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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World
2:21 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Pope To Visit Children At Palestinian Refugee Camp

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Pope Francis travels to the Holy Land this weekend. He'll visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories, as well as Jordan. And between Masses and meetings, he'll also make a stop at a Palestinian refugee camp. It's called a camp but it's become more of a city over the past few decades.

NPR's Emily Harris reports on what the pope will see and what he won't.

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Middle East
10:55 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Unity Is A Difficult Mission For Christians In Israel

Arab-Israeli children ride in a float during an annual march for Virgin Mary in the northern Israeli city of Haifa on May 11. Arab Christians don't mix much with migrant or Russian Christians.
Ahmad Gharibli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:58 am

Pope Francis visits the Mideast next week, including Israel, where Christians make up just 2 percent of the population.

But since the last papal visit to the Holy Land five years ago, the number of Christians in Israel has increased, and the makeup of the Christian population has continued to shift.

The vast majority of Israeli Christians have always been Arab and they still make up three-quarters of the 160,000 Christians living in Israel. But tens of thousands of Christians have come to Israel from Asia and Africa — both legal workers and undocumented migrants.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Organic Produce Is A Tough Sell In The Gaza Strip

Rami al-Naffar is the clerk at a small organic produce shop in Gaza City.
Emily Harris/NPR

Outside a small organic produce shop in Gaza City, a large sidewalk placard reads "Good Earth" in Arabic in big red letters, followed by "Organic produce, free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides." The same message is on the shop's awning.

But "people don't notice the signs, they come in and ask, 'Why these [high] prices?,' " says Rami al-Naffar, the clerk here.

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Middle East
2:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

To Make It Stateside, Gaza Strip Exports Must Pass Israeli Obstacles

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

People living in cities in the Northeast may find mint, chives and basil in their grocery stores that have been grown in the Gaza Strip. Despite tight Israeli restrictions on exports from the impoverished Palestinian enclave, Gazan farmers have started building a U.S. market.

But as NPR's Emily Harris reports, the obstacles to building a real export economy are hard to overcome.

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Parallels
1:07 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Poverty Among Holocaust Survivors Hits A Nerve In Israel

An Israeli places a flower beside the name of the World War II Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, on April 28. The Israeli government is weighing a new plan that would get more financial help to elderly Holocaust survivors, including about 50,000 in the country who are living below the poverty line.
Ammar Awad Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:37 am

Yulia Feuerman stays dry-eyed while retelling many of her experiences during World War II.

When she was 10, Feuerman was separated from her mother and two sisters by Nazi soldiers in their small town in what is now western Ukraine. They were sent to a concentration camp. Feuerman, her father and two remaining siblings went into hiding with other Jews — but were eventually found by the Germans. Her father and brother were shot and killed. A Christian family took Feuerman in, pretending she was their daughter to protect her.

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Middle East
5:19 am
Wed April 30, 2014

What Is Plan B For Mideast Peace Negotations?

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yesterday was the last day for Israeli and Palestinian officials to try to work out a peace agreement, the end of a nine month period they'd given themselves to do that. They did not succeed and now there are a lot of different ideas for what Plan B should look like. NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Middle East
3:33 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Israel Suspends Peace Talks After Palestinians Reach Unity Deal

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:09 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Palestinian Talks Could Heal Leadership Divide And Anger Israelis

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Palestinian leaders say they're close to a deal that would end the seven-year division between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Questions remain about whether the deal would hold up, as well as what it might mean for ongoing efforts to forge a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.

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World
4:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Israel's Ultra-Orthodox Put Faith In Unorthodox Dating Service

Unlike many young women in her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Yael Mizrachi drives and has two university degrees. She's also having a difficult time finding a spouse.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:52 am

Yael Mizrachi, a 30-year-old Israeli woman, has been to many matchmakers.

"Too many," she says, rolling her wide dark eyes and tossing her shoulder-length hair.

Matchmakers are the traditional way to find a mate in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to which Mizrachi belongs. But she is not entirely traditional.

"I identify myself as a modern ultra-Orthodox," Mizrachi says.

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Europe
4:36 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Ukrainians Disagree Over Sniper Inquiry

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

A Ukrainian police medic and a protester differ over whether their country should probe who committed crimes during February's violence in Kiev.

Middle East
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Two Israeli Settlers Speak Of Life — And Plans — On Disputed Land

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

From the Palestinian perspective, a big obstacle to peace is the presence of 350,000 Israelis on land expected to be part of any future Palestinian state. Two of those settlers offer their viewpoints.

Parallels
1:09 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Stay Or Go: How Israeli-Palestinian Peace Would Redefine Home

A key, symbolizing the Palestinians who lost their homes at the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, sits at the entrance of the West Bank city of Jericho, on Feb. 22.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:15 pm

More than 1 million Arabs are citizens of Israel. And over the years, some 350,000 Jewish Israelis have moved to settlements in the West Bank. If the Israelis and Palestinians were to make peace and set a formal border, what would happen to all these people?

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Middle East
4:05 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Arabs In Israel Contemplate Borders Of Palestinian State

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Mideast peace talks pushed by the U.S. could include a borderline that leaves some Arabs, who are in Israel as part of a minority of non-Jewish Israeli citizens, into a new Palestinian state.

Middle East
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Israeli Prisoner Release Steps Toward Peace And Draws Controversy

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Israel is preparing a prisoner release as part of the peace process with Palestinians. Arab citizens of Israel are set to be let go, a move more controversial than releasing non-citizen Palestinians.

Middle East
5:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

In A 'Brilliant' Move, Hamas Puts A Woman Out Front

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:18 am

Isra al-Modallal is the first woman to be the public face of Hamas, the conservative group that rules the Palestinian territory. "Brilliant" is how one Gaza observer describes the decision.

Europe
3:11 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Political Split In Ukraine Divides Families

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

One couple has survived many political changes over their 47-year marriage, but the current political crisis in Ukraine is dividing them too.

Europe
3:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

U.S. Still Exploring Diplomatic Ways To End Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Ukraine's prime minister travels to Washington this week for talks with President Obama. On Sunday, leaders of Germany and Great Britain spent time on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Europe
5:59 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Russian Troops Continue Movements In Crimea

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

As the standoff continues in Crimea, Russia warns the U.S. against "hasty" sanctions. Ukraine officials accuse pro-Russian forces of armed aggression.

World
3:51 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Locals Join Crimean Defense Forces, Allied With Russia

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 6:23 pm

In Ukraine, tensions are high in the Crimean Peninsula. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the swearing in of new members to the Crimean defense force.

Europe
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

In Kharkiv, A Snapshot Of Ukraine's Tumult And Hope

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

In Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, both pro-Europe and pro-Russian groups are planning more rallies this weekend. Some residents fear civil war; others believe compromise is still possible.

Europe
4:24 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Crisis With Russia Propels Ukrainian Nationalism

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

During Ukraine's recent revolution, ultra nationalist groups were prominent among the protesters battling police in Kiev's Maidan Square. A nationalist party was included in the interim government.

Europe
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

With Little Money And Lots Of Verve, Kiev Reporter Fights Corruption

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry made a high profile visit to Kiev today, showing political support for Ukraine's new government. He promised a billion dollars in loan guarantees. With lesser due, a team from the International Monetary Fund arrived. They're there to assess the state of Ukraine's finances.

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Europe
2:23 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Western Diplomats Visit Kiev, Bringing Few Answers With Them

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour in Ukraine where Russian troops took control of more areas in Crimea today, including a ferry terminal between the Ukrainian peninsula and Russia. Western countries are strategizing a response to the crisis with many meetings and several high level visits to Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in Kiev tomorrow.

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Europe
3:17 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Is Ukraine's Army Prepared For A War With Russia?

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 9:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

A Greek Treasure Pulled From The Sea Disappears Again In Gaza

Last year, a Palestinian man fishing off the coast of the Gaza Strip discovered what is thought to be a 2,500-year-old bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo. The rare statue vanished from public view almost immediately after being pulled from the sea. The Hamas government in Gaza says it now has control of the statue.
APA Images/STR APA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

On a sunny Friday in August last year, Judah Abughorab paddled a small, flat boat over the blue Mediterranean Sea about 100 yards off the Gaza Strip's sandy shore.

He doesn't really like to eat fish, but catching them is the unemployed construction worker's favorite pastime.

That day, he netted a half a dozen. Then, through the clear water, he spotted something that made him look again.

"It looked like a person," he says. "Eyes, a face, hands, fingers."

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Middle East
3:28 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Abbas Tells Students 'Peace Has To Happen'

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The West Bank city of Ramallah is normally off-limits to Israelis by Israeli law. But yesterday, 300 Israeli college students and other young leaders, with special permission from the military, traveled to Ramallah to hear Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas speak. An Israeli politician organized the unusual gathering, calling it a chance for Israelis to get to know what many of there see as their enemy.

NPR's Emily Harris reports.

(APPLAUSE)

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Building Pressure May Mean Progress In Israeli Peace Talks

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There is a fake John Kerry wandering around Jerusalem these days. He stars in several satirical videos criticizing the U.S. effort to negotiate a peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The State Department suggests it is just the latest sign that Kerry has put real pressure on Israel to move toward a peace deal. NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Parallels
2:29 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Even Among Their Own, Consensus Eludes Israelis And Palestinians

Nimrod Vider, an Israeli who owns a cafe in the Jordan Valley, part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He says he would be willing to leave the West Bank if the Israeli government thought it was the right thing to do.
Emily Harris NPR

Disputes between Palestinians and Israelis are a constant in their decades-old conflict, and that's what the wider world usually hears about.

But there are also near constant internal disagreements among Israelis. And Palestinians have divergent views too. On a recent trip through the Jordan Valley, which is deep inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank, near the border with Jordan, I spoke with Israelis and Palestinians about their internal differences.

Here's a sampling of those conversations:

An Israeli Cafe Owner and A Regular Customer

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Middle East
3:11 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Jordan Valley's Future At Stake In Mideast Peace Talks

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The River Jordan - where we're going next - is the dividing line between Jordan to the east, and the Israeli-occupied areas to the west. When you hear that heavily Palestinian zone called the West Bank, that's what it means: the West Bank of the Jordan. Its future is at stake in peace negotiations. Israelis see the River Valley as a vital security zone. Palestinians call it their breadbasket.

NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 7:55 am

When celebrities get drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wittingly or not, controversy is sure to follow.

American actress Scarlett Johansson is the latest to discover this ironclad law of Middle East politics. And the issue is soda.

Johansson has for the past eight years been the celebrity representative for Oxfam International, the global aid organization.

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