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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.

The question of what to do with Adolf Hitler's birth house has plagued his home country of Austria for decades. If it were up to the government in Vienna, authorities would simply tear it down. That's what Germany did more than a quarter-century ago to the Berlin bunker where Hitler committed suicide in 1945. The site is now covered by a parking lot, with a plain plaque providing the only hint of what used to be there. But many Austrians disagree with taking that approach to Hitler's birth...

The audience squirms as the actors put on skull caps and fake beards and shout about how great it is to be a German Muslim. They call for jihad, initially as a way to self-reflect and later, as a battle cry. The actors ask, "How can you sit here in comfort when our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq are being slaughtered? What does your conscience say? Do you even have a conscience?" Inside IS, it's called, is a play for German teens about the so-called Islamic State was featured recently...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: And now to Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in Berlin today that she will run for a fourth term next year. For weeks, her German and European allies have been coaxing her to declare her candidacy. Even President Obama seemed to give her a public nudge during his visit to Berlin last week. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin, the chancellor said she had major reservations about...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now to France, where police are preparing to evict thousands of migrants from a notorious makeshift camp known as The Jungle. It's in the northern French port town of Calais. The eviction had been planned and delayed many times before as officials struggled to determine just what to do with the would-be refugees. But NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that that has changed. She's with us now from Calais. Soraya...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine wrapped up a big meeting in Berlin today. They're trying to revive a peace agreement for Eastern Ukraine. The so-called Minsk Peace Accords were signed early last year, but they've done little to stop the fighting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also had planned to use these talks to take Russian President Vladimir Putin to task over his country's actions in...

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Architecture was one of Adolf Hitler's passions, and he commissioned hundreds of buildings and arenas reminiscent of imperial Rome to inspire and intimidate. It's a legacy Germany has struggled to erase by re-purposing or razing Nazi-era structures. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, for example, was placed in an old SS barracks in Nuremburg, while the German Finance Ministry took over the Nazi aviation building in Berlin. The Berlin bunker where Hitler spent his final days was...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Is it rape when a person has sex with someone who says "no"? It wasn't in Germany until Thursday, when the parliament cast a rare unanimous vote closing what German Justice Minister Heiko Maas described as "blatant loopholes" in his country's sexual assault laws. Previously, before charges could be filed a victim had to show police and prosecutors that she or he tried to physically resist the attacker. If a victim said "no," that alone was not enough. Maas called it a "second, bitter...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Maher Murad recently had a bad sore throat and decided to go see a doctor. But the 19-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker doesn't speak German. And the German physician he went to see at the shelter where he lives, just outside Hamburg, didn't speak Arabic. This kind of language barrier is common, as officials struggle to provide services like medical care to Murad and others. More than a million asylum seekers have poured into Germany over the past 18 months. The newcomers are from around the world...

The most tangible sign of a growing American military presence in Eastern Europe, behind the former Iron Curtain, is tucked inside a former military base in rural Romania. Hidden from view is a U.S. naval facility, where sailors use high-tech radar day and night to watch for incoming ballistic missiles fired at NATO countries. If any are spotted, the Americans would fire back with SM-3 Block IIA missiles. A second such American site will also be built in Eastern Europe over the next two years...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Some of the families whose relatives went missing last Tuesday after the suicide bombings in Brussels still don't know the fate of their loved ones. Belgian volunteers assigned to help those families say with each day that passes, it becomes more difficult for them. They teeter between hope and despair and can't grieve or find closure, says Red Cross psychosocial worker Anne-Claire Henry. "They need answers, but at the moment all they have are questions — 'where is my husband, my wife, my...

Is outer space a man's domain? You might think so in Germany, where the country's 11 astronauts have all been men. They also dominate mission control at the German Space Operations Center, although Katja Leuoth is helping to change that. Five years ago, Leuoth became the center's first female flight director. Recently, a second woman was hired, she says. They and 10 male colleagues run the European portion of the International Space Station 24/7 from the compound in the small Bavarian town of...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: The flood of migrants arriving in Germany has brought an election day backlash. Yesterday, Germans voting in local elections gave the far right populist party, Alternative for Germany, seats in half of the country's state legislatures. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has more from Berlin. SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: It's been 50 years since right-wing populists enjoyed this level of success in Germany, and it...

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Tomorrow's elections in three German states are being watched as an indicator of Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity. Her decision last year to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees could lead to a voter backlash in this weekend's voter. And it could benefit an anti-immigrant political party that's been gaining support. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin. SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: European leaders held a summit with Turkey yesterday. They were all supposed to agree on how to manage their migrant crisis, which continues. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is watching this from Berlin and is here to tell us what really happened. Hi, Soraya. SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve. INSKEEP: So what's the big idea these countries have been discussing? NELSON: Well, it's a real...

Pointing out America's inadequacies is a common tactic in U.S. presidential campaigns, but sometimes the jabs backfire. That happened this week to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders when he took on Internet speeds in the U.S. His observation Wednesday drew a flurry of annoyed responses on both sides of the Atlantic. Many Romanians rejected what they viewed as an implication their country — one of the poorest in the European Union — did not deserve having better internet than the United...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: We've been spending some time this morning listening to people who are following the U.S. presidential election from afar, from other countries. And let's go now to Germany, where there is more interest than usual, especially in one leading candidate with German roots. Here's NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: The presidential candidate Germans want to talk about is Donald...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: The country that has opened its arms to so many of the migrants flowing into Europe is becoming noticeably less welcoming. Germany packed onto a plane last week Afghans it judged to be economic migrants and sent them back to Kabul. Germany's Parliament has also passed new laws making deportation easier. And one thing that didn't help, the German government admitted it did not know the whereabouts of 130,000 of...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: British Prime Minister David Cameron says a deal he made last night with other European leaders in Brussels will protect the U.K. from being taken over by Europe's ever-closer union. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, the British leader still has to persuade his cabinet, the parliament and British voters that the new agreement is enough reason for them to stay in the EU. SORAYA SARHADDI...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: European leaders have reached a deal to help keep Britain in the 28-member European Union. The agreement follows a series of meetings between British Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has been monitoring the summit from Berlin and joins us now. And Soraya, first, tell us about this deal. SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Well, it's interesting because I think it's...

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