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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Parallels
2:47 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Before Leaving Afghanistan, U.S. Troops Must Declutter

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

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm

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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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Afghanistan Expels 'Times' Reporter Over Article About Potential Coup

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

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:37 am

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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Parallels
11:39 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Someday, Afghanistan Will Get A New President

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

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 7:23 pm

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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Parallels
3:14 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Afghan Brides Dress To Impress, Fueling An Unlikely Business Boom

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

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 9:05 am

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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Parallels
9:18 am
Thu August 7, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 10:08 am

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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Afghanistan
2:17 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Gunman Kills American General In Shooting At Afghan Facility

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:47 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Afghanistan
7:21 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Afghanistan Officials To Audit Votes From June Election

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:07 am

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Afghanistan
3:06 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Afghan Civilians Suffer During Violent Year

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 6:01 am

There is renewed fighting in Kandahar as the outcome of the Afghan presidential election remains uncertain. And a new U.N. report says civilian casualties are up significantly from a year ago.

Afghanistan
2:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Early Vote Tallies Speed The Sparring Between Afghan Candidates

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 4:13 pm

Preliminary voting tallies in the Afghan presidential election, released Monday, did little to ease a brewing political crisis. The losing candidate continued to claim fraud, declaring himself the winner instead. Meanwhile, the U.S. is warning of a power grab.

Afghanistan
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Afghan Election Numbers Come With A Warning: Results Not Final

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Today, Afghans are one step closer to knowing who their next president will be. More than three weeks after voters went to the polls, election officials announced that candidate Ashraf Ghani has a wide lead. But Ghani is not out of the woods yet. The election process now enters an appeals phase that is sure to be contentious before the final results are announced on July 24. NPR's Sean Carberry sent this story from Kabul.

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Afghanistan
10:17 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Preliminary Results Show Ghani Winning Afghan Presidency

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Preliminary results are out for the run-off in Afghanistan's presidential elections. And the winner seems to be former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani. His opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, was considered the front-runner after winning 45 percent of the vote in the first round back in April. Now Ashraf Ghani appears to be winning with almost a million more votes than Abdullah. NPR's Sean Carberry joins us from Kabul. Good morning.

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

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Parallels
1:39 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Afghanistan's Slow-Motion Election Strains A Fragile Country

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

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

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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Afghanistan
3:36 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 4:19 pm

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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Afghanistan
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

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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Afghanistan
5:20 am
Mon June 16, 2014

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.

Afghanistan
2:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

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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Parallels
8:04 am
Fri June 13, 2014

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

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

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

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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Business
3:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Afghans Must Pass Anti-Money Laundering Law Or Face Blacklist

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, several important dates to follow in Afghanistan this month. On June 14, Afghans will vote in a runoff election to choose their next president. And about a week later is a deadline for Afghanistan to enact new laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. If the government misses the deadline, Afghanistan will be placed on a blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force, an international agency made up of the world's strongest economies. That could have devastating consequences for a fragile economy. Here's NPR's Sean Carberry.

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Afghanistan
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

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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Afghanistan
2:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

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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Parallels
1:27 am
Tue April 22, 2014

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

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

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

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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Afghanistan
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

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.

Afghanistan
10:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

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.

Parallels
11:03 am
Mon March 31, 2014

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

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

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

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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Middle East
5:40 am
Sun March 30, 2014

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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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise

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

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

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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World
2:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

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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Parallels
9:35 am
Tue March 25, 2014

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

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

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

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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Afghanistan
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

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.

Parallels
6:53 am
Tue February 11, 2014

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

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

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

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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