Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

International correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin and covers Central Europe for NPR. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

She was previously based in Cairo and covered the Arab World for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Nelson returns to Egypt on occasion to cover the tumultuous transition to democracy there.

In 2006, Nelson opened the NPR Kabul Bureau. During the following three and a half years, she gave listeners in an in-depth sense of life inside Afghanistan, from the increase in suicide among women in a country that treats them as second class citizens to the growing interference of Iran and Pakistan in Afghan affairs. For her coverage of Afghanistan, she won a Peabody Award, Overseas Press Club Award and the Gracie in 2010. She received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award from Colby College in 2011 for her coverage in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Nelson spent 20 years as newspaper reporter, including as Knight Ridder's Middle East Bureau Chief. While at the Los Angeles Times, she was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She spent three years 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.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Nelson speaks Farsi, Dari and German.

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11:58am

Wed August 13, 2014
Europe

Older German Workers Jump At Chance To Retire At 63

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 8:02 am

An employee works at the axle gear production line at a BMW plant in Dingolfing, southern Germany, on March 23, 2012. This BMW plant installed special ergonomic workspaces to help its rapidly aging workforce — a trend that's reflected in Germany's economy as a whole. That's one reason why critics oppose a new move to lower the country's early retirement age.
Christof Stache AFP/Getty Images

Germany recently lowered its retirement age from 65 to 63 for longtime workers, a move Chancellor Angela Merkel's government says is aimed at easing the burden on older Germans in the workforce.

But the decision is not popular with German businesses or with governments in struggling eurozone countries, which accuse German officials of hypocrisy. They say it's wrong for Germany to demand sweeping cuts in their countries while Merkel's government beefs up benefits at home.

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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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5:25pm

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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5:55am

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/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:15pm

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/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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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