Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is most at home when she's on the move. Born in London, the journalist has lived in the United States, Colombia, Afghanistan, Israel and Mexico City. She currently covers the Middle East for NPR, and is based in Jerusalem.

After covering Iraq as NPR News' Baghdad Bureau Chief since February 2008, Garcia-Navarro made another move: relocating to Israel in April 2009 to become NPR's correspondent based in Jerusalem.

Prior to reporting from Baghdad, Garcia-Navarro spent three years as NPR's foreign correspondent in Mexico City, reporting from that region as well as on special assignments abroad. Her depth of reporting brought an insider's cultivated perspective to a territory that also embraces her family's roots (incidentally, her parents are from the region).

Garcia-Navarro got her start in journalism as a freelancer with the BBC World Service and Voice of America, reporting from Cuba, Syria, Panama and Europe. She later became a producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-Sept. 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. From 2002 to 2004, she was based in Iraq.

Why journalism? Garcia-Navarro says that she likes "to tell people's stories, to make their lives real and vivid," adding that it's "an important job and I love doing it."

Garcia-Navarro holds a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University and an M.A. in journalism from City University in London. She was the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize in 2006 for a two-part series "Migrants' Job Search Empties Mexican Community," and also shared in two awards honoring NPR News' Iraq reporting: a Peabody Award in 2005, and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

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8:00pm

Sat September 22, 2012
Middle East

Gaza's Future Looks Bleaker Even Than Its Past

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:43 am

A Palestinian family rides on a donkey cart along a waste dump in Al-Nusirat, central Gaza Strip, in February. Living conditions continue to deteriorate for the 1.8 million Palestinians who reside in Gaza.
Ali Ali EPA/Landov

Ihab Abu Nada's family lives down a series of dark narrow alleyways in Gaza City. The house has two bedrooms for the seven people living there — the kitchen and the bathroom are in the same space, and the roof is made of tin and frequently leaks.

Still, most of the Palestinian family's income goes into paying the rent.

Ihab's picture adorns a cracked wall; it's a simple memorial. Earlier this month, after being unable to find work, the 18-year-old set himself on fire and died. The family is still in mourning.

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5:18pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Salt

Sneaking A Bite During Ramadan's Long, Hot Days

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:01 am

Palestinians order food at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Tara Todras-Whitehill Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has fallen on the longest and hottest days of the year, which means up to 15 hours of fasting in soaring temperatures.

This seems to have increased the number of Muslims who aren't fully observing the fast, and may be sneaking a bite or a drink — though no one wants to say so on the record.

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3:03am

Tue August 14, 2012
Middle East

Palestinians Fear New Israeli Moves In West Bank

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 9:25 am

Israeli army tractors demolish a Palestinian home on Nov. 24, 2011, in the village of Yatta near Hebron, reported to be in Area C, an Israeli-controlled section of the West Bank. Recently, Israel has issued orders to evacuate and demolish more Palestinian communities in Area C, the largest section of the West Bank.
Abed Al Hashlamoun EPA/Landov

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen for almost two years. But Palestinians say that doesn't mean events aren't happening on the ground.

Recently, the Israeli military issued orders calling for evacuation and demolition of nearly a dozen Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians see this as evidence of Israeli plans to annex the territory, though Israel denies this.

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6:55am

Thu August 9, 2012
Middle East

Israel Monitors Egypts Call To Modify Treaty

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:44 am

Israeli soldiers look at their Egyptian counterparts from their side of the border Wednesday at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, where an attack by Islamist militants on Sunday killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Israel is welcoming Egypt's military efforts to stamp out Islamist militants in the Sinai following the recent border attack there that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The Jewish state has long been concerned over the situation in the Sinai, where there's been an upsurge in violence.

But calls in Egypt to modify the peace treaty with Israel — allowing Egypt to strengthen its security in the Sinai — has also led to concern in Israel.

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4:29pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Middle East

Sinai Attack Dashes Hopes For Closer Gaza-Egypt Ties

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:43 am

Palestinians look at items in a gift shop as they wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the Gaza Strip last month. Egypt shut down the crossing less than a week later, after a deadly attack near Rafah left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

In Gaza, the departures hall at the Rafah border crossing between the Palestinian territory and Egypt is brand new, air conditioned and festooned with Palestinian flags.

Only a few days ago, uniformed border guards called out the names of those approved to leave Gaza.

The improved land crossing from Gaza into Egypt was the centerpiece of what Hamas hoped would be an expanded relationship between the two neighbors.

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5:58pm

Thu July 26, 2012
World

Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:20 am

Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.

Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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5:44pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Middle East

Report: Violence Against West Bank Palestinians Is Up

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 8:47 am

Jewish settlers in the West Bank throw stones during clashes with Palestinians near the city of Nablus on May 19. A new report says violence by settlers directed at West Bank Palestinians is up sharply over the past three years.
Jaafar Ashtiyeh AFP/Getty Images

Farming is the mainstay of the Palestinian communities around the West Bank village of Yanoun. Animals graze the land, and Palestinians make their living by harvesting citrus fruits and olives.

Last Saturday, Palestinians say, a group of Jewish settlers killed some of the sheep belonging to the Bani Jabr family. Palestinians say its part of a regular pattern of harassment in the area by settlers.

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3:51am

Tue July 10, 2012
Middle East

Walls Of Palestinian Homes Come Tumbling Down

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 8:46 am

Palestinians collect their belongings after Israeli bulldozers raze their house in an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem on Feb. 9.
Ahmad Gharbali AFP/Getty Images

Israel has dramatically increased its demolitions of unauthorized Palestinian homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a recent United Nations report.

Last year, 1,100 Palestinians — more than half of them children — were displaced, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. And demolitions this year continue at a high rate.

For Sami Idriss, the Israeli bulldozers came while the 26-year-old Palestinian was at work.

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4:11pm

Mon July 9, 2012
Middle East

Israeli Draft Roils Arab-Israeli Leaders

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 8:45 am

Israeli reservists soldiers and Israeli parents whose children were killed during army service attend a rally in support of a new law to mandate universal military conscription — including ultra-religious Jews who had been previously exempt and Arab Israelis, July 7, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli government is weighing a new law that would impose mandatory military service on religious Jews who are currently exempt, as well as compulsory national service for Israel's Arab citizens.

The issue has inflamed passions, highlighting the increasing religious-secular divide in the Jewish state and Arab Israelis' uneasy relationship with the Jewish state.

An estimated 20,000 Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv over the weekend in support of the proposed changes.

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1:55pm

Wed July 4, 2012
Middle East

Medical Marijuana Use Sprouting In Israel

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 8:33 am

Moshe Rute smokes cannabis at the Hadarim nursing home in Kibutz Naan, Israel. In conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, the Tikkun Olam company is distributing cannabis for medicinal purposes to more than 1,800 people in Israel.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Israel has become a world leader in the use of medical marijuana. More than 10,000 patients have received government licenses to consume the drug to treat ailments such as cancer and chronic pain.

But while the unorthodox treatment has gained acceptance in Israel, it still has its critics.

Susan Malkah breathes in the cloud of smoke from a plastic inhaler especially formulated for medical marijuana use. She has a number of serious ailments and is confined to a wheelchair.

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12:32pm

Tue June 26, 2012
World

Arab-Jewish Tensions Creep Into 'Peace Village'

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 10:28 pm

A boy walks past spray-painted graffiti that reads in Hebrew, "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge." The vandalism took place earlier this month in the mixed Arab-Jewish community of Neve Shalom in Israel.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli village of Neve Shalom was founded decades ago as a place where Arabs and Jews could coexist in the volatile Middle East. The area has weathered regional wars and uprisings, but earlier this month, vandals targeted it and spray-painted anti-Arab epithets on the school's walls.

"We discovered first of all that a number of tires had been punctured, and then we noticed the damage at the school, slogans painted on the walls saying 'Death to the Arabs,' " says Howard Shippin, a longtime resident of Neve Shalom village. "Of course it's very disturbing."

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5:55am

Mon June 25, 2012
Middle East

Putin Visits Israel During Uncertainty In The Middle East

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 3:56 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the Middle East today. He's on a tour of the region that begins in Israel, where he's accompanied by a four-plane convoy carrying an entourage of 300 businessmen and policymakers.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on the agenda in a country where Putin's policies have caused a lot of consternation.

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5:08pm

Mon June 4, 2012
Middle East

Israel Presents Itself As Haven For Gay Community

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 8:56 am

Israel is now marketing itself internationally as welcoming to the gay community. Participants in the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem are shown here on July 29, 2010.
Ronen Zvulun Reuters/Landov

The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.

"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.

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4:51pm

Fri May 18, 2012
Middle East

In Change, Palestinians Now Seek High-Profile Visits

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 8:46 am

Egypt's grand mufti, Ali Gomaa (center, with scarf), visits the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in April. The Dome of the Rock, which is part of the same compound, is shown behind him. Many Muslims have boycotted the site because Israel claims sovereignty. But Palestinian religious figures now say they welcome such visits, a move that has sparked controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.

Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.

But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.

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6:31am

Thu May 17, 2012
Middle East

After Palestinian Prison Deal, A Push For Nonviolence

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 8:43 am

Israeli soldiers stand in front of Palestinian and foreign activists during a demonstration on the 64th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel, at the Hawara checkpoint outside Nablus, West Bank, on Tuesday.
APAimages/Rex Features AP

This week, Palestinian prisoners ended a mass hunger strike aimed at improving their conditions in Israeli prisons after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities. The success of the collective action in wresting concessions from Israel has some Palestinians calling for a greater emphasis on nonviolence in their opposition to Israeli policies.

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4:23pm

Mon May 7, 2012
Middle East

Israel Plans September Vote That Favors Netanyahu

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 8:26 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, May 6. Netanyahu said Monday that the next general elections would be held on Sept. 4, instead of the original schedule of October 2013.
Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Landov

Israel will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 4, a timetable that looks favorable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have been in power for the past three years.

Netanyahu called for the new poll, saying he wanted to renew his mandate and broaden his coalition even though a new election is not required until October 2013.

The current coalition has been the most stable one for years in Israel. But both international and domestic considerations prompted Netanyahu to call for a new vote now.

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5:04pm

Mon April 23, 2012
Middle East

Israels Weighs Action On A Controversial Settlement

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:05 am

Israelis who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank rally against a demolition order for the outpost of Ulpana on Sunday. Israeli courts have ordered the outpost torn down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is looking to keep it intact.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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7:41am

Sat April 21, 2012
Middle East

Israel Sounds Alarm As Iran Engages In Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 10:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last weekend's meeting on Iran's controversial nuclear program didn't produce breakthroughs, but the envoys from six world powers and Iran suggested that the talks in Istanbul started a process that could lead to an eventual compromise. But one nation, Israel, was not happy with the results. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Jerusalem.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: While much of the world is relieved that Iran is finally engaged in talks on his suspect nuclear program, Israel is sounding an alarm.

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3:19am

Thu April 12, 2012
Middle East

'One-State' Idea Gains Support Of Some Palestinians

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 8:43 am

Palestinian children play next to Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis in 2011. As peace talks between Israel and Palestine remain at a standstill, people are looking to other possible solutions.
Bernat Armangue AP

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.

But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."

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6:21am

Sat March 17, 2012
Middle East

Despite Restrictions, Gaza Finds A Way To Build

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

A Palestinian youth breaks up stones for construction in Gaza City. Despite restrictions on imports including building material, the area is going through a construction boom.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

A crowd of onlookers has gathered around the oily black tarmac recently being laid down in a section of downtown Gaza City. Gaza's potholed streets are finally getting a makeover, and infrastructure upgrades like this new road are still a novelty for residents.

The overseer of the project says that before, Gaza couldn't get enough material to fix the road. But now, everyone is building.

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12:01am

Wed March 14, 2012
Middle East

In Gaza, Calls For Change Put Hamas At A Crossroads

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:01 am

Palestinian artist Mohammed al-Dairi paints a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (right) and late Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (left), in Gaza City. Hamas leaders are divided on what direction to take the Islamist movement, with some calling for reconciliation with Arafat's Fatah movement.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, is a house divided. Its leaders say there are divisions among the ranks as they try to grapple with where to push the movement: toward moderation or a continued commitment to armed resistance against Israel.

Omar Shaban, a Gaza-based political analyst, wonders where Hamas is headed in the next two to three years. He says the changes in the region after the Arab Spring not only shook the world, but they also forced groups like Hamas to reassess where they stand, in terms of old alliances and future direction.

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6:04pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Middle East

Israel: Rocket Shield Is Deflecting Gaza Attacks

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 8:30 am

The Israeli military says its Iron Dome system has been extremely effective against Palestinian rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip. Here, an Israeli missile is launched Monday near the city of Ashdod in response to a Palestinian rocket.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.

Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.

Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.

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3:18pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Middle East

Christians Provide Free Labor On Jewish Settlements

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 9:09 am

Evangelical Christians from the U.S. are living and working at Jewish settlements in the West Bank for weeks at a time. The Christians see Jewish expansion in the area as fulfilling biblical prophecy, though the settlements are a contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians. Here volunteers harvest grapes.
Courtesy of Heather Meyers

It's wet and windy day in Shilo, a Jewish settlement in the central part of the West Bank that has about 10,000 residents.

In addition to the settlers, there are a few extra people staying in Shilo on this day. They are Christian volunteers from the U.S. who have spent the morning pruning the grape vines. Now, with a winter storm beating down on the hills, the volunteers are stomping with their mud-splattered boots and North Face rain gear.

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4:00am

Tue February 28, 2012
Middle East

Ordinary Israelis Ponder An Attack Against Iran

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 8:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's stay in the region and turned to Israel now, where concerns are growing over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. Israel's minister of defense travels to the U.S. today, that's ahead of that's ahead of a visit by his boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, next week. The subject of Iran is expected to dominate much of those high-level talks in Washington.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro visited the Israeli city of Tel Aviv to gauge concern among residents there.

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10:35am

Wed February 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Marie Colvin Died In Syria While Exposing 'The Horrors Of War'

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 3:42 pm

Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times, at a service for fallen journalists in 2010.
Arthur Edwards WPA pool/Getty Images
(NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro remembers journalist Marie Colvin, who died Wednesday in Syria.)

We were exhausted after a long hot day of reporting. Tripoli had just fallen, and it was almost sunset. We pulled up to the house of Muatassim Gadhafi, one of Moammar Gadhafi's most feared and loathed sons.

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12:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
Middle East

Jews With Ties To Iran And Israel Feel Conflicted

Iranian-born Menashe Amir (shown here in 2006) hosts a call-in show on Israel Radio's Farsi service, one of the few forums for direct discourse between Iranians and Israelis.
Gali Tibbon Getty Images

As tensions between Israel and Iran ratchet up, one community is caught in the middle: Iranian Jews living in Israel. There are some 250,000 people of Persian descent living in Israel, and they maintain strong ties with their homeland.

As a result, they are uniquely conflicted over the possibility of war between the two countries.

In a small cluttered apartment in Jerusalem, Naheet Yacoubi cooks a traditional Persian meal for her Shabbat dinner. Originally from Tehran, she came to Israel when she was a child.

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8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Israeli Outpost Pits Courts Vs. Government

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 8:42 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

An illegal Jewish outpost in the occupied West Bank is at the center of a battle over settlements. The collection of trailers and makeshift buildings is called Migron, and the Israeli Supreme Court has said it must be dismantled by the end of March. The Israeli government has tried to come up with a compromise which the settlers have rejected. And the issue even threatens to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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9:27am

Sat January 21, 2012
Middle East

Landslide Win For Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian women show their ink-stained fingers after voting at a polling station earlier this month. According to the election results, less than 2 percent of parliamentarians will be female.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

The final results for Egypt's parliamentary elections are in, and while there are no surprises, the Muslim Brotherhood exceeded expectations by capturing 47 percent of the vote.

The final election results were read out Saturday with little ceremony, but the final tally cemented what most people in Egypt already know: Islamist groups are the new political powerhouse in post-revolutionary Egypt.

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3:09pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Middle East

In Egypt's New Parliament, Women Will Be Scarce

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:16 pm

Many Egyptian women hoped to make political gains following the country's revolution. But female candidates fared extremely poorly in the recent parliamentary elections. Here, Huda Ghaniya of the Democratic Alliance, an Islamist grouping, campaigns last Nov. 11.
Dana Smillie MCT via Getty Images

In Egypt's recent parliamentary elections, the first since Hosni Mubarak's ouster and the fairest in the country's history, Islamists won big.

And one group suffered a shocking disappointment — women.

Although the final numbers haven't been announced, it appears there will be only about eight women out of the 508 seats — or fewer than 2 percent.

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4:00am

Thu January 19, 2012
NPR Story

Egypt's Military Government Quiets Revolutionaries

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A year has passed since the revolution in Egypt began. Suddenly young people there, like this protestor in Cairo's Tahrir Square, could envision a different future for Egypt.

SAKHI SAHER: So now we're going to witness a new country with new order, with new politeness amongst the people, and no one throwing garbage in the streets. It's going to be a new start, a new beginning.

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