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.

Pages

Europe
4:23 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

U.S. Army Veterans, Survivors To Mark 70th Anniversary Of Dachau Liberation

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 7:05 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
4:50 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Plagued By Smog, Krakow Struggles To Break Its Coal-Burning Habit

Poland's second-largest city is also a major tourist destination. Krakow (seen here at night from the Krakus Mound) is suffering some of the worst air pollution in Europe.
Arek Olek Flickr

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 11:54 am

Krakow is one of Europe's top tourist destinations and attracts millions of visitors each year to soak up its history, culture and architecture. But its appeal wanes during colder months when another prominent feature of the Polish city is on display: air pollution.

Environmental officials say Krakow's air is among the most polluted in Poland, which in turn, has the most polluted air in the European Union.

And what's the source of the smog hanging over the city during colder months? It's not Polish industry, but rather residents who burn coal to keep warm.

Read more
Afghanistan
5:00 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Ascent Of Afghan Women

Sandra Calligaro for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:47 pm

Zahra Karimi Nooristani, 18, cautiously works her way down a rock face high above Kabul as her coach, Farhad Jamshid, guides her.

It is hazardous for his top female student to be rappelling here, not only because of the steep drop, but because she is using a frayed, 9-year-old rope handed down from the men's mountaineering team.

Another danger she faces is the prospect of her neighbors finding out she's climbing at all.

Read more
Europe
12:40 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Germanwings Disaster Marks First Crash For The Budget Airliner

The airline operating the plane that crashed in the French Alps says the plane had been inspected and found safe Monday. Officials in the German town that lost 16 schoolchildren in the disaster say there will be no classes tomorrow, but children will be welcomed for counseling.

Read more
Muslim Identity In Europe
12:09 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Germans Open Their Homes To Refugee Roommates

Berlin residents Mareike Geiling (left) and her boyfriend, Jonas Kakoschke, speak with their roommate, a Muslim refugee from Mali. Geiling and Kokoschke helped launch a website that matches Germans willing to share their homes with new arrivals.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 9:47 pm

Asylum-seekers are flooding into Germany in record numbers, with more than 200,000 applying for that status last year, many from Muslim countries, according to the government.

Read more
Parallels
4:35 am
Sat February 28, 2015

A German Muslim Asks His Compatriots: 'What Do You Want To Know?'

Earlier this month, Dr. Sadiqu al-Mousllie, accompanied by his family and a few members of their mosque, stood in downtown Braunschweig, Germany, and held up signs that read: "I am a Moslem. What would you like to know?" in an effort to promote dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Courtesy of Sarah Mousllie

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:27 pm

Sadiqu al-Mousllie sees humor as a good way to fight growing anti-Islam sentiment in Germany.

He lives in Braunschweig, in western Germany. Earlier this month, he decided to go downtown and hold up a sign that read, "I am a Moslem. What would you like to know?"

"This is a bridge of communication," the Syrian-born German says. "Some people dared to ask, some others not, so we went to them and give them some chocolate and a say of our prophet to know what Muslims are thinking about."

Mousllie, 44, says he hopes to do it every other week.

Read more
Europe
8:01 am
Sun February 8, 2015

Merkel's U.S. Visit Could Turn Testy

Originally published on Sun February 8, 2015 11:41 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
3:56 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

A Holocaust Survivor, Spared From Gas Chamber By Twist Of Fate

Jack Mandelbaum, a Holocaust survivor from the Polish city of Gdynia, poses in front of a photograph showing him as a youth.
Tobias Schwarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Seventy years ago, Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz, the most notorious of Nazi concentration camps.

Some 300 Holocaust survivors were at Auschwitz on Tuesday, along with several European presidents and other government officials, to honor at least 1.1 million people who were murdered, 1 million of whom were Jewish.

Among those killed there were Jack Mandelbaum's mother and brother. The Polish-born Mandelbaum survived, spared at the last minute by an officer of the dreaded SS who yanked the teen away from his family and sent him instead to a forced labor camp.

Read more
Europe
4:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Police, Counter-Demonstrators Dampen Anti-Islam March In Leipzig

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
5:33 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

A German Plan: House Refugees In An Old Concentration Camp

The warden's barracks at a satellite camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Schwerte, Germany, on Jan. 13. According to media reports, the city has proposed housing around 20 refugees in buildings at the camp. The move has drawn protests in Germany.
Bernd Thissen DPA/Landov

A housing shortage for asylum seekers in Germany has led one city to propose a controversial solution that would place 21 refugees in a barracks on the grounds of a Nazi-era concentration camp.

Carsten Morgenthal, who is a spokesman for the city of Schwerte in North Rhine Westphalia, tells the Westdeutsche Allgemeine newspaper it isn't the first time this would be done.

Two decades ago, Schwerte officials also placed refugees at what was once a forced labor branch of the notorious Buchenwald camp during World War II.

Read more

Pages