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
10:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Israeli Homes, Decorated With A Shopping Spree In China

Adi Asulin stands in the kitchen of her family's remodeled apartment north of Tel Aviv. She saved thousands of dollars by flying to China to buy furnishings and flooring directly from manufacturers.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:01 am

Adi Asulin lives in a fabulous apartment on the top floor of a seven-story building in the Israeli town of Ra'anana, north of Tel Aviv. The entry hall is long and light. Windows open onto an enormous balcony, which wraps around three sides of her home. The decor is fresh and white.

"It's all made in China," Asulin says.

Not just made in China. Nearly everything — the floors, the lighting, the furniture — she bought in China on a 10-day shopping spree.

The day after Asulin and her husband got keys to the place, she got on a plane to Guangzhou, in southern China.

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Parallels
3:43 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 3:15 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
9:09 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
1:31 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 7:22 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
12:20 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 6:39 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
3:03 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 5:09 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
4:33 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 11:54 am

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
2:00 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 5:07 pm

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

Middle East
3:30 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 6:07 am

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

Middle East
2:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

One Gaza Family Observes A Grim Holiday In Wartime

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:31 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Parallels
8:15 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 4:56 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
3:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 4:52 pm

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

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Parallels
2:29 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 1:06 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
2:45 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 5:40 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
2:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:22 pm

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

Middle East
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 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
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Israel Targets Tunnels, But Hits Elsewhere — Including Gaza Hospital

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:35 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
8:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Gaza Evacuees Crowd Into Schools Remade As Shelters

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel today, more rockets, after the Israeli government announced it was expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians continue to flee their homes. Early this morning, some, still wearing their pajamas, left in haste to take shelter in local schools. Those schools are already packed beyond capacity. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the increasingly dire situation.

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Parallels
3:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Inside Gaza And Under Israeli Fire, A Family Tries To Stay Safe

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City on Friday.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

The beginning of Israel's ground invasion Thursday night was loud. Explosions lit up the sky to the north and east and boomed throughout the Gaza Strip.

But Friday started pretty quietly for Rashad Abu Tawila.

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Parallels
4:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Violence In Gaza, Through The Lens Of One Family's Losses

Iman el-Kaas' 33-year-old husband, Anas, was killed last week by an Israeli attack that hit their apartment in the Gaza Strip. She says her husband, a pharmacist, had no ties to Hamas. He is among the nearly 200 killed so far in the current conflict.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:16 pm

Cloaked in black from head to toe, Iman el-Kaas cries in her mother's home in the Gaza Strip. Iman is in mourning.

Her husband, Anas el-Kaas, was killed by an Israeli attack that hit their apartment in Gaza early Friday morning. He was 33 years old, a pharmacist with two young children. They had just moved in a few months ago.

"I thought that apartment was gift, but it was the place he would be killed," Iman says. "Why? Why did they kill him?"

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Middle East
12:14 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Palestinians Seek Shelter At Supply-Strapped U.N. Schools

Palestinian families travel to a United Nations school to seek shelter after evacuating their homes near the Israel-Gaza border Sunday. Israel has been warning residents to leave.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Residents in Northern Gaza have been fleeing their homes in anticipation of a new Israeli assault, as the exchange of Hamas rockets and Israeli airstrikes enters its sixth day. A brief ground action conducted by Israel Sunday morning came as Israel warns that a larger campaign may be coming.

But United Nations schools in Gaza, which expect to shelter tens of thousands of Palestinians, say they're short on resources to help provide for the evacuees.

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Middle East
2:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

By Laying Waste To Houses, Israeli Strikes May Lay Seeds For New Rage

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Israeli air strikes on houses in the Gaza Strip have killed families and flattened the homes of neighbors, even as they target Hamas militants. One Palestinian human rights advocate says that, with these attacks, Israel is destroying a safe future for itself.

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

Middle East
2:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Deaths Mount Into The Dozens As Gaza Strip Bombardment Builds

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
1:07 am
Thu July 3, 2014

With Dirt And A Vision, Palestinian Architects Break The Mold

ShamsArd, a Palestinian architecture firm, uses packed earth to construct its environmentally friendly homes.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:31 am

The city of Jericho sits in the hot, flat Jordan Valley down the hill from Jerusalem. Jericho has bragging rights as one of the oldest towns on Earth. But one of its newest homes looks like it might have arrived from outer space.

Ahmad Daoud hired a firm of young Palestinian architects to build this house. Like Jericho's original homes, it is built of dirt. This one has a contemporary twist, though: It's constructed with earth compacted in bags that are then stacked and plastered over.

Daoud loves the domed rooms, the nod to the past and the environmental advantages.

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Middle East
4:52 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Israeli Military Responds After 3 Missing Teens Found Dead

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:24 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Three Israeli teenagers are being buried side-by-side today. They were kidnapped almost three weeks ago while hitchhiking in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and it now appears they were shot and killed almost immediately. Israeli soldiers found their bodies yesterday under a pile of rocks in a West Bank field. Israel blames the Palestinian militant group Hamas for the murders. NPR's Emily Harris is based in Jerusalem, but she's spending sometime in Washington right now, so she joins us in our studios. Emily, good morning.

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Parallels
3:19 am
Sat June 21, 2014

In Search For Missing Teens, Israel Cracks Down On Hamas

Israeli soldiers patrol in the West Bank village of Beit Furik, near Nablus, on Friday. They are searching for three missing Israeli teenagers believed kidnapped. Israel has detained more than 300 Palestinians in the search over the past week; the military says a majority of them are connected to Hamas.
Jaafar Ashtiyeh AFP/Getty Images

In the week since Israel's search to find three teenagers began, operation "Bring Back Our Brothers" has expanded to include a crackdown on Hamas and other suspected militants.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Brimming With Extras, Palestinian Government Feels Unity Pains

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

What do you do with an extra 40,000 employees? That's a problem, right now, for the Palestinian Authority. A deal ending the long split between two Palestinian factions means that they are now forming a government together - Fatah and Hamas under the same roof. The thing is, each faction has its own workers who are supposed to perform the same jobs. NPR's Emily Harris went to Gaza and met two men, local cops whose jobs are now at stake.

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Middle East
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Teens Disappear In The West Bank, And Israel Blames Hamas

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
5:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

U.S. To Work With Palestinian Unity Government Despite Hamas

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Let's examine now what has changed in the Middle East. Palestinians went ahead yesterday with a plan to form a unity government. It includes Fatah, the party that recognizes Israel, and Hamas which does not. The United States says it will work with that unity government. In a moment, we'll ask Israel's ambassador to the U.S. what Israel will do. We begin with NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem.

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Middle East
2:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Palestinian Split Shows Signs Of Healing, But Israelis Aren't Pleased

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:50 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the cabinet for a unity government joining his Fatah party with Hamas. It resolves a 7-year-old split but also draws condemnation from Israeli leaders.

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