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.



Tue November 25, 2014
Goats and Soda

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

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

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

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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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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Wed November 5, 2014

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

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

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

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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Sat November 1, 2014
Middle East

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

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

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

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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Wed October 22, 2014

The Crime That Has Shocked Pakistan

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

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

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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Fri October 10, 2014

Pakistani Teen Shares Nobel Peace Prize

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

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Sun August 31, 2014

Gaza's Shattered Airport, Once A Symbol Of Sovereignty

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

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

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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Tue August 26, 2014
Middle East

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



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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Thu August 21, 2014
Middle East

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



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Tue August 19, 2014
Middle East

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



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Fri August 15, 2014
Middle East

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



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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

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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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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Fri June 20, 2014
Middle East

Down From The Mountains, Pakistanis Flee Military Offensive

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



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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Fri June 13, 2014
The Salt

Pakistani Juice Drink Packs A Sweet And Spicy Punch

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

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

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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