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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Cities Project
3:04 am
Thu October 9, 2014

In Berlin, Remaking The City Can Rekindle Old Frictions

The broadcast tower at Alexanderplatz looms over the city center. A crossing point of tourists, commuters, shoppers, lovers, artists and bums, Alexanderplatz was rebuilt by the communist authorities of former East Germany in the 1960s. Today, it's a popular gathering place in the reunified city.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 10:54 pm

Berlin is an on-again, off-again capital with a darker history than most cities in Europe.

It served as the epicenter of Hitler's Third Reich and was nearly wiped off the map at the end of the last World War. Berlin was also the flashpoint of the Cold War between the United States and Russia. Their conflict split the city into two, leaving residents on either side cut off from each other in every way imaginable for a generation.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Germany Red-Faced Over Military Equipment Failures

A Sea Lynx helicopter is pictured on a frigate in Eckernfoerde, Germany, in 2010.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Germany's defense minister warns that her country currently can't meet its long-term NATO commitments because of a widespread grounding of German military planes and helicopters.

"At the moment, we are below the target numbers announced a year ago on airborne systems we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in cases of emergency," Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag over the weekend. "The reason is the delays in getting replacement parts" for planes and a recent grounding of German navy helicopters.

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Parallels
3:29 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Germany's New Economy Minister Takes Aim At Arms Exports

Germany is the world's third-largest exporter of arms, like this bazooka destined for northern Iraq, being packed up at a German military base on Thursday. The country's economy minister has held up hundreds of weapons exports since he took office in December, angering many in the defense industry.
Carsten Koall Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Germany is the world's third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country's minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.

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Europe
4:52 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Thousands Gather In Germany To Rally Against Anti-Semitism

People with Israeli flags and banners attend a rally against anti-Semitism near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:53 pm

In Berlin, thousands of people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday to demonstrate against a wave of harassment and attacks against Jews in Germany. Many blame the rising anti-Semitism there and across Europe on tensions over the Gaza conflict.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the Berlin rally, said there is no place for anti-Semitism in Germany, particularly because of its Nazi past, and that fighting it is every German citizen's duty.

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Europe
6:46 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Ukraine Announces Cease-Fire With Russia

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 8:22 am

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

Europe
4:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Residents Join Soldiers In Shoring Up Defenses Of Key Ukrainian Port

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Europe
5:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Kiev Claims Russia Has Sights Set On New Eastern Ukrainian City

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to open a new front in the war between the government and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its troops are involved in heavy fighting with an armored force that it says entered Ukrainian territory. Kiev has also released video of what it says is a group of captured Russian soldiers. Russia says the soldiers might have crossed the border inadvertently.

Europe
4:06 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Russian Convoy Crosses Ukrainian Border, Prompting Outcry From West

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 8:09 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED - I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Europe
4:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Siege Deepens In Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm

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

Europe
5:07 am
Thu August 21, 2014

As Ukraine Presses Military Offensive, The Facts Are Fuzzy

Ukrainian soldiers muster at a point close to Luhansk in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, as Ukrainian troops make a push into rebel-held territory.
Petro Zadorozhnyy AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:17 pm

The Ukrainian government claims its armed forces have recaptured a large part of the eastern city of Luhansk following fierce battles Wednesday with pro-Russian separatist fighters.

This is part of a broader campaign by the Ukrainians that has been marked by a number of successes recently. But as is often the case here, it's impossible to independently verify what either side says. Both the military and the rebels prevent reporters from getting near embattled areas, and in many places like Luhansk, phones and Internet are not working.

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