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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5:05pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Afghanistan

Kabul's Roads, Paved With Good Intentions

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:00 am

Afghan laborers work on a roads project last month in Kabul. A huge project to fix the city's roads and sewers is causing huge headaches.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Sometimes, you don't have to go far to find a story. For the past few months, just stepping outside NPR's Kabul office has been a drama.

The neighborhood is in the midst of a major road and sewer renovation project. It's just one of many such projects that is badly needed in Kabul and elsewhere in the country.

But as is often the case, the pace and quality of the work has been uneven. And residents aren't so sure whether the final product will be worth the months of gridlock, power outages and business interruption.

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4:58am

Sun December 2, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghans Begin New Exodus, Often At Great Cost

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 7:00 am

Afghan families walk along a dusty road in Kabul, the Afghan capital, last month. In the latest in a series of dramatic inflows and outflows, more Afghans are leaving the country than returning, fueled by unease about next year's withdrawal of NATO forces.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Convulsed by war and civil strife for decades, Afghanistan has experienced some of the largest ebbs and flows of migration anywhere in the world.

It began with the Soviet invasion in 1979, which sent millions of Afghans fleeing to Iran and Pakistan. When the Taliban were driven from power in 2001, many Afghans began returning home.

Now, the country has hit another milestone: For the first time since 2002 and the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, the country has a negative migration rate — more Afghans are leaving than returning.

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4:14am

Wed November 28, 2012
World

Afghan Women Make Their Mark On The Soccer Field

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:05 am

Former U.S. Olympian Lorrie Fair hugs Zahra Mahmoudi, the captain of the Afghan women's soccer team.
Sean Carberry NPR

Afghanistan first established a national women's soccer team just five years ago, and while they aren't yet World Cup material, they are making strides.

Last week, they got a little help from former U.S. Olympic soccer player Lorrie Fair, who staged a clinic in Kabul that was set up by the State Department.

Clad in her blue U.S. national team sweatsuit, Fair led the Afghan women through a series of exercises on the tennis court at the U.S. Embassy.

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3:20am

Wed November 21, 2012
Afghanistan

Pakistan's Overture To Taliban Concerns Afghans

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:49 am

Afghan officials welcomed the release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan in an attempt to jump-start a shaky peace process with the militant group. But many Afghans are wondering about the timing and the motive. They say mistrust born of decades of duplicity won't vanish with a few declarations or small gestures.

Secretary-General of the Afghan High Peace Council Mohammad Stanekzai was part of the delegation that recently traveled to Pakistan to discuss how the countries can cooperate and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

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11:12am

Wed November 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Most Afghans Now Optimistic, Survey Signals; How Real Is That Result?

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:36 pm

Are better days ahead in Afghanistan? A new survey signals that just more than half of Afghans think their country is headed in the right direction. Here: Mohamed, who makes a living by working as a day laborer in construction, makes his way home after work in Kabul.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

According to a new survey by the Asia Foundation, 52 percent of the 6,300 Afghans it surveyed in June feel the country is heading in the right direction. It's the first time in eight years of conducting this survey that the foundation found a majority of Afghans held a positive view.

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2:06pm

Mon November 12, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghans Brace For U.S. Departure In 2014

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:47 pm

Afghan villagers look at a translator as U.S. soldiers tend to an injured local Afghan man, who was shot for being suspected of planting a roadside bomb in Genrandai village at Panjwai district, Kandahar, on Sept. 24.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Uncertainty is gripping Afghanistan as the clock ticks toward the withdrawal of NATO combat troops by the end of 2014.

People and money are leaving the country. Housing prices are falling. Construction is slowing down. Many Afghans are trying to be hopeful, but even the most optimistic admit that a number of troubling variables could determine what post-2014 Afghanistan looks like.

The Panjshir Valley, some 60 miles north of Kabul, is one of the most scenic places in Afghanistan. The Panjshir River winds its way through barren mountains.

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2:27am

Mon November 12, 2012
Afghanistan

As The Clock Ticks, U.S. Trains Afghan Troops

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:39 am

US troops from the 1-91 Cavalry patrol in Baraki Barak district in Logar Province, south of Kabul. Insurgents carry out frequent attacks in the area. The U.S. is trying to improve the capabilities of Afghan forces so they will be able to take control when U.S. troops leave.
Sean Carberry NPR

As NATO prepares to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014, Afghan forces are increasingly taking the lead against the Taliban and other insurgents. But the results are mixed.

In parts of Logar Province, just south of Kabul, Afghan troops are successfully leading security operations. In other parts of the same province, where insurgents are more active, U.S. troops are still taking the lead.

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4:06am

Sun November 4, 2012
World

U.S. Handoff In Afghanistan Includes Radio Training

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 3:54 pm

Unidentified Afghan civilians broadcast a radio program from the radio studio at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, south of Kabul. The U.S. military is training Afghans to disseminate anti-insurgent messages via local radio.
Spc. Tia Sokimson DVIDS

From the outside, this white metal container looks like all the other mobile structures at Forward Operating Base Shank, the main NATO base in Afghanistan's Logar province. But rather than housing soldiers, offices or latrines, the building contains a fully functioning — if spartan — radio studio.

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12:53pm

Wed October 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Not Exactly A Boxing Capital, Kabul Stages A Championship Bout

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:35 pm

Kabul native Hamid Rahimi defeated Tanzania's Said Mbelwa by technical knockout in the seventh round on Tuesday to claim the World Boxing Organization's Intercontinental Middleweight Championship before an enthusiastic crowd in the Afghan capital.
Sean Carberry NPR

It wasn't Caesar's Palace. It was the Loya Jirga Hall at Kabul Polytechnic University -– a building where Afghanistan's elders gather to discuss matters of national importance.

But for one night, there was boxing with all the hype of Las Vegas –- minus the showgirls.

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6:28pm

Sun October 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan Army Seeks Better Equipment, But Lacks Basic Skills

Afghan National Army soldiers at Camp Joyce base in Kunar Province in August.
AFP Getty Images

One of the most common complaints from Afghan forces and officials is that they don't have the equipment they need to lead the fight in Afghanistan. They routinely call on NATO to provide more cutting-edge hardware for Afghan troops.

Certainly, when you see a U.S. soldier standing next to an Afghan one, the difference is striking. U.S. soldiers are often saddled with pounds and pounds of electronics and gadgets, ranging from GPS units to night-vision goggles and radio-jamming devices.

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5:28pm

Sat October 27, 2012
The Two-Way

A Flurry Of Contradicting 'Facts' Convolutes Reality In Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:43 pm

U.S. troops patrol in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Reporting in Afghanistan isn't just challenging because of the security concerns and the complexity of society and the stories here; it's challenging because "facts" are often in the eye of the beholder. Just last week, an incident that seemed to be factual is now an open question: Was there a deadly firefight or not?

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10:07am

Thu October 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan Insurgents Still Finding New Ways To Disguise Roadside Bombs

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 1:28 pm

U.S. soldiers carry a comrade injured by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in Logar province, south of Kabul, on Oct. 13. Roadside bombs are one of the biggest threats facing U.S. and Afghan troops, and insurgents keeping finding inventive ways to disguise them.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Afghan troops south of Kabul last week discovered one of the most elaborate and frightening improvised explosive device (IED) traps that American troops have ever heard of or come across.

On the morning of Oct. 18, an Afghan National Army patrol received a tip that a body bag with human remains was lying near a graveyard in Pul-e Alam, the capital of Logar province.

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2:28am

Thu October 11, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghan Dreams: In New Film, Nation's Untold Stories

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 12:59 pm

American director Sam French on the set of his short film, Buzkashi Boys, which was filmed in Afghanistan.
David Gill Courtesy of Afghan Film Project

When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.

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