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
10:10 am
Thu November 7, 2013

In Libya, The Militias Rule While Government Founders

Militias from towns throughout the country's west parade through Tripoli, Libya, in 2012. Analysts say the country is awash with heavy weapons in the hands of militias divided by tribe, ideology and region. The central government has little power over the gunmen.
Abdel Magid Al Fergany AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

Zintan, a mountain town in northwestern Libya, is a place of gray and brown buildings, with little infrastructure, about 50,000 people and no central government control.

The Libyan government doesn't provide basic services, not even water. People use wells to provide for themselves. The local council runs all of Zintan's affairs out of a building in the center of town.

At the local militia base on the outskirts of town, we meet the keeper of Saif el-Islam Gadhafi, the son and one-time heir apparent of Moammar Gadhafi.

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Middle East
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Trial Of Ousted President Morsi Gets Off To A Hectic Start In Egypt

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

There were chaotic scenes in a Cairo courtroom Monday at the start of the trial of former president Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader who was ousted by the military in July.

Middle East
2:59 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Unrest Erupts In Egypt After Attack On Christian Wedding

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Sunday was supposed to be a day of joy in Egypt at the Church of the Virgin Mary in suburban Cairo. There were four weddings scheduled. But after a drive-by shooting ripped through the celebrations, there were four burials today instead. At least 18 other people were wounded in the attack. It was the latest act of violence in a country experiencing divisions and great crisis. From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Parallels
10:58 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Egypt's Crackdown On Islamists Spreads To Mosques, Charities

A physician collects medical equipment and medicines from the remains of the partially destroyed Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque compound hospital in Cairo on Aug. 15.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Mohammed is a teacher, and for the past 17 years, he has also worked with an Islamic charity in Cairo. But a little more than two weeks ago that charity was shut down.

Security forces raided its office, took everything and began searching for the head of the board of directors because he's connected to the Muslim Brotherhood — the Islamist group of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Mohammed, who asked that only his first name be used, fled.

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Parallels
1:00 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Bound By Blood, Divided By Politics: Three Egyptian Sisters

Egyptian women queue outside a polling station during voting on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of then-President Mohammed Morsi, in Giza, Egypt, last December. In a country divided by a political crisis, families are not spared.
Nasser Nasser AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:44 pm

Nagwa, Dina and May are sisters. All three are married, all three have children. All three had always been close — until now.

Egypt's political crisis is changing those relationships. Nagwa and May sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood. Dina, on the other hand, supports the military, arguing that the generals are just keeping extremists at bay.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Five Soldiers Killed As Violent Protests Continue In Egypt

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to Egypt, where militants carried out a series of attacks against government targets today. Nine people were killed and dozens more were wounded. The incidents follow deadly clashes yesterday and add to concern that the political crisis, sparked by the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, could lead to an insurgency.

NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Middle East
2:55 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Deadly Street Battles Raged Across Egypt

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:23 am

More than 50 people are dead after security forces and Islamist protesters clashed. Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and backers of the military that deposed him poured into the streets and turned on each other. Sunday's death toll was the highest on a single day since Aug. 14 when security forces raided two sit-in protest camps by Morsi supporters, killing hundreds.

Middle East
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

One Nile Valley Town Is A Study In Egypt's Tensions

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To Egypt now where the government crackdown on the now banned Muslim Brotherhood is causing rifts across the country. NPR's Leila Fadel traveled some 70 miles south of Cairo to a city on the banks of the Nile where everyone is on edge.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: The walls in Beni Suef tell the story of the battle that has engulfed Egypt since the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3rd.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORN)

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Middle East
1:56 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Journalists In Egypt Face 'Unprecedented Pressures'

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Music
4:24 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

As Artistic Freedoms Dwindle, A Tunisian Rapper Is On The Run

Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ in an image from his Facebook page.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:45 am

It's the middle of the afternoon when we arrive at the tiny family apartment in a working-class neighborhood of Tunis. Um Ahmed cracks open the door when we arrive, ushers us in and quickly slams the door shut. She then closes a second steel gate, which she had installed after her son, Ahmed, was arrested.

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Parallels
3:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

As The Revolution Fades, Tunisia Begins To Splinter

People gather outside the Constituent Assembly headquarters during a protest to demand the ouster of the Islamist-dominated government, in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 28.
Anis Mili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:35 pm

For Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, what happened this summer in Egypt is a cautionary tale and a constant reminder of the risks it faces as it navigates through its own political crisis.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood easily dominated all post-revolutionary elections, only to be ousted by the military in July. Brotherhood supporters now carry yellow placards, a reminder of the military crackdown, and that same placard now hangs on Ennahda's headquarters in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

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Africa
10:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

In Egypt's Political Turmoil, Middle Ground Is The Loneliest

The protesters who opposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, like these demonstrators in Cario's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8, 2011, have been pushed to the sidelines in the current confrontation.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Egypt is quieter these days. Protests against the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have subsided for now. And the military-appointed interim government is firmly in charge.

Yet, Egypt remains deeply polarized. And the middle is a lonely place to be.

Some of the young revolutionaries who led the 2011 uprising against the regime of Hosni Mubarak feel they are back to square one, battling authoritarian forces on both sides.

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Middle East
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Military Rides Wave Of Public Support In Egypt

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Egypt continues to grapple with fallout from the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July. President Morsi was propelled to electoral power through the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the organization is under intense pressure as security forces arrest its members. Many hundreds have been killed in a security crackdown and a political solution seems all but impossible. And some fear that Egypt is returning to a military state. NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:07 pm

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Since Crackdown In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood's Support Wanes

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
2:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Egyptian Islamists Turn Their Rage Onto Christian Community

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:52 am

Dozens of churches have been attacked across Egypt since the security crackdown on Islamist protesters began last week. Christians worry they are becoming the scapegoat among more extreme Islamists, who blame them for President Morsi's overthrow. Human rights groups are asking why the state isn't doing more to protect the Christian community.

Middle East
5:43 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Despite Bloodshed, Many Egyptians Support Military

A pro-Morsi supporter stands with other demonstrators in Cairo's Abbassiya neighborhood on Friday.
Mohammed Abdel Moneim AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:16 am

Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history this week. More than 600 people were killed, most during a security crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

And it isn't over. Dozens more have died since, some in citizen-on-citizen violence. A standoff is going on at a central Cairo mosque, and the nation is spiraling out of control.

Much of Egypt has little sympathy for Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood or their supporters.

'For The Good Of Egypt'

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Parallels
5:09 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Scene From A Cairo Mosque Turned Morgue

A man walks among shrouded bodies at a Cairo mosque on Thursday. At the El-Iman mosque, more than 200 bodies were being prepared for burial, the victims killed in a crackdown on protesters by Egypt's military-backed government.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:50 pm

After the bloodshed, comes the grief.

A man weeps as he surveys row upon row of corpses. Some are completely burned. "They are all my brothers," he cries.

Nearby, men methodically break apart blocks of ice in two caskets inside this Cairo mosque. They then place them under the bodies to stop them from decomposing.

But still the sickly sweet smell of death hangs in the air.

Volunteers burn incense and spray air freshener to mask it, but that only adds to the stifling atmosphere.

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Africa
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Death Toll Tops 600 In Egypt As Crackdown Continues

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:43 pm

The Egyptian government has authorized security forces to use live ammunition against anyone attacking state institutions. The order came shortly after a mob assault on a government building in Cairo. The capital was relatively quiet early in the day amid funerals for those killed in yesterday's widespread clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The government says more than 500 were killed and nearly four thousand wounded in the bloodiest day since the revolution of 2011.

Middle East
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Egypt Is Under A State Of Emergency

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:24 am

It was perhaps the bloodiest day in Egypt since the uprising in 2011. Security forces on Wednesday launched a major operation to clear supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi from two sit-in camps in Cairo but the violence quickly spread to other parts of the city.

Africa
3:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Death Toll Mounts In Egypt After Violent Clashes

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Egypt is in turmoil today, with ominous implications for the country's future.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNFIRE)

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Africa
2:26 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Does Egypt's Crisis Signal The End Of Political Islam?

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:32 pm

We take a look at what the Muslim Brotherhood's fall from grace means for the future of religion and politics in Egypt. Was it tested, failed and now dead?

Africa
2:45 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Military Signals Impending Crackdown On Morsi Supporters

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. The U.S. has delayed plans to deliver F-16 fighter planes to Egypt. The move is intended to send a message of concern about the Egyptian military's management of the country after ousting the elected president. The news came on the same day that Egypt's military chief, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, called for mass demonstrations.

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Middle East
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Transitions From Rulers To Protesters

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, in cities across Egypt, supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi filled streets and squares. They've been demanding his release from custody and his reinstatement as president. Opponents of Morsi also took to the streets, raising fears of fresh violence. NPR's Leila Fadel paid a visit to the headquarters of the pro-Morsi camp. She sent this report.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Some Worry Egypt Could Become A Repressive Police State

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 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.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Egypt's Polarization Descends Into Personal Relationships

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Ahmed Assem has become the poster child of what Muslim Brotherhood leader's are calling a massacre — last Monday's assault by security forces on angry Islamist protesters. Assem was a photographer who filmed his own death. An army sniper shot him down. The killing has torn Assem's family apart. His brother is a police officer who blames the Brotherhood for the violence, but the family, like Egypt itself, is now deeply divided and unsure what is to come.

Middle East
3:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

With President Morsi Out, Gulf States Open Their Checkbooks

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
3:34 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

For Now At Least, Egypt's Police Are Seen As The Good Guys

A member of Egypt's police special forces stands guard next to an armored vehicle on July 3, protecting a bridge between Cairo's Tahrir Square and Cairo University where Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:15 pm

Egypt has undergone profound change over the past 10 days. The military has overthrown an elected Islamist president and is back in control of the country amid deadly clashes between Islamists and the state security forces.

There's been another change as well: Egypt's police, long reviled by much of the population, have become unlikely heroes for opponents of the now-ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

During Egypt's 2011 uprising, revolutionaries fought pitched street battles with the police force, the protector of the autocratic regime.

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Africa
3:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

At Least 50 Egyptians Killed In Bloody Clash

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:36 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Africa
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Thousands Of Protesters Stage Opposing Rallies In Cairo

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Friday saw a very tense situation in Cairo. Anti-Morsi crowds filled Tahrir Square and pro-Morsi crowds gathered on the Sixth of October bridge. There were skirmishes between the two groups but no major clashes. There was also almost no police presence in the area, except in helicopters flying above the fray. There were also confrontations in Alexandria.

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