Sean Carberry

Sean Carberry is NPR's international correspondent based in Kabul. His work can be heard on all of NPR's award-winning programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Prior to moving into his current role, he was responsible for producing for NPR's foreign correspondents in the Middle East and "fill-in" reporting. Carberry travels extensively across the Middle East to cover a range of stories such as the impact of electricity shortages on the economy in Afghanistan and the experiences of Syrian refugees in Turkish camps.

Carberry has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and Iceland. In 2010, Carberry won the Gabriel Award Certificate of Merit for America Abroad's "The First Freedom," and in 2011 was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Award as lead producer and correspondent for America Abroad's series, "The Arab World's Demographic Dilemma."

Since joining NPR, Carberry worked with Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Tripoli for NPR's coverage of the fall of the Libyan capital. He also covered the post-US withdrawal political crisis in Baghdad in December 2011, and recently completed a two month fill-in reporting assignment in Kabul that led to his current role.

Before coming to NPR in 2011, Carberry worked at America Abroad Media where he served as technical director and senior producer in addition to traveling internationally to report and produce radio and multimedia content for America Abroad's monthly radio news documentaries and website. He also worked at NPR Member Station WBUR in Boston as a field and political producer, associate producer/technical director, and reporter, contributing to NPR, newscasts, and WBUR's Here and Now.

In addition to his journalistic accolades, Carberry is a well-rounded individual who has also been an assistant professor of music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, received a Gold Record as Recording Engineer for Susan Tedeschi's Grammy-Nominated album "Just Won't Burn," engineered music for the television program "Sex in the City," is a certified SCUBA diver, and is a graduate of the Skip Barber School of Auto Racing.

Carberry earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Lehigh University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, with a focus in Politics, National Security, and International Affairs.

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4:01am

Fri December 12, 2014
Parallels

Kabul Postcard: A Neighborhood In Transition

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 4:11 pm

Afghan laborers work on a road project in Kabul. The city has undertaken a huge project to fix its roads and sewers.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

As I've been reflecting on the past 2 1/2 years that I've spent in Kabul, it's struck me how much has and hasn't changed. People continue to flood into the city, further straining its infrastructure and services.

But my neighborhood has seen mostly positive changes since I moved to it in 2012.

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3:23pm

Thu November 27, 2014
Afghanistan

Foreigners Targeted In Multiple Kabul Attacks

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:12 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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12:37pm

Wed November 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Afghanistan's Opium Harvest Sets New Record

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 4:04 pm

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Khogyani District of Nangarhar province in April 2013.
AFP/Getty Images

Afghanistan's opium poppy cultivation set a new record this year, according to an annual survey released by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Total cultivation rose 7 percent, compared with last year's record figure, and potential opium production rose by 17 percent.

In 2014, more than 550,000 acres of Afghan land were cultivated — that's approaching the total land area of Rhode Island.

What's causing the jump in opium cultivation?

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2:29pm

Mon November 10, 2014
Parallels

Why Divers In Bonaire Are So Eager To Kill The Beautiful Lionfish

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:56 am

Lionfish, which are native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, are now present in the Atlantic and the Caribbean, where they are devouring smaller fish that protect reefs. The Caribbean island of Bonaire is teaching divers how to catch the venomous fish.
Sean Carberry NPR

On the wall at the Buddy Dive Resort on the Caribbean island of Bonaire there's an Old West-style poster. It sums up the feelings here about the beautiful lionfish, pictured with its plume of featherlike fins and amber and white stripes.

"Wanted: Dead," reads the poster.

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2:29am

Tue November 4, 2014
Parallels

Wounded In Combat, U.S. Troops Go Back For A 'Proper Exit'

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:35 am

Four Americans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan visit Kabul as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program designed for wounded warriors. From left, they are Staff Sgt. Ben Dellinger, Capt. Casey Wolfe, Capt. John Urquhart (who is hidden) and Sgt. James "Eddie" Wright.
Sean Carberry NPR

Hundreds of service members and civilians from various nations lined the road to the landing zone at NATO headquarters in Kabul. They had gathered to salute the two U.S. Marines and two U.S. Army soldiers participating in Operation Proper Exit.

Moments later, two Blackhawk helicopters swooped in, kicking up dust and debris. The four service members disembarked and walk past the cheering audience. One soldier walks with a subtle limp. One Marine has a prosthetic right arm, and the left is missing below the elbow.

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2:51pm

Mon October 27, 2014
Parallels

With Marines Gone, Can The Afghan Army Hold Off The Taliban?

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 5:56 pm

U.S. Marines board a C-130 transport plane as they withdraw from Camp Leatherneck, their huge base in southern Afghanistan. This marked the biggest handover yet to the Afghan army, which is facing a tough fight with the Taliban in Helmand province and other parts of southern Afghanistan.
Wakil Koshar AFP/Getty Images

The desert sun beat down on the U.S., British and Afghan troops gathered at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The Marines rolled up their flag as it came down, along with the NATO and British banners.

With the ceremony on Sunday, the Afghan army is now in command of Camp Leatherneck and neighboring Camp Bastion, the former British base.

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6:56am

Sun September 28, 2014
Afghanistan

Refugees Find Afghanistan Less Than Hospitable

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 2:21 pm

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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8:50am

Sun September 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Afghan Presidential Rivals End Dispute — And A Long Election Season

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shake hands after signing a power-sharing pact in Kabul Sunday. The first vote in the election was held in April; a runoff followed in June.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

Habemus Praesidentem: there's white smoke in Kabul – figuratively speaking.

And like choosing a pope, selecting Afghanistan's new president has been a long and enigmatic process. Candidate registration began on Sept. 16, 2013. The first round of voting was on April 5. The second round on June 14.

And now, on Sept. 21, Afghan election officials announced that Ashraf Ghani is the country's the next president. He'll succeed President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

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3:17am

Wed September 17, 2014
Parallels

Not Every Afghan Institution Is Efficient; This One Is

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

An Afghan firefighter emerges from the smoke from a fire in a Kabul clothing market in 2012. The fire department is remarkably professional in a city where few institutions function.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters /Landov

There are certain sounds you don't ever want to hear in life — in Afghanistan or elsewhere. One is the sound of sirens and a fire truck pulling up outside your house.

But, when flames are roaring out of your garage and are lapping at the side of the house, the sirens are a welcome sound of hope.

It must have started, we think, when our aging generator caught fire. The flames don't even flinch at the spray of our household fire extinguishers.

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2:28am

Tue September 2, 2014
Parallels

As The U.S. Draws Down, Afghan Fighting Is Heating Up

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 9:16 am

An Afghan policeman searches a man at a checkpoint where a NATO soldier was stabbed to death in Kabul on Aug. 20. As U.S. and NATO troops are drawing down in Afghanistan, the Taliban have been stepping up attacks this summer.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As U.S. and NATO troops draw down in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters are growing bolder. They have been massing in larger and larger numbers and taking on Afghan forces across the country.

NPR producer Sultan Faizy and I spent a recent day making calls to ordinary Afghan citizens in some of the country's hot spots.

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3:47pm

Wed August 27, 2014
Parallels

Before Leaving Afghanistan, U.S. Troops Must Declutter

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:29 pm

A construction excavator demolishes a B-hut at the huge Bagram Air Field north of Kabul. The military used the structures as bunks and offices during the 13-year war but is tearing them down as most of the military prepares to leave by year's end.
Sean Carberry NPR

Sgt. 1st Class Tom Albert is with the Army's 2nd Engineers at the massive Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, and he's overseeing operation Clean Sweep here. It's a huge job, because American troops and equipment are scheduled to be out of Bagram and other bases by the end of the year.

The U.S. and Afghanistan are still trying to work out a deal that would allow nearly 10,000 military personnel to stay, but even that would be just a fraction of the force that's been here for the past 13 years.

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9:26am

Thu August 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Afghanistan Expels 'Times' Reporter Over Article About Potential Coup

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 10:37 am

New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg stands at his desk at the paper's office in Kabul on Wednesday. Afghanistan gave Rosenberg 24 hours to leave the country.
Massoud Hossaini AP

One of the most heralded "success stories" of post-Taliban Afghanistan has been the growth of its independent media. Afghan and international news organizations in Afghanistan have largely enjoyed press freedoms rivaling those of many Western nations.

But today's expulsion of New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg calls into question how much progress Afghanistan has made in terms of rule of law and press freedoms.

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12:39pm

Mon August 11, 2014
Parallels

Someday, Afghanistan Will Get A New President

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 8:23 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghanistan's presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani (center) and Abdullah Abdullah (right), announce a deal in Kabul on July 12 to audit all Afghan election votes. Kerry returned last week and both candidates reaffirmed their commitment to the audit.
Jim Bourg AP

Afghans voted for a president on April 5. Then they cast ballots June 14 in a runoff between the top two candidates. Now all 8 million votes from that second round are being audited, a laborious process that includes daily arguments, occasional fistfights and yet another deadline that seems to be slipping away.

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4:14am

Sun August 10, 2014
Parallels

Afghan Brides Dress To Impress, Fueling An Unlikely Business Boom

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 10:05 am

At the Romez Store in Kabul, brides-to-be can place custom orders for dresses costing upwards of $900, which is three times the average monthly wage in Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Afghans live in one of the world's poorest countries — but you wouldn't know that from their lavish wedding ceremonies. Families sell possessions and borrow money to rent expensive wedding halls for hundreds of guests. This wedding culture is part of the reason there's been a boom in women's dress shops in my neighborhood in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

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10:54am

Thu August 7, 2014
Parallels

The Murky Motives Of The Afghan Soldier Who Shot A U.S. General

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 11:08 am

U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was visiting an Afghan military training academy Tuesday when he was shot dead by an Afghan soldier, who was subsequently killed. Afghan troops who knew the attacker say he disliked the Taliban and they aren't sure what his motive was.
U.S. Army Getty Images

The Afghan soldier who fatally shot a U.S. major general on Tuesday had no sympathy for the Taliban, and his motives for the shooting are far from clear, according to his fellow soldiers.

Afghan officials have identified the attacker as Rafiqullah, who, like many Afghans, goes by one name. He opened fire on a delegation of NATO officials who were visiting the Marshal Fahim Military Academy outside Kabul. He killed Maj. Gen. Harold Greene and wounded 15 other NATO service members who were visiting the compound. Four Afghans were also wounded.

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