21 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

At His Villa, Pakistan's Musharraf Awaits Trial And Holds Court

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks to the media in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 24, 2013, shortly before ending his self-imposed exile and returning to his homeland. He now faces murder and treason charges in Pakistan, but is free on bail and living in a villa in Karachi.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:08 pm

He is indicted for treason and murder. He is forbidden from going abroad. He is banned for life from running for elected office.

It is hard to imagine how Pervez Musharraf, former military ruler of Pakistan, could be in much deeper water than this.

Yet, as the ex-president and army chief sits in his apricot-colored villa, ruminating over his predicament, he does not sound — or look — much like a man unduly burdened by worry.

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Middle East
4:00 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

As Pakistan Turns Courts Over To Military, Some Fear Revival Of Army's Power

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 7:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
5:02 am
Mon February 2, 2015

The Theft Of An Infant Son: In Pakistan, A Not-Uncommon Crime

Shazia and Ziaullah Khan's baby boy was stolen from a hospital ward in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Abdul Sattar NPR

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 2:20 pm

Individual tragedies easily go unnoticed in Pakistan. People are too busy grappling with corruption, militant violence, poverty and an infrastructure so dysfunctional that everyone, everywhere endures daily power outages.

Ziaullah Khan and his wife, Shazia, are the victims of one of the cruelest crimes of all. Yet in this troubled land, they're struggling to get anyone to listen — let alone help.

A Stolen Baby Boy

They're a young couple, just starting out. She's a teacher; he works in a print shop. They live in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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Parallels
5:57 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Pakistanis View Obama's India Visit With A Touch Of Irritation

President Eisenhower and Pakistani President Mohammed Ayub Khan ride through the streets of Karachi in 1959. This wouldn't happen today.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 6:59 pm

A black and white photograph captures a scene that could never happen today.

It shows an American president riding through the streets of a city in Pakistan in a gleaming horse-drawn carriage, as if he's the Queen of England.

The city is Karachi, in the days when American visitors were not obliged by the presence of Islamist militants to conceal themselves behind blast-proof walls, sandbags and razor wire.

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Parallels
4:16 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

After The Slaughter, A Pakistani School Seeks To Heal

Pakistani soldiers escort students as they leave the Army Public School in Peshawar on Jan. 12. The school has reopened after last month's attack by the Pakistani Taliban that killed more than 130, most of them teenage students.
A Majeed AFP/Getty

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

"From the outside, we may look healed up," explains Samina Irshad, section head of the Middle School at the Army Public School in Pakistan's frontier city of Peshawar.

But don't be fooled by appearances.

Irshad continues: "Our internal wounds, they'll take time." In fact, she estimates, it will take years.

Who knows how long it takes to recover from a massacre that included the death of 132 students, mostly teenaged boys, and 12 of Irshad's colleagues, including the school principal?

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Afghanistan
7:55 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Pakistan Pressures Afghan Refugees To Go Home

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 12:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It has been a month since more than 130 children were murdered in an attack on a school in Pakistan. The government has responded with draconian measures; this includes victimizing the large number of Afghans living in Pakistan.

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World
4:36 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

One Month After School Attack, Pakistan Remembers Victims

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Pakistan, one month ago today, the Taliban attacked an army-run school in the city of Peshawar - 150 people were killed, the vast majority of them children.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEMONSTRATION)

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Asia
6:29 am
Fri November 28, 2014

In Pakistan, Political Oratory Is Flourishing

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
5:12 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class For 150 In A Cowshed

Aansoo Kohli is running a makeshift class in a cowshed for children who have no access to school.
Abdul Sattar for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 7:26 pm

Every day, shortly after breakfast, more than 150 noisy and eager-eyed kids, coated in dust from top to toe, troop into a mud cowshed in a sun-baked village among the cotton fields of southern Pakistan. The shed is no larger than the average American garage; the boys and girls squeeze together, knee-to-knee, on the dirt floor.

Words scrawled on a wooden plank hanging outside proudly proclaim this hovel to be a "school," although the pupils have no tables, chairs, shelves, maps or wall charts — let alone laptops, water coolers or lunch boxes.

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Parallels
5:32 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Wealthy Arabs Descend On Pakistan To Kill The Bustards

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:13 am

Winter is creeping down on northern Pakistan from the Himalayan Mountains. The skies are cloudless and bright blue. The air is as cool and refreshing as champagne.

This is the season for swaddling yourself in a big woolen shawl. And it's also the season when Pakistanis try not to ... let the bustards get them down.

I'm talking about the Houbara bustard. It's a bird, about half the size of a turkey, and with the same rotten luck this time of year.

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Parallels
1:17 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Christian Couple Killed By Mob In Latest Pakistan 'Blasphemy' Case

Pakistani Christians in Islamabad protest the killing of a Christian couple who were burned alive for alleged blasphemy. Pakistan has had multiple cases of vigilante killings against people accused of blasphemy against Islam.
Sohail Shahzad EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:57 pm

In the latest vigilante attack based on an accusation of blasphemy, a young Christian couple in Pakistan was beaten by a mob and then incinerated at a brick factory.

There have been multiple cases in recent years in which Pakistanis are accused — often with little or no evidence — of committing blasphemy against Islam.

The police officer in charge of the investigation, Inspector Maqbool Ahmed, says he was told by local residents that the couple was still alive when they were shoved into a brick kiln.

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Middle East
12:48 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

A Taliban Hostage's Story: Educating Children Who Have No Teachers

Professor Ajmal Khan was held captive in South Waziristan, the Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan where the Taliban holds power.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 1:02 pm

A compelling Facebook photo shows an old man wearing spectacles and a shawl. He's standing in front of a cracked mud wall. Most of his face is filled by a huge, dusty-looking white beard. He looks tired and sad.

Only the man's family and friends would know that he is not, in fact, a weather-beaten mountain tribesman, but the vice chancellor of one of the most distinguished universities in Pakistan.

This picture of professor Ajmal Khan, posted on the Web by his supporters, was printed by a newspaper when he was freed, after spending four years as a hostage of the Taliban.

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Parallels
11:19 am
Wed October 22, 2014

The Crime That Has Shocked Pakistan

Abdul Sattar Edhi, 86, is an iconic figure in Pakistan who founded and runs the country's best-known charitable group. The Edhi Foundation was robbed of more than $1 million on Sunday, a crime that has provoked outrage.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 12:53 pm

The man whom some revere as Pakistan's greatest living philanthropist wears a long white beard, simple robes fashioned from coarse dark-blue cotton, and an air of calm authority that contrasts strikingly with the raucous port city that is his home.

Abdul Sattar Edhi is sitting in the ramshackle building that serves as both his house and the headquarters of his giant charitable foundation that has, for decades, been saving lives among the helpless, lost, abandoned, abused and destitute of one of the world's toughest, roughest towns — Karachi.

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Asia
5:21 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Pakistani Teen Shares Nobel Peace Prize

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 8:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
12:46 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Gaza's Shattered Airport, Once A Symbol Of Sovereignty

The destroyed and deserted main gate of the Gaza international airport in the southern city of Rafah.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 7:23 pm

It's hard to imagine a more compelling monument to the rise and fall of the Palestinian dream of statehood than the bombed-out ruins that the 1.8 million people of Gaza call their international airport.

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Middle East
4:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Decimated Tower Remains As Monument To Gaza War

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hours before that cease-fire was announced, a tall office and apartment building in Gaza was hit in an Israeli airstrike. It was mostly destroyed, but not entirely. NPR's Philip Reeves reports that it's now a prominent emblem of the devastation there.

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Middle East
4:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Israel Unrolls New Series Of Strikes Against Hamas Leadership

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
10:45 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Hamas Senior Leaders Killed In Predawn Israeli Airstrike

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
5:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Blocked At The Border, Gaza Man's Hopes Of Escape Fade

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:38 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
4:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Massive Rallies Descend On Islamabad, As Authorities Dig In Trenches

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 8:02 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
12:24 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Pakistan's Mixed Message: Celebrations Amid A Security Lockdown

Members of the Pakistani navy march at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, to celebrate Independence Day in Karachi. Security was heavy in the capital Islamabad as the government braced for protests in addition to the ceremonies and celebrations.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 12:45 pm

It is Independence Day in Pakistan, an occasion traditionally celebrated with military parades and grandiose speeches, with poetry and prayers, and with a great deal of flourishing of the national flag.

But 67 years after this nation was carved out of the subcontinent at the end of British colonial rule, the capital is spending the day gripped by anxiety, and partially paralyzed by a government-enforced lockdown.

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Parallels
1:50 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

In A Remote Corner Of Pakistan, A Mass Exodus

Workers prepare to distribute food Wednesday to civilians fleeing a Pakistan military operation against the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan. Close to a half-million residents have fled their homes in recent days.
A Majeed AFP/Getty Images

The people of Pakistan are all too familiar with the tidal waves of humanity that can roll across the landscape with the outbreak of war.

Living in their midst are some 1.6 million Afghan refugees who, over the last 35 years, moved eastward to escape the violence that periodically engulfs their own unstable country.

Now Pakistan is soaking up another human tsunami, this time from the North Waziristan tribal area, an oblong of land slightly larger than Rhode Island, set amid the forests and mountains along its turbulent north-west frontier.

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Asia
6:52 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Airlines Suspend Flights To Pakistani City After Shooting

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The largest airline in the Middle East says it has suspended flights to a city in Pakistan. Emirates says it will no longer fly to Peshawar, at least for now. This is after someone opened fire on a Pakistani passenger jet that was coming in to land there. NPR's Philip Reeves reports on a blow to Pakistan at a time of crisis.

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Middle East
4:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Down From The Mountains, Pakistanis Flee Military Offensive

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Pakistan is seeing a flood of people pouring out of North Waziristan in the mountains abutting Afghanistan. The exodus began after Pakistan began a major ground offensive against the Taliban and foreign militias there. Some 200,000 people are believed to have left since Sunday. Pakistan's military is calling it an organized evacuation. But as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, some fleeing the area describe a frightening chaos.

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The Salt
11:58 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Pakistani Juice Drink Packs A Sweet And Spicy Punch

A man drinks aloo pokhara, a heart-comforting prune juice in Islamabad.
Abdul Sattar NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:54 pm

You don't often see a man cheerily quaffing from a half-pint mug on a street corner in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

But the drink in this gentleman's hand is as innocent as a newborn kitten.

It's called aloo bukhara juice, and contains tamarind and dried plums, or prunes, if you prefer.

Summer's reaching a punishing peak here - it's 104 degrees Fahrenheit - so I assumed he was just drinking to keep cool.

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Asia
5:37 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Taliban Claim Credit For Another Attack In Karachi

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:25 pm

Militants are attacking a security training facility near the Karachi airport. The incident comes less than two days after a deadly attack on the Karachi airport itself.

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