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.

Pages

Parallels
12:20 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews

Children gather outside the El Transito synagogue and Sephardic Museum in Toledo, Spain. Founded in 1357, the synagogue was converted into a church following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Spain is now preparing to pass a law that would allow the descendants of the expelled Jews receive Spanish citizenship.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 3:33 pm

As night fell recently over the Spanish city of Toledo, Hanukkah candles lit up empty streets outside the medieval El Transito synagogue.

Folk songs in Ladino — a blend of Spanish and Hebrew — wafted across the garden of the synagogue, which is now the Sephardic Museum.

Sefarad means Spain in Hebrew and the term refers to Jews of Spanish descent.

Read more
Parallels
5:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 8:56 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

Read more
Parallels
4:28 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

In Gaza, The Specter Of ISIS Proves Useful To Both Sides

The Islamist group Hamas, shown here in a rally in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, is the strongest faction in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not believed to be in the territory, though fliers purporting to be from the group have circulated in Gaza. They are widely believed to be fake, but both Israel and Hamas have tried to use them to their advantage.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:15 pm

Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening fliers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flier, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

Read more
All Tech Considered
9:57 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Gaza Tech Hub Finds Success In International Crowdfunding

Gaza Sky Geeks, a startup accelerator, is drawing interest and crowdfunding from around the region and the world.
Gaza Sky Geeks

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:23 pm

People in Gaza are getting impatient with the slow pace of rebuilding. International donors pledged $5.4 billion to help, but little of the money has made it to Gaza yet.

A Gaza tech startup accelerator has gone a different route — international crowdfunding.

Read more
Parallels
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Just Under The Surface, Palestinian Rivals Remain Bitterly Divided

A Palestinian with a green headband, which identifies him as a Hamas supporters, helps a fellow protester with a black-and-white scarf, the symbol of the Fatah movement. They were both taking part in a demonstration near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 4. The factions agreed to end their feud earlier this year, but many of their supporters remain bitter rivals.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

Three months after the Gaza Strip war between Hamas and Israel, reconstruction of destroyed homes and businesses has hardly started. Part of the problem is the lack of clear Palestinian government authority on the ground.

Read more
Parallels
4:29 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'People Are Going To Rebel': Slow Pace Of Rebuilding Frustrates Gazans

Men load bags of cement from a warehouse in Gaza. Under a complicated system meant to prevent militants from getting cement to use for tunnels, Palestinians must get approval from home inspectors to buy just one sack.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:31 pm

Angry men crowded outside the Beautiful Tower Co. for Trade and Contracting in Gaza City last week. They wanted to pay for cement, but the man at the door would let in only one person at a time.

Everyone pushing for a turn had been authorized through a complicated monitoring system endorsed by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to buy materials to fix war-damaged homes. The system is meant to stop militants from getting cement to use for tunnels and even requires Palestinians to get prior approval from home inspectors to buy a single sack of cement.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:34 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

6 Arrested For Looting Antiquities From Israel's 'Cave Of The Skulls'

An Israeli Antiquities Authority Prevention of Antiquities Robbery officer stands at the opening to a high cave in the Judean desert. Six men were indicted Sunday for looting from this cave.
Israel Antiquities Authority

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:43 am

Israel's Antiquities Authority Sunday announced it had indicted six men accused of stealing antiquities and destroying archaeological sites in the southern Judean Desert — the same desert where the Dead Sea Scrolls — religious texts dating from the third century BC — were found.

The announcement also revealed a connection to the ancient world: They had lice combs, too. The Antiquities Authority released a photo of what it says is a 2000-year-old lice comb captured along with the men.

Read more
World
4:29 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Israel In Political Upheaval — Two Years Ahead Of Schedule

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:34 am

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

Transcript

Read more
Middle East
5:08 am
Tue December 2, 2014

In Israel, A Clash Over What The Nation Is And Who It's For

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:44 am

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

Middle East
5:10 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Jordanians Weigh Risks And Rewards Of Being A Close U.S. Ally

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

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

Middle East
4:23 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Israel Is A Homeland For Jewish People — But Is It A Jewish State?

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 7:12 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
12:05 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

In Response To Attacks, Israel Takes Down Palestinian Homes

After Palestinian Abdel Rahman Shaludi killed two people with a car in an attack last month, Israel destroyed his family's apartment in East Jerusalem by blowing up the front outside and most internal walls. Israel says the aim is deterrence, while the Palestinians call it collective punishment.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 11:28 am

After a spate of deadly violence in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to speed up home demolitions of attackers as a punishment and deterrent.

Read more
Middle East
4:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Tensions In Jerusalem Strain Jordan's Relationship With Israel

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 7:49 pm

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

Middle East
5:05 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Synagogue Attack Fuels Rising Tensions In Jerusalem

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:32 pm

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

Parallels
7:48 am
Sat November 15, 2014

At A Tense Jerusalem Holy Site, Palestinians Stand Watch

Palestinian men shout slogans next to Israeli police as they await permission to enter what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Nobel Sanctuary, on Nov. 5, in Jerusalem, Israel. On Friday, Israel dropped age restrictions on men attending Friday prayers, a move aimed at lowering tensions around access to the contested shrine.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.

Read more
Parallels
5:14 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Israelis And Palestinians Ask: Is Another Uprising On The Way?

Palestinian members of Hamas' armed wing takes part in a rally Thursday in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The event was held in memory of Hamas military commanders killed during seven weeks of fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip this summer.
Abed Rahim Khatib APA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

During the first Palestinian uprising, or intifada, in the late 1980s, Palestinians refused to work in Israeli companies. Many threw stones and firebombs at Israeli troops.

During the second intifada, which erupted in 2000, suicide bombers repeatedly blew up public places in Israel, such as cafes, night clubs and buses.

Israeli Charlotte Slopack-Goller didn't ride the bus for a few years then.

"Now I take the buses without thinking," she says.

Read more
Parallels
4:59 am
Wed November 12, 2014

The Jewish Divide Over Jerusalem's Most Sensitive Holy Site

The gilded Dome of the Rock is part of the most important Muslim holy site in Jerusalem, while the Western Wall, in the midground on the right, is the holiest place for Jewish prayer. The photo was taken following a rare snowstorm in Jerusalem in December 2013.
Dusan Vranic AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:42 pm

Tamir Mizrachi, an Israeli Jew, tries to visit the Temple Mount once a week. The hilltop courtyard is the most sensitive religious site in Jerusalem; holy to Jews, because their ancient temples once stood there, and to Muslims, as a place their Prophet Muhammad visited before a brief ascent to heaven.

"This is the place you can feel the most close to God. I like to feel close to God. So I like to come here," Mizrachi says.

Much of the upsurge of violence in Jerusalem recently is tied to disputes over this shrine, which Muslims refer to as the Noble Sanctuary.

Read more
Parallels
3:08 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Why Jerusalem's Real Estate Market Is Part Of The Mideast Conflict

Israeli police stand near a residence in East Jerusalem where Israeli Jews have bought apartments in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. The Palestinian seller said he sold the apartment to a Palestinian middleman and did not realize the ultimate owner was Jewish.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm

Daniel Luria raps on the tall metal door of a home in Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood, which is predominantly Palestinian. Luria is with the Jewish settler group Ateret Cohanim.

One rap and a small window pops open. Luria identifies himself. Soon the door opens too.

Inside sit armed security guards. Israeli police, on a break from patrolling the neighborhood, are there as well. A large screen shows multiple feeds from security cameras around the building. One Israeli flag flies over the roof. Another hangs from the railing of a small balcony.

Read more
Middle East
4:21 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Tensions Rise In Jerusalem After Second Attack

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:23 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
11:45 am
Sat November 1, 2014

For Palestinians, A Bridge-Building Bus Trip To Israel Turns Sour

Israel's West Bank separation barrier, shown here with the Jewish settlement Maale Adumim in the background, symbolizes the division between two societies that had much more interaction a generation ago.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 1:59 pm

When the Israelis and the Palestinians were trying to make peace back in the 1990s, one of the buzzwords was "normalization," the attempt by both sides to learn to live together.

But in these days of ceaseless friction, normalization has become something of a dirty word, particularly for Palestinians. Nearly 50 Palestinians from the West Bank encountered these bitter sentiments when they went to Israel for an unusual one-day trip last week.

Read more

Pages