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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Middle East
6:09 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Israelis Broadly Support Military's Operation In Gaza

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:52 pm

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Middle East
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In A Complex Web Of Tunnels, Israel Draws Its Red Line

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

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5:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Kerry Awaits Response From Israel, Hamas On Proposed Cease-Fire

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:14 am

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Middle East
5:30 am
Wed July 23, 2014

As Gaza Fighting Rages, West Bank Palestinians Can Only Watch

Palestinian Imad Abudayyah and his son, Ghassan, speak to relatives in the Gaza Strip via Skype from Ramallah in the West Bank. Israeli restrictions make it extremely difficult to travel between the two territories. West Bank Palestinians have largely been bystanders in the current round of fighting.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 2:31 pm

At least three times a day, Imad Abudayyah, 49, fires up his laptop at the West Bank hotel where he's currently living with his 11-year-old son, Ghassan, to reach out to relatives in the Gaza Strip. Abudayyah says Skype is the only way they can see the family members they have left behind.

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Middle East
5:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Israelis Shaken Over Deaths Of Soldiers

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:30 am

In one Jerusalem suburb, some Israelis wonder whether the ground invasion will achieve the results they are looking for.

Europe
4:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

In Germany, A Case Against Another Alleged American Spy

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 pm

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Parallels
5:14 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Germany's Battle Over What May Be Its Last Lenin Statue

A statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin outside an apartment complex in Schwerin, Germany. Erected in 1985, four years before communism collapsed in East Germany, it's believed to be the last Lenin statue in Germany and the town is divided over whether it should stay. The inscription reads, "Decree on land," referring to a Lenin manifesto that said workers were the real owners of the land.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 2:48 pm

It's easy to miss the controversial bronze statue. It stands in front of a Soviet-style, high-rise apartment in the East German city of Schwerin.

Far removed from the ornate city center, this 13-foot-tall depiction of Vladimir Lenin has him looking relaxed. His hands are tucked in his coat pockets and he's gazing off into the distance.

But an angry message is scrawled in red paint across the sidewalk at his feet. In German, it reads: "LENIN STAYS."

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The Salt
6:12 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Got Leftovers To Share? In Germany, There's A Website For That

Europeans throw away 90 million tons of food each year, including these vegetables pulled from waste bins of an organic supermarket in Berlin. A new German website aims to connect surplus food with people who want it.
Fabrizio Bensch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 10:46 am

Child psychiatrist Vero Buschmann says she was looking for a way to get rid of leftovers without having to throw them away. At the same time, the Berlin resident wanted to meet new people.

She found a nonprofit website in Germany that allows her to do both. On a recent evening, her doorbell rings and she buzzes Franzi Zimmerman in to her fifth-floor apartment.

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Sports
4:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

For German Fans In Berlin Beer Garden, National Pride Is No Problem

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:10 pm

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Of course, today's match drew big crowds in both the United States and Germany. We first go to NPR Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Berlin, who joined scores of Germans at a beer garden to watch the game on three screens outside.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Most Germans are uncomfortable displaying national pride because they are sensitive about their country's notorious history. But they make an exception during World Cup season, and today, thousands of Berliners carried German flags.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD AT BEER GARDEN)

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Europe
5:22 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Chancellor's Tough Talk Against Russia Makes Germans Nervous

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:19 pm

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Europe
7:47 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Ultra-Nationalist Party Surges In Hungary

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

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And the far right is poised to do well in Hungary's EU election tomorrow. Candidates blame the EU for many of that country's problems. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Budapest.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: To many Hungarians, a half-finished World War II monument next to a popular fountain in downtown Budapest highlights the extremist tenor of politics in this former East Bloc country.

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Europe
5:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Ukraine's Oligarchs Still Entwine Business With Politics

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:41 am

The leading candidate in Sunday's presidential election is an oligarch. And the interim government is turning to other oligarchs to help restore calm in some crisis-plagued provinces.

Europe
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Muddles Through Voting On Referendums

Separatists in the eastern Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Luhansk asked voters to take part in an unauthorized referendum Sunday on whether to make their region independent.

Europe
4:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

On Victory Day, Fanfare In Crimea And Turmoil In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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And I'm Robert Siegel. President Vladimir Putin travelled to Crimea today to mark the anniversary of Russia's victory in the Second World War. It was his first time there since the peninsula was annexed by Russia. His visit was criticized by the Ukrainian government and Washington, but Putin told Crimeans that by being together with Russia, they're stronger.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking foreign language)

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Europe
5:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

In Ukraine, Two Men Claim To Be The Leader Of Donetsk

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

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Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine say they are going ahead with an independence referendum on Sunday. The pro-Western government in the capital, Kiev, argues this vote would be illegal. And this all has many Ukrainians worried about what happens next. This next story shows how far apart the two sides are. Two men each claim to be the leader of the region called Donetsk.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports on both.

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Europe
4:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Spurning Putin's Calls For Delay, Ukrainian Separatists Forge Ahead

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:49 pm

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

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And I'm Melissa Block. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists have decided to go ahead with Sunday's referendum on independence. That's despite Russian President Vladimir Putin urging them yesterday to postpone that vote. Here's the self-declared governor in the eastern region of Donetsk earlier today.

VALERY BOLOTOV: (Foreign language spoken)

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Europe
5:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Violent Protests Spread From Eastern Ukraine South To Odessa

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:28 am

Tensions remain high in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine. Violence has led to the worst death toll since February, including more than 30 pro-Russian separatists who died in a building fire.

Europe
4:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Deaths And Downed Helicopters In Eastern Ukraine Offensive

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

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Europe
4:54 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

For Separatists, Ballots Are On Their Way — But Plans Are Still Pending

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:32 pm

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Europe
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Ukraine's Acting President: We've Lost Control Of East

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:18 pm

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Ukraine's interim president says his military forces have lost control of the eastern part of the country. That declaration today came after masked separatists captured government offices in a key provincial capital. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in the city of Donetsk in the east where separatists also wield control.

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