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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Africa
2:43 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

In Post-Coup Egypt, Morsi Allies Feel Effects

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Egypt has a new interim president.

ADLY MANSOUR: (Foreign language spoken)

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Middle East
3:15 am
Thu July 4, 2013

President Morsi Supporters Furious, Other Egyptians Jubilant He's Out

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:48 am

Egypt is about to get a new ruler. A caretaker head of state is being ushered into power Thursday following Wednesday's dramatic military coup. President Mohammed Morsi was forced from power just a year after winning the country's first free election. He lost the public's trust amid a failing economy and fears that he was imposing an Islamist agenda.

Africa
2:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Egyptian Military Says It Has Overthrown President Morsi

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHANTING)

SIEGEL: In Egypt, the military, backed by millions of protestors, has ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Celebratory fireworks and laser lights are lighting up the crowd in Tahrir Square. Elsewhere in Cairo, crowds are gathered to demonstrate on behalf of Morsi and, they say, mourn the death of democracy.

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Africa
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Half-Finished Buildings A Symbol Of Forgotten Promise In Egypt

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And not far from Luxor, on the coast of the Red Sea, is another place with great potential to attract tourists. It's called Marsa Alam. It has miles and miles of beautiful coastline, barrier coral reefs and diving spots. The town started to boom after its airport opened in 2001, but now it's an array of half-finished buildings and unfulfilled promises.

As we hear from NPR's Leila Fadel, Marsa Alam is a microcosm of the neglect that has occurred across much of Egypt since the uprising more than two years ago.

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Parallels
1:07 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Libyan Radio Station Promotes Democracy, One Rap At A Time

Libyan presenters work at the studio of Radio Zone in Tripoli, Libya, in 2012. The radio station's owners hope to teach a new generation about democracy.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:52 am

Many of the militia fighters who rose up and ousted former dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 have refused to lay down their arms and are still challenging the post-revolutionary government.

Yet the militias are facing a challenge of their own. They now come under verbal attack on one of Libya's newest radio stations, Radio Zone.

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Africa
3:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Struggles To Live Up To Campaign Promises

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Egypt is settling in for what looks to be a hot and painful summer with power cuts, price hikes and political stagnation. All that could spark renewed protests against President Mohammed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians who believed in the promise of revolutionary reform are frustrated.

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Parallels
12:55 am
Wed May 29, 2013

After The War, A Bitter Feud Remains In Two Libyan Towns

A destroyed home in Tawargha, south of Misrata, on June 5, 2012. Residents have not returned home for fear of death.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:04 pm

Little boys play soccer in the afternoon heat at a makeshift camp near Libya's capital Tripoli. Their homes, or what's left of them, are in Tawargha, a small town about 20 miles from the Mediterranean coast.

The town has been empty since August of 2011. Its residents fled in cars and on foot, under fire from rebel militiamen from the nearby town of Misrata.

The siege of Misrata was one of the bloodiest battles of the Libyan war. Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi shelled Misrata relentlessly, killing hundreds.

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Africa
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Elected Leadership Struggles To Rule In Libya

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

In Libya, guns are still everywhere and the elected leadership is struggling to rule as militias use guns and intimidation when they don't get their way. Most recently they surrounded two ministries and state television to force through a political isolation law that bars former members of Moammar Gaddafi's regime from government posts.

Parallels
1:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

From The Heart Of Egypt's Revolt, The Pulse Of Artistic Life

Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Mostafa Abdel Aty Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.

But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.

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Code Switch
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

How Different Cultures Handle Personal Space

Egyptians wander through a popular market in Cairo.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 10:03 am

Our perspectives on personal space — the distance we keep between the person in front of us at an ATM, the way we subdivide the area of an elevator — are often heavily influenced by the norms of the places we inhabit.

Jerry Seinfeld once focused an episode of his sitcom on the concept of personal space, giving us a new term: the "close talker."

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Middle East
3:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Egyptian Activists: Our Religion Is None Of Your Business

Egyptian Christians gather around four coffins during a funeral service at the Saint Mark Coptic cathedral in Cairo on April 7. Religious violence this month has killed three Muslims and at least six Christians.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 6:17 pm

Since Egypt's revolution began, tensions among Egypt's Muslims and Christians have only increased. Earlier this month, it once again turned deadly. Tit-for-tat killings left three Muslims and at least six Christians dead.

That and other religious violence is prompting a public debate about religious identity in Egypt. One group of young Egyptians wants to remove religious labels from national ID cards.

'Where The Trouble Starts'

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World
1:21 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Egypt's Jon Stewart Says He Won't Back Down Amid Charges

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutor general's office in Cairo on March 31 to face charges of allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:19 pm

It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and Bassem Youssef's show is on TV screens at cafes throughout downtown Cairo.

It's the Egyptian political satirist's first show since he was summoned to the prosecutor general's office to answer questions about the jokes he makes on TV. After the interrogation, he was released on about $2,200 bail.

On this night, the show opens with a joke about Youssef himself.

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Middle East
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

As Egypt Negotiates IMF Loan, Food And Fuel Prices Soar

An Egyptian woman carries a cooking gas canister in Cairo on Tuesday. The government just raised the price of gas as part of an energy package needed to satisfy the conditions of a $4.8 billion IMF loan. Opponents say some of the conditions disproportionately hurt the poor.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:30 pm

Two years after the revolution, Egypt is in a deep economic crisis. It's running out of money to purchase crucial imports like wheat and fuel, both of which are subsidized by the government, and an infusion of cash is desperately needed.

While a delegation from the International Monetary Fund is in Cairo continuing negotiations on a $4.8 billion loan, Egyptians are strained by the rising costs of food — and the gas needed to cook it.

For Mosaad el Dabe, it's a disaster.

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Africa
12:44 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Islamists Say They Are Filling Vacuum Left By Egyptian State

Egyptian men and boys pray at a mosque in Assiut, southern Egypt, that serves as the headquarters for Gamaa al-Islamiya, a group that once waged a bloody insurgency, attacking police and Christians in a campaign to create an Islamic state. Now the Islamist group says it's determined to ensure law and order in the area.
Nariman El-Mofty AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

In the lush Nile Valley city of Assiut, the police went on strike earlier this month, along with thousands of other cops across the country. They demanded the ouster of the minister of interior, and more guns and equipment to deal with anti-government protests.

A group of hard-line Islamists then stunned the city, which is south of Cairo, by promising to handle security during the strike. The next day, the policemen were back at work.

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Africa
1:02 am
Thu March 7, 2013

In Post-Revolution Egypt, Fears Of Police Abuse Deepening

An Egyptian military police officer argues with protesters during a demonstration on June 14, 2012, outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:29 am

Egypt's police force was the underpinning of former President Hosni Mubarak's iron-fisted regime, and it quickly became the enemy of Egypt's 2011 revolution.

Yet there has been little to no reform of the police force to date. Human rights groups say the police have begun to act like armed gangs, laying down collective punishment in restive areas across the country. But the police say they are the victims, under constant attack by anti-government protesters.

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Middle East
3:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Egyptian Women Begin To Speak Out Against Sexual Violence

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 9:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A very different story now, from Egypt. There, sexual violence against women is on the rise. And a warning: Some of what you'll hear in the next few minutes is disturbing, starting with this: Women who show up at protests are in danger of being mobbed by men and gang raped. During the most recent demonstration, one victim was sexually assaulted with a knife, another strangled with her scarf, and another violated in front of her children. As the number of assaults increases, many Egyptian women say they'll no longer be silent.

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Africa
3:44 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Group Of Violent Anarchists Emerges Amid Egypt's Political Turmoil

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

A group of anarchic young men and women in Egypt roam through protests, faces covered, and refuse to speak to media. They bill themselves as armed resistance and have flooded YouTube with videos of themselves making Molotov cocktails and threatening Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The country's prosecutor general designated them a home-grown terrorist group on Tuesday. Seasoned activists who blame the government for the root of the violence over the past five days say the group is counter-productive and their methods hurt the cause.

Middle East
4:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Criticism Against Egypt's Opposition Coalition Grows

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, you can't really have a democracy unless the people in power also have an opposition. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood holds the power.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There is a main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, but its critics say it is slowly becoming a national joke.

INSKEEP: In fact, protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square say the opposition leadership is trying to manipulate popular anger in order to gain power.

NPR's Leila Fadel in Cairo sent us this report.

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Middle East
3:26 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

For The First Time In Decades, Iran's President Visits Egypt

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits an Islamic shrine Tuesday in Cairo. He became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s, the latest sign of the thawing of relations between the rival Muslim nations.

Ahmadinejad received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport with a kiss on each cheek.

Under Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, a visit like this would never have happened.

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Religion
4:09 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Egyptian Cleric's Mission: Spread Salafi Doctrine

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Having overthrown their autocratic leaders, several Arab nations now face the question of how to govern themselves.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of the toughest questions is the role that Islam should play in crafting new laws. Secular or moderate groups hope to leave space for democratic debate rather than clerical rule. That's especially true in Egypt, which has a large Christian minority.

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Africa
3:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Egyptians Grown Weary Of Ongoing Political Clashes

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Egypt today, rival political factions met with the nation's highest religious official. They were searching for ways to end the violence of the past week that has left some 60 people dead. The Sheikh of Al-Azhar secured pledges of non-violence and a commitment to dialogue from Egypt's ruling party and key opposition groups.

As we hear from NPR's Leila Fadel, this news will come as a relief to some Egyptians who are exhausted and frustrated by the turmoil.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

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Africa
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Salafi Rapper Sings About His Identity Crisis

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:22 am

Former Salafi, turned rapper, Omar Kamal left the Salafi fold during Egypt's revolution. He says that when Salafis came out of the dark they showed their hypocrisy. To the rhythm of beat boxing, he uses his lyrics to chronicle his own identity crisis — a crisis that reflects Egypt's struggle to find itself.

Africa
3:33 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Tunisian Veil Ban: Frontline Of Identity War

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The secretary of state made several visits to North Africa where the Arab uprisings began in 2011. Those uprisings widened the political space for religious conservatives.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in the country we'll visit next, people have been arguing over a powerful symbol of ultra-conservative Islam: the face veil.

INSKEEP: Tunisia is not a country where women are compelled to cover their faces or their hair. In fact, an aggressively secular government once discouraged the veil.

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Africa
1:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Africa
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

At Least 40 People Dead In Egypt As Violent Protests Continue

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

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Africa
1:30 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Egypt's Salafis Emerge As Powerful And Controversial Political Force

A protester holds a Quran at a Salafi rally for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah law last fall in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Repressed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, the country's ultra-conservative Salafis have seen a resurgence since the Arab Spring uprising.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis. These ultra-conservative Muslims aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

To their critics, the Salafis are religious fanatics who are trying to drag the region back to 7th-century Arabia. But the Salafis maintain that they are offering the purest alternative to the dictatorships that have long dominated the region.

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Africa
3:20 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Tries To Distract From Second Anniversary Of Egyptian Revolt

On the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on Friday, liberal and secular opposition groups held protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The Muslim Brotherhood did not hold counter-demonstrations this time. Instead, its members did charitable work in poor districts of Cairo and other cities.

The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Sat December 22, 2012

Constitution Vote Seen As Referendum On Egyptian Brotherhood

Egyptians wait in line to vote on a new draft constitution in Giza, south of Cairo, on Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 6:22 am

Update Dec. 23, at 5:30 a.m.:

Egypt's constitution appears to have passed with 64 percent of Egyptians voting "yes," according to preliminary results issued by state-run media. But the document passed under a cloud of controversy as the opposition to the Islamist-backed document cried fraud.

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Africa
3:19 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Is Morsi Morphing Into Authoritarian He Opposed?

Egyptian protesters hold a banner depicting Morsi as a pharaoh, during a rally expressing opposition to Morsi's decrees, in Cairo, on Nov. 23.
Andre Pain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

When Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was elected, some Egyptians jokingly referred to him as the Muslim Brotherhood's "spare tire." He was the backup candidate of the Islamist organization, whose first choice for the presidency was barred from running.

But Morsi has proved much more formidable than many Egyptians believed.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Egypt's Constitution Vote Mired In Controversy

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And in Egypt, a panel of Islamist lawmakers has approved a new draft constitution, but what should have been a welcome step in the country's transition to democracy is instead mired in controversy. NPR's Leila Fadel has our story from Cairo.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT MOHAMMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)

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