Matthieu Aikins

Type Media Center Fellow

Matthieu Aikins is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and a Puffin Foundation Fellow at Type Media Center. His first book, The Naked Don’t Fear the Water, about a journey to Europe with Afghan refugees, was published by Harper on February 15, 2022.

Matthieu has reported from Afghanistan and the Middle East since 2008 for magazines such as the New Yorker, Harper’s, and GQ, and has been a fellow at New America, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy in Berlin. His work was featured in the anthology The Best American Magazine Writing 2012.

Matthieu is the winner of the 2014 Livingston Award and a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award in the Reporting category. He received the 2013 Polk Award for magazine reporting, the Medill Medal for Courage, and the Kurt Schork Award for his Rolling Stone article “The A-Team Killings,” which uncovered evidence of war crimes in Afghanistan. In 2010, he won a National Magazine Award in Canada for ‘Best New Creative Talent’ for his article ‘Last Stand in Kandahar’, which appeared on the cover of the November issue of the Walrus. In 2008 and 2009 he also received prizes from the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Matthieu grew up in Nova Scotia, and has a master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from New York University.

https://maikins.com/

Books

The Naked Don't Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees

In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the heart-wrenching choice to flee his war-torn country, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of millions of refugees who leave their homes that year.

Highlights

Inside the Fall of Kabul, The New York Times Magazine

As the U.S. withdrawal approached, analysts thought it would be months before the Taliban brought the fight to Kabul. Instead, to the shock of the world, the Afghan capital fell in a matter of hours. This is the story of why it happened and what came after — by a reporter and photographer who witnessed it all.

How Afghans Have Adapted to Life After Losing a Limb

We owe the countries we’ve invaded and bombed more than such a narrow lens of the world, a lens we’ve created.

Yemen’s Hidden War

A journey into one of the most remote and dangerous countries in the world.

Inside Baghdad’s Brutal Battle Against ISIS

As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria beats a bloody path to the gates of the capital, the hard men of the city are fighting back with their own reign of terror.

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State

After 13 years of war, and without defeating the Taliban, the US has managed to create a nation ruled by drug lords.

Whoever Saves a Life

Seven days inside the life-and-death world of Syria’s first responders  —  the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos.

Last Tango in Kabul

While war raged across Afghanistan, expats lived in a bubble of good times and easy money. But as the US withdraws, life has taken a deadly turn.

Exclusive: A US-backed militia runs amok in Afghanistan

Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human rights abuses, including murders and rapes.