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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1:39am

Wed July 2, 2014
Parallels

Afghanistan's Slow-Motion Election Strains A Fragile Country

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:53 am

Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rally Friday against alleged fraud in the presidential runoff election. Preliminary results were to be released Tuesday but have been delayed following Abdullah's accusations of widespread fraud.
Jawad Jalali EPA /Landov

The 2000 U.S. presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore went down to the wire, involved close scrutiny of the ballots and took weeks to sort out. And it left the country deeply divided.

Now, imagine a bitterly close election in a divided country with weak institutions, powerful strongmen, rampant corruption and thousands of armed militants running around.

That's what is playing out in Afghanistan right now as the country tries to determine who won the June 14 presidential runoff election.

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4:19pm

Sat June 21, 2014
Afghanistan

U.N. Official Calls For Calm In Afghanistan After Claims Of Election Fraud

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

In Afghanistan today, supporters of presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, held what they called a national day of protest. They came out to echo Abdullah's charges that last Saturday's presidential run-off vote was rigged against him. Abdullah has since declared that Afghanistan's two electoral commissions are illegitimate and that he will not respect the results that are due early next month. NPR's Sean Carberry reports on the growing political crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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2:12pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Afghanistan

Before Votes Are Fully Counted, Fraud Claims Roil Afghan Election

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

It was not long before the legitimacy of Afghanistan's presidential election was called into question. Within hours of polls' close, candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed the vote was rigged in favor of his opponent, Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has suspended his cooperation with elections commissions and called for a halt to vote counting. His claims of fraud — engineered by former President Hamid Karzai, he says — set the stage for an impending political crisis.

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4:52am

Mon June 16, 2014
Afghanistan

Afghan Voters Defy Taliban Threat; Vote In Presidential Runoff

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:46 am

Afghans went to the polls on Saturday to vote for a successor to Hamid Karzai who's ruled since 2001. Former foreign minister Adbullah Abdullah faced off against former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

2:11pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Afghanistan

Fledgling Afghan Media Seek Line Between Journalism And Activism

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:20 am

When a popular Afghan journalist was killed shortly before the April election, his colleagues stopped reporting Taliban statements and downplayed violence on election day. Some say it was an acceptable display of nationalism; others see it as a sign that the young media need to get tougher and more objective in covering the runoff election.

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8:04am

Fri June 13, 2014
Parallels

In A First, Afghanistan Is Set To Change Leaders At The Ballot Box

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:42 pm

Abdullah Abdullah shakes hands with supporters at an election campaign rally in Ghor province. He'll face off Saturday against former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.
Omar Sobhani AP

Afghanistan is about to get a new leader for the first time since the Taliban were driven out in 2001 and replaced by the current president, Hamid Karzai.

Saturday's presidential runoff will be a historic event in Afghanistan, marking the first time in the country's long and often painful history that power has changed hands through the ballot box.

Karzai is barred from running again, and the only two names on the ballot will be Abdullah Abdullah, an ophthalmologist and former foreign minister, and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank official.

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2:27pm

Thu May 29, 2014
Afghanistan

Initial Afghan Elections Went Well, But Worries Rise For Round Two

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Afghanistan, campaigning is underway for that country's presidential runoff election. Two candidates are competing to succeed President Hamid Karzai. And the vote is set for June 14. The first round was largely considered a success - with less violence and fraud than expected. And voter turnout exceeded expectations. But as NPR's Sean Carberry reports, there are growing concerns that the second round could be a far messier affair.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

ASHRAF GHANI: (Speaking foreign language).

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2:00pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Afghanistan

In Afghan Spring, Violence Rises — But So Do Recruiting Numbers

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last year, for the first time, Afghan forces took charge of their country's security. They generally held their ground but suffered record casualties. Despite that, NPR's Sean Carberry reports plenty of men are lining up to join the army.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC)

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1:27am

Tue April 22, 2014
Parallels

British Marine's New Mission: Save All Of Kabul's Street Animals

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:53 pm

Louise Hastie, the shelter manager of Nowzad Dogs in Kabul, holds a stray puppy named Aki. Afghanistan has a large population of street cats and dogs. While there are no government programs to control the animals, foreigners have taken in some.
David Gilkey NPR

Joey's silky gold hair gleams in the afternoon sun. The big bundle of energy loves to cuddle. He also looks like he could lose a few pounds.

This herding dog is one of the many survival stories here at the Kabul shelter and clinic called Nowzad Dogs. The facility has rescued and treated hundreds of street animals in Afghanistan and has helped reunite hundreds of soldiers and contractors with animals they informally adopted while deployed in the country.

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5:52am

Sat April 5, 2014
Afghanistan

Afghans Vote In Large Numbers Despite Risks

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time.

10:56am

Wed April 2, 2014
Afghanistan

Suicide Bomber Targets Afghan Police

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:04 am

In the Afghan capital Kabul, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform walked up to a checkpoint outside the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and killed several members of the national police.

11:03am

Mon March 31, 2014
Parallels

In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:08 am

A boy on his bike, with a U.S. Stryker following behind, in the Panjwai district center in southern Afghanistan. For years, this area was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. But it is now considered safe as Afghans prepare to vote in a presidential election Saturday.
David Gilkey NPR

A convoy of hulking U.S. Army Stryker vehicles slowly makes its way through the main bazaar near the center of Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban, and Panjwai district has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the Afghan war.

Some 90 NATO troops have been killed and more than 800 wounded in just this district.

But rather than having white-knuckled grips on their guns, U.S. soldiers are able to wave to the children in the streets. It's something that would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.

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5:40am

Sun March 30, 2014
Middle East

Ruthless Warlord, Hero to Uzbeks, On Ballot In Afghan Elections

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 3:59 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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7:36am

Sat March 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 8:10 am

Afghan special forces rush to the scene as Taliban militants attack the main Afghan election commission's headquarters on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

As officials from Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission were about to announce the closing of several polling stations due to insecurity on Saturday, the Taliban reinforced the message by launching an attack on the IEC headquarters in Kabul.

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2:56pm

Wed March 26, 2014
World

With Elections Days Away, Suicide Bombs Sow Fear In Kabul

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Kabul is a city on edge as the Afghan presidential election approaches. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election commission office yesterday. They killed several workers and police officers. In the April 5th election, eight men are now vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai. The field narrowed today after the grandson of the country's last king dropped out of the race. He was not expected to do well.

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9:35am

Tue March 25, 2014
Parallels

Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 10:53 am

Afghan Special Forces converge on an Independent Election Commission office after the Taliban launched an assault on the compound Tuesday in Kabul. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests outside the offices while gunmen stormed the building.
David Gilkey NPR

Afghanistan's election for a new president is less than two weeks away. That means the candidates are busy campaigning — and the Taliban are busy attacking.

The latest attack came Tuesday morning in Kabul when two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside one of the offices of the Independent Election Commission. Moments later, several gunmen ran inside and waged a three-hour gunbattle with dozens of Afghan police.

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2:16pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Afghanistan

As Afghan Tajiks Lay Leader To Rest, Eyes Turn To Political Future

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Afghanistan has lost its first vice president, a warlord who fought beside the U.S. against the Taliban. Mohammed Qasim Fahim's death presents his Tajik brethren a tough choice in upcoming elections.

6:53am

Tue February 11, 2014
Parallels

Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President?

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:49 am

Afghan presidential candidates Qayum Karzai (from left), Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah take part in a televised debate in Kabul on Saturday. With President Hamid Karzai stepping down, the presidential election set for April 5 will mark the first time the country has changed leaders at the ballot box.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

The United States is winding down more than 12 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, and for most Americans, the country is rapidly fading into the background.

At the same time, Afghans are entering uncharted territory. President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since shortly after the Taliban were ousted in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.

So Afghanistan is poised to do what it's never done before: change leaders through a democratic election.

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8:20am

Sat February 8, 2014
Afghanistan

U.N.: Civilian Casualities Rise In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan, the United Nation has just released its annual survey of civilian casualties in the country, and the news is grim. NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Last year at this time, there was a sense of optimism. Civilian casualties finally appeared to be declining. But the new report shows a 14 percent increase in civilian casualties in 2013 with nearly 3,000 killed and more than 5500 injured.

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3:35pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Middle East

Beneath The Bunting, Afghan Shadow Campaign Kicks Off

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Taliban also figure prominently in upcoming elections next door in Afghanistan. That country is poised to make history this spring by holding an election to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai. It would be Afghanistan's first ever democratic transition. The campaign officially began this week. And on the surface you'll find many of the trappings of a normal race, rallies, posters, debates But NPR's Sean Carberry reports that beneath the bunting and sloganeering lies a different story of vote buying and manipulation.

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