NPR: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Foreign correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Cairo and covers the Arab world for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In 2006, Nelson opened the NPR Kabul Bureau. During the following three and a half years, she gave listeners an in-depth sense of life inside Afghanistan, from the increase in suicides among women in a tribal society that sees them as second class citizens, to the growing interference of Iran and Pakistan in Afghan affairs and the impact of Western policies in the region. For her coverage of Afghanistan, she won a Peabody award, Overseas Press Club award and Gracie in 2010.

Nelson came to NPR in 2006, after spending more than two decades as a newspaper reporter. She served as Knight Ridder's Middle East Bureau Chief from 2002 to 2005 where she specialized in covering Iran. As a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Nelson was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Nelson spent three years as an editor and reporter for Newsday and was part of the team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for covering the crash of TWA flight 800. She also spent time at the the Orange County Register covering Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Nelson speaks Farsi, Dari, and German. She is married to long-time reporter Erik Nelson and they have a son.

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3:13pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Parallels

From German Teen To ISIS Jihadist: A Father's Struggle To Understand

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:34 am

Alfons R. of Hamburg, Germany (shown in this undated photo), converted to Islam at age 17. Later, he went to Turkey, then Syria, to join ISIS. He was killed this past summer.
Courtesy of Manfred Karg

Manfred Karg says he doesn't know how his eldest son, Alfons, became mixed up with radical Islamists.

Whatever happened, the German pensioner's 19-year-old son from Hamburg is now dead, one of at least 60 Germans killed fighting alongside ISIS militants, nine of them in suicide attacks, according to German authorities.

Karg says two young men with an "immigrant background" knocked on Alfons' mother's door to tell her of his death in Syria last summer.

"When she opened up, they said: 'Congratulations, your son is now in paradise,' " he says.

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3:35am

Mon December 1, 2014
Parallels

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:41 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

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11:11am

Thu November 6, 2014
Parallels

The Man Who Disobeyed His Boss And Opened The Berlin Wall

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 3:58 pm

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, 25 years ago this weekend. East Germans flooded into West Berlin after border guard Harald Jaeger ignored orders and opened the gate for the huge, unruly crowd.
Alain Nogues Sygma/Corbis

To many Germans, Harald Jaeger is the man who opened the Berlin Wall.

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10:06am

Tue November 4, 2014
The Two-Way

'Arbeit Macht Frei' Gate Stolen From Former Dachau Death Camp

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:58 pm

The entrance to the former concentration camp in Dachau, Germany, bears the Nazi slogan "Work Makes You Free." The gate was stolen over the weekend.
Johannes Simon Bongarts/Getty Images

German authorities say they're investigating possible neo-Nazi involvement in the theft of an iron gate at the former Dachau concentration camp bearing the infamous phrase: "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "Work Makes You Free."

Those eerie words greeted some 200,000 prisoners who arrived at Dachau, which was the first concentration camp the Nazi regime opened in Germany. Tens of thousands of people sent there died from starvation and overwork as well as from medical experiments, torture and violence between 1933 and 1945.

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3:04am

Thu October 9, 2014
Cities Project

In Berlin, Remaking The City Can Rekindle Old Frictions

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 10:54 pm

The broadcast tower at Alexanderplatz looms over the city center. A crossing point of tourists, commuters, shoppers, lovers, artists and bums, Alexanderplatz was rebuilt by the communist authorities of former East Germany in the 1960s. Today, it's a popular gathering place in the reunified city.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Berlin is an on-again, off-again capital with a darker history than most cities in Europe.

It served as the epicenter of Hitler's Third Reich and was nearly wiped off the map at the end of the last World War. Berlin was also the flashpoint of the Cold War between the United States and Russia. Their conflict split the city into two, leaving residents on either side cut off from each other in every way imaginable for a generation.

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10:36am

Mon September 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Germany Red-Faced Over Military Equipment Failures

A Sea Lynx helicopter is pictured on a frigate in Eckernfoerde, Germany, in 2010.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Germany's defense minister warns that her country currently can't meet its long-term NATO commitments because of a widespread grounding of German military planes and helicopters.

"At the moment, we are below the target numbers announced a year ago on airborne systems we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in cases of emergency," Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag over the weekend. "The reason is the delays in getting replacement parts" for planes and a recent grounding of German navy helicopters.

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3:29am

Tue September 23, 2014
Parallels

Germany's New Economy Minister Takes Aim At Arms Exports

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Germany is the world's third-largest exporter of arms, like this bazooka destined for northern Iraq, being packed up at a German military base on Thursday. The country's economy minister has held up hundreds of weapons exports since he took office in December, angering many in the defense industry.
Carsten Koall Getty Images

Germany is the world's third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country's minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.

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4:52pm

Sun September 14, 2014
Europe

Thousands Gather In Germany To Rally Against Anti-Semitism

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:53 pm

People with Israeli flags and banners attend a rally against anti-Semitism near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday.
Markus Schreiber AP

In Berlin, thousands of people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday to demonstrate against a wave of harassment and attacks against Jews in Germany. Many blame the rising anti-Semitism there and across Europe on tensions over the Gaza conflict.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the Berlin rally, said there is no place for anti-Semitism in Germany, particularly because of its Nazi past, and that fighting it is every German citizen's duty.

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6:46am

Wed September 3, 2014
Europe

Ukraine Announces Cease-Fire With Russia

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 8:22 am

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

4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Europe

Residents Join Soldiers In Shoring Up Defenses Of Key Ukrainian Port

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

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

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5:37pm

Tue August 26, 2014
Europe

Kiev Claims Russia Has Sights Set On New Eastern Ukrainian City

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to open a new front in the war between the government and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its troops are involved in heavy fighting with an armored force that it says entered Ukrainian territory. Kiev has also released video of what it says is a group of captured Russian soldiers. Russia says the soldiers might have crossed the border inadvertently.

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4:06pm

Fri August 22, 2014
Europe

Russian Convoy Crosses Ukrainian Border, Prompting Outcry From West

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 8:09 pm

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

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED - I'm Audie Cornish.

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4:10pm

Thu August 21, 2014
Europe

The Siege Deepens In Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm

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

5:07am

Thu August 21, 2014
Europe

As Ukraine Presses Military Offensive, The Facts Are Fuzzy

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:17 pm

Ukrainian soldiers muster at a point close to Luhansk in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, as Ukrainian troops make a push into rebel-held territory.
Petro Zadorozhnyy AP

The Ukrainian government claims its armed forces have recaptured a large part of the eastern city of Luhansk following fierce battles Wednesday with pro-Russian separatist fighters.

This is part of a broader campaign by the Ukrainians that has been marked by a number of successes recently. But as is often the case here, it's impossible to independently verify what either side says. Both the military and the rebels prevent reporters from getting near embattled areas, and in many places like Luhansk, phones and Internet are not working.

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4:19pm

Tue August 19, 2014
Europe

Civilian Convoy Comes Under Attack In Ukraine

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:58 am

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

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's been more heavy fighting in Eastern Ukraine today. Ukrainian government troops are said to be battling block-by-block inside the separatist-held city of Luhansk. In addition, they claim to be closer to retaking the major city in the region, Donetsk.

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4:09pm

Fri August 15, 2014
Europe

Russian Military Vehicles Reportedly Move Into Ukraine

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 8:02 pm

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5:00am

Fri August 15, 2014
Europe

Russian Aid Convoy Parked Near Ukraine Border

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:36 am

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

4:09pm

Thu August 14, 2014
Europe

As Kiev Cites Progress, Opposing Convoys Head To Ukraine's East

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 6:38 am

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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9:36am

Mon August 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Trial Of Alleged German Autobahn Shooter Begins

Truck driver Michael Harry K. is brought into a courtroom in the regional court in Wuerzburg, Germany, on Monday. His face is blurred in accordance with German laws.
Karl-Josef Hildenbrand DPA /LANDOV

The trial of a 58-year-old truck driver who is accused of firing more than 700 shots at other vehicles on German highways over five years began today in the northern Bavarian city of Wuerzburg.

The man, who German media say was born in the former East Germany, was arrested at home in the small town of Kall in western Germany in June 2013. He is being identified by the German media only by his first names and last initial – Michael Harry K. — in accordance with German laws.

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3:22am

Thu August 7, 2014
Parallels

When And How To Die: Germany Debates Whose Choice It Is

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 8:49 am

Stefan Daniel says he has no control over the multiple sclerosis that is short-circuiting his body.

The disease, which attacks the nervous system, has forced the 51-year-old German psychologist to give up his career and most hobbies, including running and photography.

He spends his days in an electric wheelchair and rarely ventures out of his Berlin apartment.

"It's so difficult for me to open the door," he laments.

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3:27am

Mon August 4, 2014
Middle East

Is There Any Empathy Left In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 3:29 pm

Members of the Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslims perform Friday prayers on a street outside the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

In the waiting room at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, an Israeli woman was shouting at a Palestinian mother whose son was being treated for a beating he received from a Jewish mob.

"Go away you trash," the Israeli woman yelled at the Palestinian. "I would bury you in Gaza."

A second Israeli woman joined in the verbal barrage, complaining that her taxes shouldn't be paying for Palestinian treatment.

Two other Israeli women came over to comfort the Palestinian mother. But she is in no mood for reconciliation and retorted: "What good will your apologies do?"

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4:15pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Middle East

In Gaza, A Day That Begins In Fear Ends In Cease-Fire Agreement

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:07 pm

The day began with Israel's military calling up 16,000 more reservists, stoking fears of a widening offensive in Gaza; it ended with a 72-hour cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. The cease-fire is to begin Friday.

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

5:24pm

Wed July 30, 2014
Parallels

Gaza's Network Of Tunnels Is A Major Hole In Israel's Defenses

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 9:24 am

An Israeli army officer walks near the entrance of a tunnel allegedly used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, at the Israel-Gaza border. A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.
Jack Guez AP

Israeli officials say the country's deadly ground offensive won't end until its soldiers destroy a vast network of Hamas tunnels the militants use to try to attack Jewish communities outside the Gaza Strip.

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6:09am

Mon July 28, 2014
Middle East

Israelis Broadly Support Military's Operation In Gaza

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:52 pm

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

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4:45pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Middle East

In A Complex Web Of Tunnels, Israel Draws Its Red Line

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

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

7:09am

Fri July 25, 2014
Middle East

Kerry Awaits Response From Israel, Hamas On Proposed Cease-Fire

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:14 am

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

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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5:30am

Wed July 23, 2014
Middle East

As Gaza Fighting Rages, West Bank Palestinians Can Only Watch

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 2:31 pm

Palestinian Imad Abudayyah and his son, Ghassan, speak to relatives in the Gaza Strip via Skype from Ramallah in the West Bank. Israeli restrictions make it extremely difficult to travel between the two territories. West Bank Palestinians have largely been bystanders in the current round of fighting.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

At least three times a day, Imad Abudayyah, 49, fires up his laptop at the West Bank hotel where he's currently living with his 11-year-old son, Ghassan, to reach out to relatives in the Gaza Strip. Abudayyah says Skype is the only way they can see the family members they have left behind.

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4:11pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Europe

In Germany, A Case Against Another Alleged American Spy

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 pm

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5:14am

Sun July 6, 2014
Parallels

Germany's Battle Over What May Be Its Last Lenin Statue

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 2:48 pm

A statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin outside an apartment complex in Schwerin, Germany. Erected in 1985, four years before communism collapsed in East Germany, it's believed to be the last Lenin statue in Germany and the town is divided over whether it should stay. The inscription reads, "Decree on land," referring to a Lenin manifesto that said workers were the real owners of the land.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

It's easy to miss the controversial bronze statue. It stands in front of a Soviet-style, high-rise apartment in the East German city of Schwerin.

Far removed from the ornate city center, this 13-foot-tall depiction of Vladimir Lenin has him looking relaxed. His hands are tucked in his coat pockets and he's gazing off into the distance.

But an angry message is scrawled in red paint across the sidewalk at his feet. In German, it reads: "LENIN STAYS."

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5:35pm

Fri June 27, 2014
The Salt

Got Leftovers To Share? In Germany, There's A Website For That

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:26 pm

Europeans throw away 90 million tons of food each year, including these vegetables pulled from waste bins of an organic supermarket in Berlin. A new German website aims to connect surplus food with people who want it.
Fabrizio Bensch Reuters /Landov

Child psychiatrist Vero Buschmann says she was looking for a way to get rid of leftovers without having to throw them away. At the same time, the Berlin resident wanted to meet new people.

She found a nonprofit website in Germany that allows her to do both. On a recent evening, her doorbell rings and she buzzes Franzi Zimmerman in to her fifth-floor apartment.

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