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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Parallels
5:43 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Amid Tight Restrictions And Rubble, A Cement Shortage In Gaza

A Palestinian worker checks a truck loaded with bags of cement as it crosses into southern Gaza from Israel last year. Israel has restricted cement supplies to only specific projects.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 5:15 pm

Gaza businessman Maher Abu Ghanema wants to rebuild his currency exchange shop in Gaza City, but because for years Israel has restricted cement supplies to only specific projects, it's been slow going.

"I need at least 3 tons of cement," says Ghanema, who after two weeks of effort found 1 ton. "Whatever we got is from the black market, and it costs four or five times higher than the original price. Plus, it's low-quality."

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The Salt
11:09 am
Fri October 3, 2014

The Birth And Afterlife Of Israel's Precious Etrog Fruit

A man picks up an etrog, one of four plant species used during the celebration of Sukkot, in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak in central Israel in September, 2012.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

In a temporary warehouse in Israel's ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, Shaul Kalimi examines etrogs.

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Parallels
3:31 am
Mon September 22, 2014

In The Gaza Strip, The School Year Gets Off To A Rocky Start

Classrooms across Gaza are crowded with as many as 50 or 60 students, principals say, as dozens of school buildings have been destroyed or damaged, or are still housing people who lost their homes.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:22 am

Last week in Gaza, half a million children went back to school after a summer of war. The academic year started late; among other things, authorities had to check buildings for unexploded ordnance and scrub schools that had been used to shelter hundreds of thousands of displaced families.

Among the students returning to class was 16-year-old Wala'a Abdelkas, a sophomore from Gaza's al-Bureij refugee camp.

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Parallels
2:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

As The Gaza Strip Calms Down, The West Bank Heats Up

Ali Faroun, a local Palestinian activist, has fought land appropriations in Israeli courts. He has a collection of maps and deeds that documents Palestinian land rights in the West Bank.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 8:39 pm

From the hilly Israeli settlement of Gva'ot, on a peak in the occupied West Bank, you can see nearby hills that are part of a 1,000-acre parcel of land that Israel this week claimed as state land, an announcement that in the wake of the Gaza cease-fire is reigniting political sparks.

Palestinians say the land should be part of their future state. Israel plans to use it to build more settlements in the West Bank, where there are now more than 350,000 settlers.

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Middle East
4:04 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Business Booms For Gaza Ice Man, Just As Power Fades

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:29 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Middle East
5:03 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Gaza Family Mourns The Loss Of A Son, Brother — And Hamas Militant

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 7:09 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
5:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Israel Expects More Withdrawals; Gaza Residents See Little Change

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:10 pm

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

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Middle East
6:33 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Life In Gaza Deteriorates As Water, Power Shortages Intensify

Palestinian children fill plastic bottles and water containers with drinking water from a public tap in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on July 27.
Ashraf Amra APA/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 1:54 pm

At a U.N.-run school where she was taking shelter from the fighting, Fulla Abed Rabou washed clothes in an outdoor sink.

City pipes deliver some water. But with thousands of people taking refuge at schools, much more has to be trucked in. Still, there is sometimes not enough, says Merit Hietanen, a U.N. employee managing water deliveries to the schools.

"One of the major issues is the tanks in the actual schools: The capacity is not big enough," she says. "So if we're tankering water, even if we manage to do it twice a day, they will run out."

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Middle East
4:08 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

A Market And A School Come Under Fire During A Violent Day In Gaza

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 7:07 pm

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

Middle East
5:30 am
Wed July 30, 2014

After War's Deadliest Day, Another U.N. School In Gaza Gets Hit

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:07 am

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

Middle East
4:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

One Gaza Family Observes A Grim Holiday In Wartime

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 7:31 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Parallels
10:15 am
Mon July 28, 2014

For Muslims In Gaza, End Of Ramadan Marred By Fighting

Members of a Palestinian family break their fast with the iftar meal during the holy month of Ramadan at a United Nations school, where hundreds of families have sought refuge after fleeing their homes following fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:56 pm

Um Ahmed Ahmed almost ignored Eid this year.

The Muslim holiday, which began Monday, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This year, it also marks three weeks since the current war in Gaza started.

"My plans were to have no plans for Eid," Ahmed says, pausing in the Firaz market area on a main street in Gaza City. "But my son kept bugging me, 'Mom, aren't you going to buy me something for Eid?' "

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Middle East
5:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

On The Eve Of Ramadan's End, Fighting Resumes In Gaza

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 6:52 pm

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

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Parallels
4:29 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

The Long History Of The Gaza Tunnels

An Israeli army officer on Friday shows journalists a Palestinian tunnel that runs from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Israel says its current military campaign is aimed at destroying the tunnels.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:06 pm

During the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip, Kareem, a 40-year-old Palestinian, witnessed a Hamas tunnel exposed.

"There is a chicken coop near us," said Kareem, who lives on the eastern edge of Gaza City, bordering on farmland. "We know it's a chicken coop."

But an Israeli attack, which destroyed the chicken house, revealed a tunnel heading east toward Israel, he said.

"We didn't know about it, but we faced a risk because of it," he said.

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Middle East
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Gaza Cease-Fire Still Just Out Of Reach: What Does Each Side Want?

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris is in Gaza, and she speaks to Audie Cornish about both sides' demands.

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

Middle East
4:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Attack On U.N. School Kills Over A Dozen Civilians In Gaza

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

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

NPR Story
6:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Videographer's 'Happy' View Of Gaza Turns Tragic

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 7:39 am

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

Middle East
4:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

In A Crowded Gaza, A Growing Sense That Nowhere Is Safe

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 8:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with developments in Gaza, Israel and Cairo. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Egypt trying to forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

JOHN KERRY: The loss of lives and the humanitarian impact is really heartbreaking. And we're joining our international partners in reiterating our call for an immediate end to the fighting and a return to the cease-fire that was reached in 2012.

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Middle East
4:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Israel Targets Tunnels, But Hits Elsewhere — Including Gaza Hospital

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 6:35 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo today for talks on ending the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian casualties have spiraled. More than 550 people have died in two weeks, mostly civilians according to health officials there. The Israeli military says 25 of its soldiers have been killed since it launched a ground invasion last week. The military says it's targeting tunnels militants use to attack Israel. But today, an Israeli strike hit a hospital in central Gaza, killing people in the intensive care unit.

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Middle East
5:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

In Crowded Gaza, Civilians Have Few Places To Flee

A Palestinian carries a wounded girl in the emergency room of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The city's main hospital is filled with the wounded, and many others have taken refuge on the hospital grounds.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:16 pm

As the Israeli military offensive grew unbearable in her Gaza City neighborhood, Um Rajab Helles fled to the city's main hospital Sunday with her husband and their 12 children even though no one was hurt.

"We didn't sleep all Saturday night," she said. "The kids were screaming and we were screaming. They kept running to the front door trying to leave, and we pulled them back. Around dawn a relative called and said what are you still doing there? We left at 6 a.m."

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