Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is an NPR international correspondent covering South America for NPR. She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Previously, she served a NPR's correspondent based in Israel, reporting on stories happening throughout the Middle East. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage and humanity.

For her work covering the Arab Spring, Garcia-Navarro was awarded a 2011 George Foster Peabody Award, a Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club, and an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Alliance for Women and the Media's Gracie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

Before her assignment to Jerusalem began in 2009, Garcia-Navarro served for more than a year as NPR News' Baghdad Bureau Chief and before that three years as NPR's foreign correspondent in Mexico City, reporting from that region as well as on special assignments abroad.

Garcia-Navarro got her start in journalism as a freelancer with the BBC World Service and Voice of America, reporting from Cuba, Syria, Panama and Europe. She later became a producer for Associated Press Television News before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-Sept. 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. In 2002, she began a two-year reporting stint based in Iraq.

In addition to the Murrow award, Garcia-Navarro was honored with the 2006 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for a two-part series "Migrants' Job Search Empties Mexican Community." She contributed to NPR News reporting on Iraq, which was recognized with a 2005 Peabody Award and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton.

Garcia-Navarro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from Georgetown University and an Master of Arts degree in journalism from City University in London.

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Middle East
12:55 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Medical Marijuana Use Sprouting In Israel

Moshe Rute smokes cannabis at the Hadarim nursing home in Kibutz Naan, Israel. In conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, the Tikkun Olam company is distributing cannabis for medicinal purposes to more than 1,800 people in Israel.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 7:33 am

Israel has become a world leader in the use of medical marijuana. More than 10,000 patients have received government licenses to consume the drug to treat ailments such as cancer and chronic pain.

But while the unorthodox treatment has gained acceptance in Israel, it still has its critics.

Susan Malkah breathes in the cloud of smoke from a plastic inhaler especially formulated for medical marijuana use. She has a number of serious ailments and is confined to a wheelchair.

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World
11:32 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Arab-Jewish Tensions Creep Into 'Peace Village'

A boy walks past spray-painted graffiti that reads in Hebrew, "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge." The vandalism took place earlier this month in the mixed Arab-Jewish community of Neve Shalom in Israel.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:28 pm

The Israeli village of Neve Shalom was founded decades ago as a place where Arabs and Jews could coexist in the volatile Middle East. The area has weathered regional wars and uprisings, but earlier this month, vandals targeted it and spray-painted anti-Arab epithets on the school's walls.

"We discovered first of all that a number of tires had been punctured, and then we noticed the damage at the school, slogans painted on the walls saying 'Death to the Arabs,' " says Howard Shippin, a longtime resident of Neve Shalom village. "Of course it's very disturbing."

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Middle East
4:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Israel Presents Itself As Haven For Gay Community

Israel is now marketing itself internationally as welcoming to the gay community. Participants in the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem are shown here on July 29, 2010.
Ronen Zvulun Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 7:56 am

The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.

"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.

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Middle East
3:51 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

In Change, Palestinians Now Seek High-Profile Visits

Egypt's grand mufti, Ali Gomaa (center, with scarf), visits the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in April. The Dome of the Rock, which is part of the same compound, is shown behind him. Many Muslims have boycotted the site because Israel claims sovereignty. But Palestinian religious figures now say they welcome such visits, a move that has sparked controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 7:46 am

For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.

Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.

But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.

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Middle East
3:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Israel Plans September Vote That Favors Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, May 6. Netanyahu said Monday that the next general elections would be held on Sept. 4, instead of the original schedule of October 2013.
Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 7:26 am

Israel will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 4, a timetable that looks favorable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have been in power for the past three years.

Netanyahu called for the new poll, saying he wanted to renew his mandate and broaden his coalition even though a new election is not required until October 2013.

The current coalition has been the most stable one for years in Israel. But both international and domestic considerations prompted Netanyahu to call for a new vote now.

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Middle East
4:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Israels Weighs Action On A Controversial Settlement

Israelis who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank rally against a demolition order for the outpost of Ulpana on Sunday. Israeli courts have ordered the outpost torn down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is looking to keep it intact.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:05 am

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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Middle East
6:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Israel Sounds Alarm As Iran Engages In Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last weekend's meeting on Iran's controversial nuclear program didn't produce breakthroughs, but the envoys from six world powers and Iran suggested that the talks in Istanbul started a process that could lead to an eventual compromise. But one nation, Israel, was not happy with the results. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Jerusalem.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: While much of the world is relieved that Iran is finally engaged in talks on his suspect nuclear program, Israel is sounding an alarm.

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Middle East
2:19 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'One-State' Idea Gains Support Of Some Palestinians

Palestinian children play next to Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis in 2011. As peace talks between Israel and Palestine remain at a standstill, people are looking to other possible solutions.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 7:43 am

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.

But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."

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Middle East
5:21 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Despite Restrictions, Gaza Finds A Way To Build

A Palestinian youth breaks up stones for construction in Gaza City. Despite restrictions on imports including building material, the area is going through a construction boom.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:07 am

A crowd of onlookers has gathered around the oily black tarmac recently being laid down in a section of downtown Gaza City. Gaza's potholed streets are finally getting a makeover, and infrastructure upgrades like this new road are still a novelty for residents.

The overseer of the project says that before, Gaza couldn't get enough material to fix the road. But now, everyone is building.

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Middle East
11:01 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

In Gaza, Calls For Change Put Hamas At A Crossroads

Palestinian artist Mohammed al-Dairi paints a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (right) and late Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (left), in Gaza City. Hamas leaders are divided on what direction to take the Islamist movement, with some calling for reconciliation with Arafat's Fatah movement.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 9:01 am

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, is a house divided. Its leaders say there are divisions among the ranks as they try to grapple with where to push the movement: toward moderation or a continued commitment to armed resistance against Israel.

Omar Shaban, a Gaza-based political analyst, wonders where Hamas is headed in the next two to three years. He says the changes in the region after the Arab Spring not only shook the world, but they also forced groups like Hamas to reassess where they stand, in terms of old alliances and future direction.

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Middle East
5:04 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Israel: Rocket Shield Is Deflecting Gaza Attacks

The Israeli military says its Iron Dome system has been extremely effective against Palestinian rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip. Here, an Israeli missile is launched Monday near the city of Ashdod in response to a Palestinian rocket.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 7:30 am

In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.

Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.

Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.

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Middle East
2:18 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Christians Provide Free Labor On Jewish Settlements

Evangelical Christians from the U.S. are living and working at Jewish settlements in the West Bank for weeks at a time. The Christians see Jewish expansion in the area as fulfilling biblical prophecy, though the settlements are a contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians. Here volunteers harvest grapes.
Courtesy of Heather Meyers

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 8:09 am

It's wet and windy day in Shilo, a Jewish settlement in the central part of the West Bank that has about 10,000 residents.

In addition to the settlers, there are a few extra people staying in Shilo on this day. They are Christian volunteers from the U.S. who have spent the morning pruning the grape vines. Now, with a winter storm beating down on the hills, the volunteers are stomping with their mud-splattered boots and North Face rain gear.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Marie Colvin Died In Syria While Exposing 'The Horrors Of War'

Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times, at a service for fallen journalists in 2010.
Arthur Edwards WPA pool/Getty Images
(NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro remembers journalist Marie Colvin, who died today in Syria.)

We were exhausted after a long hot day of reporting. Tripoli had just fallen and it was almost sunset. We pulled up to the house of Muatassim Gadhafi, one of Moammar Gadhafi's most feared and loathed sons.

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Middle East
11:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Jews With Ties To Iran And Israel Feel Conflicted

Iranian-born Menashe Amir (shown here in 2006) hosts a call-in show on Israel Radio's Farsi service, one of the few forums for direct discourse between Iranians and Israelis.
Gali Tibbon Getty Images

As tensions between Israel and Iran ratchet up, one community is caught in the middle: Iranian Jews living in Israel. There are some 250,000 people of Persian descent living in Israel, and they maintain strong ties with their homeland.

As a result, they are uniquely conflicted over the possibility of war between the two countries.

In a small cluttered apartment in Jerusalem, Naheet Yacoubi cooks a traditional Persian meal for her Shabbat dinner. Originally from Tehran, she came to Israel when she was a child.

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Israeli Outpost Pits Courts Vs. Government

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:42 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

An illegal Jewish outpost in the occupied West Bank is at the center of a battle over settlements. The collection of trailers and makeshift buildings is called Migron, and the Israeli Supreme Court has said it must be dismantled by the end of March. The Israeli government has tried to come up with a compromise which the settlers have rejected. And the issue even threatens to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Middle East
8:27 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Landslide Win For Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian women show their ink-stained fingers after voting at a polling station earlier this month. According to the election results, less than 2 percent of parliamentarians will be female.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

The final results for Egypt's parliamentary elections are in, and while there are no surprises, the Muslim Brotherhood exceeded expectations by capturing 47 percent of the vote.

The final election results were read out Saturday with little ceremony, but the final tally cemented what most people in Egypt already know: Islamist groups are the new political powerhouse in post-revolutionary Egypt.

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

In Egypt's New Parliament, Women Will Be Scarce

In Egypt's recent parliamentary elections, the first since Hosni Mubarak's ouster and the fairest in the country's history, Islamists won big.

And one group suffered a shocking disappointment — women.

Although the final numbers haven't been announced, it appears there will be only about eight women out of the 508 seats – or less than 2 percent.

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Africa
3:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Egypt's Military Government Quiets Revolutionaries

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 9:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A year has passed since the revolution in Egypt began. Suddenly young people there, like this protestor in Cairo's Tahrir Square, could envision a different future for Egypt.

SAKHI SAHER: So now we're going to witness a new country with new order, with new politeness amongst the people, and no one throwing garbage in the streets. It's going to be a new start, a new beginning.

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Middle East
7:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

How Will The Muslim Brotherhood Govern?

The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?

Middle East
2:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Israel Cracks Down on Radical 'Hilltop Youth'

A Jewish settler wears his prayer shawl as he passes one of the structures demolished at the unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost in Ramat Migron, in the West Bank, on Sept. 5, 2011. Israel's radical Hilltop Youth have built numerous such outposts in recent years.
Abir Sultan EPA/Landov

Israel's Hilltop Youth movement has been active for years, establishing Jewish settlement outposts on barren West Bank hills without bothering to get permission from the Israeli government.

The Hilltop Youth occasionally received attention, usually when they damaged Palestinian property in the West Bank. But now they are in the headlines after a group of Hilltop Youth raided an Israeli military base.

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Middle East
11:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

In Post-Gadhafi Libya, Islamists Start To Rise

One year ago, protesters across the Arab World began to rise up against autocratic rulers, forcing several from power. These revolutions have led to the region's biggest upheaval in decades. It's still not clear how these seismic changes will play out, and so far, the results have been mixed. In a six-part series, NPR is taking a look at where the region stands today. In the second installment, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on how Islamists in Libya, long suppressed during Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule, are now able to operate freely.

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World
11:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Israelis Protest Strict Code Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (l) and a secular man argue during a protest against the strict religious codes favored by the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh.
STRINGER Reuters/Landov

According to Israel's President Shimon Peres, a fight is underway, for "the soul of the nation and the essence of the state." But the threat isn't coming from outside of Israel. It's over differing interpretations of Judaism.

Recently, a bespectacled eight year-old girl was filmed by a local TV station being harassed by ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi Jews, for, in their view, not dressing modestly enough. The episode took place in Beit Shemesh, a city between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that has become a symbol of this growing battle in Israel.

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Middle East
4:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Judaism Strands Could Be Tearing Israel Apart

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (left) and a secular man argue during a protest against the strict religious codes favored by the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh.
Stringer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 1:34 pm

According to Israel's President Shimon Peres, a fight is under way, for "the soul of the nation and the essence of the state." But the threat isn't coming from outside Israel. It's over differing interpretations of Judaism.

Recently, a bespectacled 8-year-old girl was filmed by a local TV station being harassed by ultra-Orthodox Jews for — in their view — not dressing modestly enough. The episode took place in Beit Shemesh, a city between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that has become a symbol of this growing battle in Israel.

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Africa
7:00 am
Sat December 24, 2011

For A Libya In Flux: A Theme Song

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has spent much of this year covering the uprising and civil war in Libya. As she and her Libyan colleagues drove through the streets of Tripoli this week, they often found themselves listening to a legendary American country music song. The lyrics about changing fortunes seemed to ring true for Libya, as she tells us in this reporter's notebook.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: If every conflict has a theme song, then Libya's for me is as unlikely as it is fitting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GAMBLER")

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Africa
3:00 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Libyan Militias Have 1 Day Left To Get Out Of Tripoli

The Libyan government has given armed groups until Tuesday to disarm and depart from the capital. But the deadline is unlikely to be met. It's indicative of the wider problem in Libya where anyone with a uniform and a gun can say they are in charge.

Africa
11:01 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

African Migrants Caught In Brutal Libyan Limbo

A Libyan security guard stands next to African immigrants in the port of Tripoli on Dec. 5, 2011, after authorities foiled their attempt to illegally immigrate to Europe. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans have been stranded or imprisoned in Libya, suspected of being mercenaries for former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 6:02 am

Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are either stranded or imprisoned in Libya in the wake of the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi — and they haven't been having an easy time. Many have been detained and abused, accused of being mercenaries in Gadhafi's army.

On a recent day at the military airport in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, a Libyan fighter lines up 115 Nigerians to be deported.

More than ready to leave, the women and men gather their meager belongings.

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