Emily Harris

International Correspondent Emily Harris is based in Jerusalem as part of NPR's Mideast team. Her post covers news related to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She began this role in March of 2013.

Over her career, Harris has served in multiple roles within public media. She first joined NPR in 2000, as a general assignment reporter. A prolific reporter often filing two stories a day, Harris covered major stories including 9/11 and its aftermath, including the impact on the airline industry; and the anthrax attacks. She also covered how policies set in Washington are implemented across the country.

In 2002, Harris worked as a Special Correspondent on NOW with Bill Moyer, focusing on investigative storytelling. In 2003 Harris became NPR's Berlin Correspondent, covering Central and Eastern Europe. In that role, she reported regularly from Iraq, leading her to be a key member of the NPR team awarded a 2005 Peabody Award for coverage of the region.

Harris left NPR in December 2007 to become a host for a live daily program, Think Out Loud, on Oregon Public Broadcasting. Under her leadership Harris's team received three back to back Gracie Awards for Outstanding Talk Show, and a share in OPB's 2009 Peabody Award for the series "Hard Times." Harris's other awards include the RIAS Berlin Commission's first-place radio award in 2007 and second-place in 2006. She was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University in 2005-2006.

A seasoned reporter, she was asked to help train young journalist through NPR's "Next Generation" program. She also served as editorial director for Journalism Accelerator, a project to bring journalists together to share ideas and experiences; and was a writer-in-residence teaching radio writing to high school students.

One of the aspects of her work that most intrigues her is why people change their minds and what inspires them to do so.

Outside of work, Harris has drafted a screenplay about the Iraq war and for another project is collecting stories about the most difficult parts of parenting.

She has a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University.

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5:21pm

Fri January 16, 2015
Parallels

French Immigrants To Israel Bring Part Of Home With Them

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 11:39 pm

An estimated 400 new French Jewish immigrants attended a welcoming ceremony after arriving on a flight from France to Tel Aviv, Israel in July 2014.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

French Jews, often with roots in North Africa, have been immigrating to Israel since that country's founding. The community has changed with the times, and after last week's attacks in Paris, is expected to grow — and change — again.

Samuela Mass left Paris in October last year. The 28-year-old French Jew came to Israel for a better life for him and his future family — and to escape violence.

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12:20pm

Thu December 25, 2014
Parallels

After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 9:21 am

Children gather outside the El Transito synagogue and Sephardic Museum in Toledo, Spain. Founded in 1357, the synagogue was converted into a church following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Spain is now preparing to pass a law that would allow descendants of the expelled Jews to receive Spanish citizenship.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

As night fell recently over the Spanish city of Toledo, Hanukkah candles lit up empty streets outside the medieval El Transito synagogue.

Folk songs in Ladino — a blend of Spanish and Hebrew — wafted across the garden of the synagogue, which is now the Sephardic Museum.

Sefarad means Spain in Hebrew, and the term refers to Jews of Spanish descent.

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5:24pm

Sun December 21, 2014
Parallels

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 8:56 am

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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4:44pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Parallels

In Gaza, The Specter Of ISIS Proves Useful To Both Sides

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:15 pm

The Islamist group Hamas, shown here in a rally in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, is the strongest faction in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not believed to be in the territory, though fliers purporting to be from the group have circulated in Gaza. They are widely believed to be fake, but both Israel and Hamas have tried to use them to their advantage.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening fliers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flier, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

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9:57am

Sun December 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Gaza Tech Hub Finds Success In International Crowdfunding

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:23 pm

Gaza Sky Geeks, a startup accelerator, is drawing interest and crowdfunding from around the region and the world.
Gaza Sky Geeks

People in Gaza are getting impatient with the slow pace of rebuilding. International donors pledged $5.4 billion to help, but little of the money has made it to Gaza yet.

A Gaza tech startup accelerator has gone a different route — international crowdfunding.

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8:12am

Sat December 13, 2014
Parallels

Just Under The Surface, Palestinian Rivals Remain Bitterly Divided

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

A Palestinian with a green headband, which identifies him as a Hamas supporters, helps a fellow protester with a black-and-white scarf, the symbol of the Fatah movement. They were both taking part in a demonstration near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 4. The factions agreed to end their feud earlier this year, but many of their supporters remain bitter rivals.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Three months after the Gaza Strip war between Hamas and Israel, reconstruction of destroyed homes and businesses has hardly started. Part of the problem is the lack of clear Palestinian government authority on the ground.

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3:52am

Thu December 11, 2014
Parallels

'People Are Going To Rebel': Slow Pace Of Rebuilding Frustrates Gazans

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:31 pm

Men load bags of cement from a warehouse in Gaza. Under a complicated system meant to prevent militants from getting cement to use for tunnels, Palestinians must get approval from home inspectors to buy just one sack.
Emily Harris NPR

Angry men crowded outside the Beautiful Tower Co. for Trade and Contracting in Gaza City last week. They wanted to pay for cement, but the man at the door would let in only one person at a time.

Everyone pushing for a turn had been authorized through a complicated monitoring system endorsed by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to buy materials to fix war-damaged homes. The system is meant to stop militants from getting cement to use for tunnels and even requires Palestinians to get prior approval from home inspectors to buy a single sack of cement.

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12:05pm

Sat November 22, 2014
Parallels

In Response To Attacks, Israel Takes Down Palestinian Homes

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 11:28 am

After Palestinian Abdel Rahman Shaludi killed two people with a car in an attack last month, Israel destroyed his family's apartment in East Jerusalem by blowing up the front outside and most internal walls. Israel says the aim is deterrence, while the Palestinians call it collective punishment.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

After a spate of deadly violence in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to speed up home demolitions of attackers as a punishment and deterrent.

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7:49am

Sat November 15, 2014
Parallels

At A Tense Jerusalem Holy Site, Palestinians Stand Watch

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Palestinian men shout slogans next to Israeli police as they await permission to enter what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Nobel Sanctuary, on Nov. 5, in Jerusalem, Israel. On Friday, Israel dropped age restrictions on men attending Friday prayers, a move aimed at lowering tensions around access to the contested shrine.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.

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3:08pm

Thu November 6, 2014
Parallels

Why Jerusalem's Real Estate Market Is Part Of The Mideast Conflict

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm

Israeli police stand near a residence in East Jerusalem where Israeli Jews have bought apartments in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. The Palestinian seller said he sold the apartment to a Palestinian middleman and did not realize the ultimate owner was Jewish.
Emily Harris NPR

Daniel Luria raps on the tall metal door of a home in Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood, which is predominantly Palestinian. Luria is with the Jewish settler group Ateret Cohanim.

One rap and a small window pops open. Luria identifies himself. Soon the door opens too.

Inside sit armed security guards. Israeli police, on a break from patrolling the neighborhood, are there as well. A large screen shows multiple feeds from security cameras around the building. One Israeli flag flies over the roof. Another hangs from the railing of a small balcony.

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