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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Middle East
1:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Palestinian Split Shows Signs Of Healing, But Israelis Aren't Pleased

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 3:50 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the cabinet for a unity government joining his Fatah party with Hamas. It resolves a 7-year-old split but also draws condemnation from Israeli leaders.

Religion
2:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Pope Francis Ends Historic Mideast Trip

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 2:43 pm

Pope Francis wraps up his trip to the Middle East, where he addressed some of the region's tough political issues and cast some dramatic images at its most sensitive spots.

Middle East
3:34 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Pope Francis Wraps Up 3-Day Trip To Middle East

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 4:23 am

Pope Francis is in Jerusalem. He stopped at the holiest Jewish and Muslim sites in that city. The pope has invited Palestinian and Israeli leaders to join him in Rome to discuss Mideast peace.

Parallels
12:06 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Palestinians Appeal To Pope For Help In Land Disputes With Israel

Father Ibrahim Shomali, a Palestinian priest, holds prayer vigils every Friday in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem. Israel is planning to build a wall, citing security needs, on agricultural land here owned by a local monastery. Shomali has asked Pope Francis to intervene.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:25 am

When Pope Francis visits Jerusalem on Monday, he will celebrate Mass in one of the holiest Christian sites in the world.

The Cenacle, or the Upper Room, is traditionally considered the place where Christ shared his Last Supper with disciples before he was crucified.

But the spot is holy not only to Christians. Below, some Jews believe, is the tomb of King David. A mosque has also stood on this site.

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Middle East
9:55 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 10:58 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
2:28 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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Parallels
12:07 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 8:37 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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News
1:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Palestinian Talks Could Heal Leadership Divide And Anger Israelis

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:06 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
3:16 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 8:52 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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Middle East
1:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:34 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.

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