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.


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.


Matthieu Aikins Wins Two Emmys

Matt Aikins wins two News and Documentary Emmys for his New York Times investigation into Kabul.

How Is Your Phone Powered? Problematically.

Siddharth Kara’s “Cobalt Red” takes a deep dive into the horrors of mining the valuable mineral — and the many who benefit from others’ suffering.

The Taliban’s Dangerous Collision Course With the West

After barring girls from high school — and harboring an Al-Qaeda leader — the regime now risks jeopardizing the billions of dollars of global aid that still keeps Afghans alive.

Escape from Kabul: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees

As borders tighten and people find new ways to cross them, the shortest distance between two points is rarely a straight line

Canada shares responsibility for the disaster in Afghanistan. It must do more to help before the country collapses completely

It’s been six months since the Taliban took over. For starving and displaced Afghans, the situation is dire – and the West’s obligation to help is stronger than ever

‘We’ve Never Been Smuggled Before’

After the U.S. withdrawal and with their country’s economy collapsing, countless Afghans are trying to escape. Who does the West consider worthy of saving?

Leaving Home, the Search for a Better Life

Every year thousands of migrants and refugees flee their home countries, risking their lives to find safe haven. Many do not make it. The myriad difficulties migrants face is reflective of the deep inequalities and violence that persist across borders.

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.