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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.

The question of what to do with Adolf Hitler's birth house has plagued his home country of Austria for decades. If it were up to the government in Vienna, authorities would simply tear it down. That's what Germany did more than a quarter-century ago to the Berlin bunker where Hitler committed suicide in 1945. The site is now covered by a parking lot, with a plain plaque providing the only hint of what used to be there. But many Austrians disagree with taking that approach to Hitler's birth...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Austrians are voting in their second presidential runoff election on Sunday. The first try came last May, and the results were thrown out because of voting irregularities. In that first run, a left-leaning independent narrowly defeated a far-right populist. It's a race for a ceremonial post, but this rerun for the job is reverberating across Europe because some people worry the outcome could further weaken their...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Now let's check in on a European country that has been resisting the flow of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Europe. Hungary has not been the final destination for very many refugees, but it has been a stop on the road farther north. And it has now slowed the flow through a border with Serbia using a long fence and patrols. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson visited before the fence was in place and went...

The audience squirms as the actors put on skull caps and fake beards and shout about how great it is to be a German Muslim. They call for jihad, initially as a way to self-reflect and later, as a battle cry. The actors ask, "How can you sit here in comfort when our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq are being slaughtered? What does your conscience say? Do you even have a conscience?" Inside IS, it's called, is a play for German teens about the so-called Islamic State was featured recently...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: She was declared the world's most powerful woman by Forbes magazine, and she has now declared last night that she will run next fall for a fourth term. We are talking about Angela Merkel. She's Germany's first female chancellor. And if she wins and serves her next term, she would tie her one-time mentor Helmut Kohl for that country's post-war record of most years in office. Let's turn now to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: And now to Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in Berlin today that she will run for a fourth term next year. For weeks, her German and European allies have been coaxing her to declare her candidacy. Even President Obama seemed to give her a public nudge during his visit to Berlin last week. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin, the chancellor said she had major reservations about...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: President Obama is in Berlin on what will likely be his last official visit to Germany. Many Germans are looking to him for reassurance after Donald Trump's victory. But the president has encouraged them to instead look to their own leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, as a steadying influence. Obama describes her as his closest ally. This is from an interview he gave earlier today with the German public broadcaster...

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: In France this morning, police have begun evicting thousands of migrants from a notorious camp that's become known as the jungle. This is in the northern port town of Calais, and many of the mostly adult male residents who came there from places like Africa and Afghanistan are pretty unhappy about leaving. Despite the squalor at this camp, this is the closest they have been to their final destination, the United...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now to France, where police are preparing to evict thousands of migrants from a notorious makeshift camp known as The Jungle. It's in the northern French port town of Calais. The eviction had been planned and delayed many times before as officials struggled to determine just what to do with the would-be refugees. But NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that that has changed. She's with us now from Calais. Soraya...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine wrapped up a big meeting in Berlin today. They're trying to revive a peace agreement for Eastern Ukraine. The so-called Minsk Peace Accords were signed early last year, but they've done little to stop the fighting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also had planned to use these talks to take Russian President Vladimir Putin to task over his country's actions in...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have been meeting in Berlin today. They are trying to revive a peace agreement for Eastern Ukraine. The so-called Minsk Peace Accords were signed early last year, but they've done little to stop the fighting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had also planned to use these talks to take Russian President Vladimir Putin to task over his country's actions in Syria....

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Architecture was one of Adolf Hitler's passions, and he commissioned hundreds of buildings and arenas reminiscent of imperial Rome to inspire and intimidate. It's a legacy Germany has struggled to erase by re-purposing or razing Nazi-era structures. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, for example, was placed in an old SS barracks in Nuremburg, while the German Finance Ministry took over the Nazi aviation building in Berlin. The Berlin bunker where Hitler spent his final days was...

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This summer we've been taking you to some unusual festivals, the kind of events that take us away from everyday reality. Here's one from an arts festival in the heart of Europe where the artists' tools include the airbrush, and the canvas is the human body. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: This is the World Bodypainting Festival. I'm Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, and I'm in southern Austria in...

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Is it rape when a person has sex with someone who says "no"? It wasn't in Germany until Thursday, when the parliament cast a rare unanimous vote closing what German Justice Minister Heiko Maas described as "blatant loopholes" in his country's sexual assault laws. Previously, before charges could be filed a victim had to show police and prosecutors that she or he tried to physically resist the attacker. If a victim said "no," that alone was not enough. Maas called it a "second, bitter...

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Maher Murad recently had a bad sore throat and decided to go see a doctor. But the 19-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker doesn't speak German. And the German physician he went to see at the shelter where he lives, just outside Hamburg, didn't speak Arabic. This kind of language barrier is common, as officials struggle to provide services like medical care to Murad and others. More than a million asylum seekers have poured into Germany over the past 18 months. The newcomers are from around the world...

The most tangible sign of a growing American military presence in Eastern Europe, behind the former Iron Curtain, is tucked inside a former military base in rural Romania. Hidden from view is a U.S. naval facility, where sailors use high-tech radar day and night to watch for incoming ballistic missiles fired at NATO countries. If any are spotted, the Americans would fire back with SM-3 Block IIA missiles. A second such American site will also be built in Eastern Europe over the next two years...

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