Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is NPR's international correspondent based in Cairo.

Before joining NPR, she covered the Middle East for The Washington Post. In her role as Cairo Bureau Chief she reported on a wave of revolts and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria.

Prior to her position as Cairo Bureau Chief for the Post, she covered the Iraq war for nearly five years with Knight Ridder, McClatchy Newspapers and later the Washington Post. Her foreign coverage of the devastating human toll of the Iraq war earned her the George. R. Polk award in 2007.

Leila Fadel is a Lebanese-American journalist who speaks conversational Arabic and was raised in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

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Parallels
11:14 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Barrel Bomb Attacks Devastate Iraqi Families

Smoke rises from buildings in May after shelling on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which is currently held by anti-government fighters. Rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs.
Sadam el-Mehmedy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:44 am

Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.

Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.

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Parallels
3:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Common Ground Between Iraq's Rebels May Be Crumbling

People walk by a damaged police station in Mosul on July 15. The militants of the Islamic State are in control of the key city and have acted against former members of Saddam Hussein's regime who helped them drive out the Iraqi army last month.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Abu Wissam speaks to us by phone from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. He asks us to use his nickname to protect him, his family and his missing father before he recounts his father's kidnapping.

The men came on evening of July 3, just before Abu Wissam's family was preparing to break their day-long fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

"There were seven of them and before I knew it they were in our kitchen," he says.

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Iraq
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Life Under 'The Islamic State': Order In The Shadow Of Terror

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
3:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

After An Ultimatum, Christians Flee Iraqi City

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 6:30 am

For the first time since the first century, there are basically no Christians left in the historic Iraqi city of Mosul.

Iraq
10:12 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Extremists Leave A Violent Message In A Small Iraqi Town

Thousands of Iraqis fleeing Sunni extremists fled to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where they lined up here on June 12 at a checkpoint before entering.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:34 pm

A small Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad put up a fight when Sunni Muslim extremists from the so-called Islamic State tried to impose their rule on the town.

The residents lost, and now the town, Zowiya, just outside of Tikrit, is destroyed. More than 200 of its homes have been blown up, and the residents have fled.

The Islamic State leveled the town as a warning to anybody else that dares to fight them.

"My town is gone," says Abu Saad, a businessman in his sixties. "They bombed all our houses. Everything we have is gone."

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Iraq
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Few New Faces Aren't Likely To Satisfy Iraqi Government's Critics

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
4:09 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Gas In Egypt Is 78 Percent More Expensive Now Than Last Week

Egyptians gather at a petrol station in Cairo as the government drastically raised fuel prices to tackle a bloated subsidy system on July 5.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:51 pm

It's 2 p.m. on a hot day in Cairo and cars are lined up for blocks at this gas station in the east of the capital. People are waiting to fill their cars with the cheapest gas available — which is 78 percent more expensive than it was last week.

Ali Fayoumi yells from his window.

"I've been waiting for an hour and a half," he fumes. "Even the cheapest gas is too expensive. Everything is expensive, food, drink, everything."

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Africa
2:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

On The Shores Of Tripoli, A Beach Party Libyans Need

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 4:27 pm

The beach bums of Tripoli say that no matter who's in charge of Libya, they'll still be at the beach. Faisal Ali Kabir was here the night that former dictator Moammar Ghadafi was ousted, and Kabir remains, renting equipment to tourists, even as things around him change. NPR's Leila Fadel sends this postcard from Tripoli.

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Parallels
3:10 am
Sat June 28, 2014

A Rogue Libyan General Tries To Impose Order With An Iron Fist

Libya's Gen. Khalifa Hifter speaks at a news conference in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi, on May 31. Hifter, a former military officer in Moammar Gadhafi's army, has has launched a self-declared campaign against Muslim extremists. This has won him both supporters and enemies.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 10:43 am

No one is safe in Libya these days. Judges, activists, human rights defenders and former officers in Moammar's Gadhafi's army are being silenced with bullets and knives.

There are no formal security forces, weapons remain unsecured and the economy is foundering because rebels seized oil ports in the east.

For all these reasons, a rogue general with a checkered past has found support in large swaths of the country as he vows to fight what he calls terrorist groups.

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Africa
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Remembering Salwa Bugaighis, The Libyan Advocate Who Took On Ghadafi

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Now, sobering news out of Libya - a prominent rights activist was shot and stabbed to death in her home last night. Salwa Bugaighis was a lawyer from Benghazi who had opposed former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Today, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice issued a statement lauding her courage and leadership. NPR's Leila Fadel had visited Bugaighis just recently, and has this report.

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Middle East
2:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Guilty Verdicts Claim 3 More Reporters, As Egyptian Courts Roll On

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's a case that's drawn international condemnation. Today, an Egyptian court sentenced two journalists to seven years in jail, and a third to 10 years. They all work for the Al Jazeera English news network and were convicted of being or aiding terrorists and tarnishing Egypt's image. No evidence of their alleged crimes were present - was presented in court. NPR's Leila Fadel has more.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Arabic spoken).

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Middle East
3:22 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences Al Jazeera Reporters To Prison

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:11 am

Two journalists in Cairo got seven years in prison and third received 10 years. Egypt's government accused them of helping the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Parallels
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Saddam's Ex-Officer: We've Played Key Role In Helping Militants

Kurdish peshmerga forces look at a checkpoint held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Iraq's second city, Mosul, on Monday.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 1:00 pm

As they steamrolled across northern Iraq, Sunni militants had important help from an old power in the country — former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and his army.

One retired air force colonel said he is a member of a newly formed military council overseeing Mosul, the large city captured last week by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and its allies from Sunni Arab armed factions.

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Iraq
3:18 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Sunni Insurgency Threatens To Plunge Iraq Into Sectarian War

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

Islamist Sunni militants reportedly control most of Iraq's largest oil refinery, as they vow to push on to Baghdad. Meanwhile, there is a growing call for Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to step down.

Iraq
3:08 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq's Dwindling Christians Wonder If It's Time To Leave Iraq

Iraqis attend Mass at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in al-Qoush on June 15. Both Christians and Muslims fleeing the ISIS takeover of Mosul in northern Iraq have taken refuge in al-Qoush, an ancient Christian village.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:42 am

About 20 miles outside the embattled northern Iraqi city of Mosul lies the Christian village of Al-Qoush. It's taken in about 2,000 residents from Mosul who fled after the militant Islamist group ISIS captured that city.

In recent days, news coverage from Iraq has focused largely on the Sunni-Shiite divide in that country. But Iraq is also home to a Christian community, which traces its origins in the earliest days of Christianity.

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Iraq
3:59 am
Tue June 17, 2014

For Fleeing Iraqis, Kurdish Areas Are The Safe Zone

Families arrive at a checkpoint next to a temporary displacement camp on Friday in Kalak, in northern Iraq. Thousands of people have fled Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, after it was overrun by Sunni militants.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:22 pm

At a checkpoint to enter the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, families wait for their cars to be searched and for permission to enter. Inside this region, they believe they will be safe.

But these people who flee to Kurdish cities have the money to stay in hotels or rented apartments or have family to shelter them.

The less fortunate stay behind in a small camp near the checkpoint. It's one of four the Kurdish Regional Government is setting up.

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Iraq
2:07 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Calm Or Violent Chaos, Life Under ISIS Depends On The City

Demonstrators chant in support of the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as they wave the group's flag in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, on Monday, after the Sunni militants captured Tal Afar, another northern Iraqi town.
STR AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:20 pm

People in northern Iraq are getting their first taste of life under ISIS — the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that captured the large Iraqi city of Mosul last week with shocking speed.

The Sunni extremist group holds much of the mainly Sunni areas of northern and western Iraq.

Over the weekend it launched a bloody takeover of Tal Afar, an ethnically and religiously mixed Iraqi city near the Syrian border.

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Iraq
4:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

In Iraq, Conflict Involving Sunni Militant Group Escalates

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:56 am

A Sunni militant group has captured swaths of Iraq including Mosul and the province surrounding it. Late Sunday, there were reports that the group had also seized Tal Afar.

Middle East
3:25 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Video Of Mob-Fueled Sexual Assaults Outrages Egyptians

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:48 am

Egypt's chief prosecutor has ordered three men arrested in connection with the assaults in Tahrir Square over the weekend to be put on trial immediately. Graphic video has been made public.

Africa
2:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

One Week A Prime Minister: The Short Story Of Libya's Former Leader

New Libyan Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteg meets with his ministers for the first time, on June 2 in Tripoli. A week later, he was out of office.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 8:46 pm

In Libya, you never know from one week to the next who's going to be prime minister. And when I met with the man in the job last week, it was clear no one is really in charge.

Ahmed Maiteg had only been prime minister a couple of days. He took office under the apparent protection of a militia that supports him, even as another man still claimed the job.

Maiteg, a 41-year-old businessman, was so new in the building that his staff was getting lost.

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Africa
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Upheaval In Libya Makes New Prime Minister's Job A Challenge

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

ELISE HU, BYLINE: A contest between two great powers happening quietly inside lines and lines of code. Elise Hu, NPR News. >>INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Africa
4:08 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Political Chaos Reigns 3 Years After Moammar Gadhafi's Ouster

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:16 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We are reminded this morning of how difficult the transitions have been in the countries of the Arab Spring. Egypt has had a coup. Serious bloody civil war carries on. And in Libya, two men now claim to be the rightful prime minister. One is a businessman elected by parliament earlier this month with the backing of Islamists.

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Parallels
12:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

No Surprise Here: Sisi Rolls To Victory In Egypt's Election

Less than a year after a coup, Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has won the country's presidential election with more than 90 percent of the vote. Election monitors widely criticized the way the election campaign was handled.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 3:58 am

It was never in doubt, but now it's official. Ex-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be Egypt's president after nearly a year of being the nation's de facto leader.

He won by a landslide with more than 93 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary results. His victory was so sweeping that his lone opponent, Hamdeen Sabbahy, came in third with just 3 percent of the vote. People who voided their ballots in protest outnumbered those who voted for Sabbahy.

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Egyptian Media Encourages Voters To Get To Polls — Or Else

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Egyptian authorities added a third day of voting tomorrow in the country's presidential election. Backers of candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are worried about underwhelming voter turnout. Sisi is the former military chief who led the popular coup against Egypt's last elected president. Sisi is almost certain to win, but his legitimacy could rely on turnout. NPR's Leila Fadel reports.

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Middle East
4:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Egypt's Presidential Voting Comes During Crackdown On Dissent

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:57 am

Egyptians are at the polls again Tuesday for the final day of the presidential elections. And the outcome seems pretty predictable, ex-military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be the next president.

Middle East
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Voting Begins For Egypt's Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is expected to emerge victorious from Egypt's two-day polling, which began Monday. But the country remains divided.

Middle East
3:06 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Egyptians Vote Monday And Tuesday For Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Middle East
4:45 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Egypt's Ex-Military Chief Right For Presidency, Female Voter Says

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:48 am

Egyptians elect a new president next week. There are two candidates, and the man nearly certain to win is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was the head of the military until he resigned to run for president.

Middle East
2:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Hopes Dim For Turkish Miners, But Rescuers Carry On

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 10:34 pm

Hope is fading that any more mine workers will be rescued from a mine in western Turkey, where over 280 miners died after an explosion. NPR's Leila Fadel has been at the mine and offers more details.

News
2:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

On Second Day Of Mass Trial, Egyptian Judge Sentences 683 To Death

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Today brought another shocking sentence from an Egyptian court. A judge issued death sentences for nearly 700 people accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement. They were charged with committing violence during unrest last summer. This is from the same judge who outraged rights groups last month by sentencing more than 500 people to death. Today, he commuted all but 37 of those cases to life in prison.

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