Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is deputy editor and digital strategist of Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog. She reports on topics such as the humanitarian aid sector, gender equality, and innovation in the developing world.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib was the digital content manager at Malala Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's global education charity, and social media and blog editor for ONE, a global anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. Gharib graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

Like millions of global citizens, Abraham Leno has been riveted by the story of the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand.

"I sat around the radio with my family and we wanted to hear the recent updates of the kids, every little detail," he says. "To see all the governments sending their best divers, giving them equipment, offering their moral support — it was a beautiful thing to see."

What do you wish you'd known before becoming a parent?

In May, we asked our audience this question at the start of How To Raise A Human, our month-long special series on how to make parenting easier.

Ruben Malayan, a lean, goateed artist, is teaching kids and visitors at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., to write the letter "A" in Armenian calligraphy.

On a sheet of computer paper, he inks a shape that looks like an old English "W," using a pen with a flat metal nib. His strokes — black line after black line, in perfect symmetrical succession — are hypnotic.

A new report looks at the state of humanitarian aid.

The world was generous, says the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2018. A record amount of funds went to crises that range from the ongoing Syrian civil war to the drought in the Horn of Africa.

"Forget all your worries and let's party."

It's an irresistible command from a 10-year-old girl standing on a box behind a DJ booth, tapping her feet and shaking her hips.

It seems like a pretty simple thing. When a humanitarian group hands out bags of food or sets up toilets for people who are poor or recovering from a crisis, the group puts its logo on the product.

It's a way of taking credit, which makes donors happy. It's a way of letting the recipients know where to complain if there's a problem. And if you're sitting at home and catch the logo on a TV report, you might be inspired to contribute to that particular charity.

But now, some people are questioning the branding of aid goods.

What do China, India, South Sudan and the United States have in common?

They are among the 92 countries where there is no national policy that allow dads to take paid time off work to care for their newborns.

According to a data analysis released on Thursday by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, almost two-thirds of the world's children under age 1 — nearly 90 million — live in countries where dads are not entitled by law to take paid paternity leave. In these countries, this policy is typically decided by employers.

Politicians lie about foreign aid to win votes.

Charities lie about the impact of foreign aid to stay funded.

Aid workers lie to themselves about the impact of a project.

In a new book called Why We Lie About Aid: Development And The Messy Politics Of Change, Pablo Yanguas explains how these mischaracterizations have created a dysfunctional aid system that hurts the people who need help most.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on May 25, 2017.

May 24 is Red Nose Day in the United States.

Kanye West, who can never resist a Twitter controversy, sent out a seemingly bland tweet to his 28 million followers on Monday.

His tweet about the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals — a set of 17 goals to end extreme poverty, abolish inequality and improve the environment, among other things, by 2030 — has left the global development community scratching their heads.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?

It's a question we're asking our audience as part of How To Raise A Human, a new series from NPR's Science desk. Over the next month, we'll be looking at some of the tough issues that every parent faces — from baby sleep to getting kids to do chores — and visiting families around the world to see what they do.

What's the best way to protect girls and women from being bullied, beaten and sexually assaulted?

The truth is, we don't really have a lot of evidence.

Although gender-based violence affects 35 percent of women worldwide, it's a "substantially neglected" area of research, according to the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, a South Africa-based group. That's why, together with the World Bank, they are investing in new ideas and solutions to find the best ways to fight it.

The weekly potluck started simply enough. A new intern sent a Filipino-American colleague an email titled "Filipino intern looking to find other NPR Pinoys."

"He's looking for other Filipinos in the building to hang out with," my colleague told me, forwarding the email. "You should come to lunch with us."

I'm a Filipino-Egyptian-American. In my decade of working in Washington, D.C., I had never thought to reach out to my fellow kababayan, Tagalog for "countrymen," at the workplace for camaraderie and companionship — until this intern's very earnest request.

The U.N. has received one of the biggest donations for relief in aid history: $930 million to its Yemen Humanitarian Fund, which provides food, health care and other vital services for the conflict-ridden nation.

But there's an ethical concern. It's coming from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two countries that have helped fuel Yemen's conflict.

The column was supposed to draw attention to a crisis in a country that Americans don't often hear about in the media: the Central African Republic.

Instead, it drew fury on social media this week for its portrayal of CAR and the sources interviewed. Sarah Knuckey, a professor at Columbia University's law school and the co-director of the university's Human Rights Institute, called it "shallow" and "reckless" in its reporting.

He owes it all to his mom — and a 25 cent loan that he used to start a candy business.

Those are the keys to the success of Cedric Habiyaremye, who's gone from a miserable youngster in a refugee camp in Tanzania to a Ph.D. student studying crop science at Washington State University.

Last week, we posed this question to our audience: When do charitable partnerships cross the line?

The question came in light of a recent alliance between the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Heineken. The beer giant is offering its communications and logistics expertise to help with the delivery of health-care supplies in markets where Heineken already has an extensive distribution system.

Maryangel Garcia Ramos wears silver glitter eye shadow. She once raised hell at a Killers concert because the venue wouldn't let her rock out with her wheelchair in front of the stage. And she wants you to know that yes, people with disabilities do have sex.

He was the computer teacher without a computer.

Then his story went viral — and his life (and classroom) changed.

On March 1, NPR published a story about Owura Kwadwo Hottish, 33, who painstakingly drew a computer screen on a chalkboard to teach his computerless middle school students in Kumasi, Ghana, about Microsoft Word and other computer software.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in December and has been updated on March 8.

March 8 is International Women's Day — dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal as well.

To mark the day, we've compiled some of the profiles we've done of truly remarkable women, from a 101-year-old runner from India to a Yemeni refugee who didn't let war stop her from being a scientist.

Today is International Women's Day, a day that aims to celebrate the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal, as well.

Over the past year, NPR has profiled some remarkable women, from a 101-year-old runner from India to a Yemeni refugee who didn't let war stop her from being a scientist.

Could you teach computer class without a computer?

For Owura Kwadwo Hottish, 33, an information and communications technology teacher in Ghana, it's his only option. At the middle school where he works, there are no computers. So using colored chalk, he painstakingly draws a version of the computer screen onto the blackboard.

Dressed in a hijab and covered from head to toe, she felt something. Someone — a man — had grabbed onto her butt and would not let go.

The Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, called hajj, was supposed to be the holiest moment of Mona Eltahawy's life. When she was 15, she journeyed there with her family. The magnificence of the Great Mosque had taken her breath away. But that man turned the trip into a nightmare.

Instead of telling the authorities, the young Eltahawy simply burst into tears.

It's a story that has stunned the public.

Last week, a report by The Times of London found that in 2011, the national director for Oxfam in Haiti and senior aid workers hired local sex workers while working in the country. After an internal investigation, the Times reported, Oxfam accepted the resignations of three men and fired four for gross misconduct.

Chris Junior Anaekwe had an idea. In his home state of Anambra in southeastern Nigeria, there was a filthy gutter full of bottles and cans and trash, all covered in black gunk.

And he thought it would be a good idea to convince the local kids — local teenagers who contributed to the mess — to clean it up.

Good luck with that!

Editor's Note: This story was updated on February 5 to include information about the scope of the Stella Artois offer.

In a new Super Bowl ad, Matt Damon makes a bold promise: Buy a limited-edition Stella Artois chalice and your money will help give a clean water supply to someone in the developing world for five years.

On Friday, we posed this question to our audience: What do you think of the way poor countries are portrayed by aid groups and the media?

The question came in light of President Donald Trump's reported description of El Salvador, Haiti and nations in Africa as "shithole countries" last week.

It's an idea that is now spreading around on Twitter in the global development community.

Maybe the reason President Trump called El Salvador, Haiti and nations in Africa "shithole countries" is the way the media and aid groups portray poor countries.

The idea was brought up by Owen Barder, the vice president of the Center for Global Development, a think tank on international issues like aid and poverty, in a tweet he posted on Friday:

Natalie Portman is so done with male bias in Hollywood. On Sunday, before reading out the top picks for best director at the Golden Globes, she said: "Here are the all-male nominees."

She's not the only one who's over industry sexism.

Pope Francis has some surprising things to say about the state of the world.

On Monday, Pope Francis delivered his annual address to his diplomatic corps, ambassadors from 183 nations to the Holy See. The speech outlined a bold vision for a peaceful, free and just world. The pontiff touched on themes that have been in the headlines, like the Syrian war and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

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