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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Parallels
10:46 am
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 5:23 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
2:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Decimated Tower Remains As Monument To Gaza War

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 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
8:45 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Hamas Senior Leaders Killed In Predawn Israeli Airstrike

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

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

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Middle East
3:29 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

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

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Massive Rallies Descend On Islamabad, As Authorities Dig In Trenches

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 6:02 pm

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

Transcript

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Parallels
10:45 am
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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Afghanistan
5:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

In Islamabad, A Rare Piano Teacher Pursues His Mission Quietly

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 10:50 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's international correspondents cover wars, politics and global trends. But sometimes we also ask them to tell us about their lives in the field and the extraordinary people they meet. Here's a postcard sent to us from NPR's Philip Reeves in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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Parallels
11:50 am
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
4:52 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Airlines Suspend Flights To Pakistani City After Shooting

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 12:19 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
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Down From The Mountains, Pakistanis Flee Military Offensive

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 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
9:58 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 4:54 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
3:37 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Taliban Claim Credit For Another Attack In Karachi

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 10:25 am

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.

Middle East
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Who Shot Pakistan's Star News Anchor? Some Point To Spy Agency

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

Pakistan's biggest media house and the country's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, have been embroiled in conflict recently. Geo TV alleged that ISI tried to kill the network's anchor, who was shot and badly injured in April. Now, government regulators have intervened, banning Geo for two weeks.

Parallels
3:46 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

How One Man's Arrest In London Shut Down Pakistan's Megacity

A Pakistani man reads a newspaper at a closed market in Karachi on Wednesday following the arrest of Altaf Hussain. For more than two decades, Hussain has wielded control over his party — and, by extension, parts of the city — from half a world away in London.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

The city of Karachi, on the edge of the Arabian Sea, has fizzed with life since Alexander the Great was strutting around Asia's deserts on his horse.

This chaotic and ruthless trading metropolis of more than 20 million is the giant turbine that drives Pakistan's creaking economy, providing the largest part of the national revenues.

Yet by midafternoon Thursday, Karachi's shopkeepers began hastily hauling down their steel shutters and heading home, suffering for a third consecutive day from an acute case of the jitters.

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World
2:54 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Pakistani Woman Beaten To Death By Her Family As Police Stand By

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:16 am

Pakistan is reeling from the latest so-called "honor killing." A pregnant woman was stoned to death just feet from a courthouse for marrying a man against her family's wishes. Police stood by as family members, including a woman, took part in the killing.

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

Transcript

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Asia
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

At Indian Prime Minister's Inauguration, A Historic Pakistani Presence

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was among the guests at Narenda Modi's inauguration. It's the first time the leader of one of the archrivals has attended the swearing-in of the other.

Music
6:07 am
Sat April 26, 2014

A Millionaire Saves The Silenced Symphonies Of Pakistan

Izzat Majeed address a crowd in New York during a collaborative concert between Sachal Studios musicians and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The Lahore-born philanthropist founded a recording studio and provided opportunities for musicians in Pakistan.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 9:30 am

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Technology
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:46 am

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

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Asia
3:19 am
Thu April 10, 2014

2 Pakistani Musicians Gain Fame Singing Political Satire

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There's also anxiety in Pakistan because it is a country where you can get into big trouble because of what you say. Recently, gunmen there opened fire on a prominent journalist who's a critic of Islamic extremism, killing his driver. Twenty-five journalists have been killed over the last decade. Non-journalists like the young activist Malala Yousafzai have been attacked. NPR's Philip Reeves went to see two young Pakistanis who think they're better off singing about their political views than talking. He sent this postcard from Lahore.

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Asia
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Mega Mall Helps Pakistanis Escape Pressures Of Everyday Life

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We occasionally get postcards from our international correspondents who report and live in various spots around the world. NPR's Philip Reeves is based in Pakistan where violence has killed tens of thousands of people in recent years. Philips says some in the capital, Islamabad, to find ways to escape the pressure.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Islamabad can sometimes seem surprisingly tranquil. My house is a short drive from Parliament and the Supreme Court. The foothills of the Himalayas aren't so far away.

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Parallels
3:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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Middle East
3:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Pakistan And Taliban Come To The Negotiating Table

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Parallels
11:32 am
Wed February 5, 2014

In Pakistan, Another Bhutto Joins The Risky Family Business

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Waqar Hussein EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:23 pm

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

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Middle East
7:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISE)

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Doctor At The Heart Of The U.S.-Pakistan Rift

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

Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.

Europe
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul

Fisherman Teddy Head tells a story to a group of children while mending his nets in Hastings in 1952. The fishermen of Hastings are tightknit; fathers, brothers and sons work together in rugged boats no more than about 30 feet long. Some families in Hastings have worked this way for centuries.
Fred Morley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:29 pm

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

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Parallels
10:51 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Pakistan's Fearless Chief Justice Challenged The Powers That Were

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (center) is greeted by lawyers in Islamabad after the government announced it would reinstate him, in March 2009. Pakistan's longest-serving chief justice challenged the status quo and fought to chart a more assertive and independent course for the country's judiciary.
Anjum Naveed AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:41 pm

He defied a military dictator, sacked a prime minister, and persistently sought to call generals and intelligence chiefs to account.

He became a symbol of hope for an impoverished multitude, seeking to assert their rights in a land where these are frequently ignored and abused.

He was one of his country's best-known figures who was seen — though not usually heard — on his nation's television screens as frequently as celebrity actors and cricket stars.

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Media
3:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Prosecutors Press Case In 'News Of The World' Phone-Tapping Trial

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:00 pm

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

Business
2:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Financial Markets React Positively To U.S. Debt Deal

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.

NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.

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Europe
2:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Skateboarders Mobilize As Art Center Tries To Reclaim Cavern

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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