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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Middle East
3:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In Egypt yesterday, a criminal court sentenced 529 people to death over the killing of a police officer. The verdict has been described as unprecedented and humanitarian critics say the two-day trial that preceded it was a sham. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel from Cairo.

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Middle East
2:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

A View On The Torture And Terror Of Egyptian Prisons

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Egypt, the prisons are overcrowded. Prisoners sleep back-to-back in packed cells as the military-led government rounds up its suspected opponents. First, Islamists were being detained, accused of terrorism, then secular activists, and now many others, as neighbors inform on one another. The Egyptian government makes no apologies for the arrests and denies accusations of torture. NPR's Leila Fadel reports on the dire conditions for those caught up in the crackdown.

FADI SAMIR: (Foreign language spoken)

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Parallels
1:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

In Egypt, A New Courtroom Drama Every Day

Australian journalist Peter Greste (center) of Al Jazeera and his colleagues stand inside the defendants' cage during their trial for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood at Cairo's Tora prison on Mar. 5.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

Not one but two ousted presidents are on trial. In cages. As are a group of journalists from the Al Jazeera satellite channel. Then there are the countless activists facing charges that are widely seen as politically motivated.

If you like courtroom dramas, Egypt is the place to be these days. And while there's no shortage of high-profile trials, analysts say one thing hasn't changed in the three tumultuous years since the overthrow of the autocratic Hosni Mubarak: There's still no guarantee of a fair trial for the accused.

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Africa
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Impatient With Change, Libyans Begin To Leave

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Three years ago, Libyans began a revolution that toppled the regime of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi. Today, their country still teeters between chaos and the emergence of a new state. Crime, violence and power outages are part of daily life in Libya. But many Libyans had had enough. And those with the money and contacts are getting out.

NPR's Leila Fadel talks to a businessman, a musician, and an activist about whether to stay or go.

NASER RAYES: (Foreign language spoken)

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Africa
1:36 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Outmanned And Outgunned, Libya Struggles To Fix Its Broken Army

Soldiers march during a graduation ceremony for recruits of the Libyan army in Tripoli, the capital, on Jan. 16. The military, gutted by years under Moammar Gadhafi and by NATO attacks, faces multiple challenges as it tries to rebuild.
Ismail Zitouny Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:34 am

In Libya, disputes are settled by guns.

On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.

Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.

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Middle East
4:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

With Egyptian Press On Trial, Space For Dissent Is In Question

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 3:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to Cairo where the spotlight is on an important case in the government's crackdown on press freedoms. Three jailed journalists for the al-Jazeera English channel were taken to their first court hearing today. Their arrest nearly two months ago has been denounced by rights groups. As NPR's Leila Fadel reports, they were denied bail today in a short but dramatic appearance.

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Middle East
4:05 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Journalists On Trial In Egypt On Terrorism-Related Charges

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 5:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Journalists involved in a high-profile trial in Egypt made a brief and dramatic appearance in a Cairo courtroom today. The Egyptian government has been restricting press freedom, and it accused these journalists from the Al Jazeera network of terrorism, apparently because they were trying to interview members of a banned opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Parallels
2:26 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Looking Back On Libya: 'We Were Naive' About The Challenges

A child from the town of Tawargha holds a toy gun at a refugee camp in Benghazi on Jan. 12. His town was cleared by militiamen who accused residents of allying with Moammar Gadhafi.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:33 am

In 2011, I crossed the border with other journalists into a country that had been cut off from the world for 42 years. We had no idea what to expect as we entered what the rebels were calling "Free Libya."

Where before there had been oppressive security, instead what greeted us was a motley group of ecstatic young men with guns who welcomed journalists to the land they'd liberated. There was no passport control, no rules and a sense of relief that the world would finally hear their stories.

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Middle East
7:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Libya's Slow And Bloody Path Toward Stability

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 11:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This month marks the third anniversary of Libya's uprising against a brutal dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. After a bloody civil war, he was ousted and later killed - and now Libya is trying to rebuild itself. But the process has been slow. The divided nation still has a weak government and is awash with weapons. NPR's Leila Fadel has just returned from Tripoli and joins us from Cairo. Leila, thanks so much for being with us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

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Africa
12:48 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Egypt's Crackdown Widens, But Insurgency Still Burns

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (background) clash with supporters of Egypt's army chief Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi in Cairo on Jan. 24.
Khaled Kamel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:55 pm

Here are three numbers that tell the story of Egypt's security crackdown, its political turmoil and the simmering insurgency.

16,687. It's estimated that at least this many political detainees have been imprisoned since the military ousted the Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, on July 3.

4,482. At least this many people have been killed in clashes since Morsi's ouster, many at the hands of security forces.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Detention Of Al-Jazeera Journalists Strains Free Speech In Egypt

Mohammed Badr, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera, appears at a court in Cairo, on Dec. 4, 2013. He is among the journalists referred to the Egyptian criminal court Wednesday.
Ahmed Omar AP

Twenty people were referred to criminal court in Egypt today, among them three Al-Jazeera English journalists who have been in prison since Dec. 29. The charges are chilling.

Egyptian authorities say Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy was running a terrorist cell out of a swank hotel in the upscale district of Zamalek. He was aided by four foreigners, according to the charges.

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Middle East
2:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

The Coup Goes To Court: Ousted Pres. Morsi On Trial In Cairo

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In Cairo today, former President Mohammed Morsi appeared in court for the second time since he was ousted in a military coup last July. The Islamist leader wore a white prison uniform and stood in a glass-enclosed cage. As NPR's Leila Fadel reports, Morsi faces charges that could lead to the death penalty.

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Mental Health
3:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

No Surprises: Egyptian Military Endorses Its Chief For President

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, to Egypt where there were more indications today that the country's top military chief is preparing to run for president. The armed forces announced on state television that Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi should, in their words, heed the call of the people and run for president in an election expected to be held within the next three months.

NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo. Hi, Leila.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hi.

SIEGEL: And does this mean that Egypt's military chief is definitely running for president?

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Middle East
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Deaths, Arrests Mark 3rd Anniversary Of Egypt's Uprising

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

The third anniversary of Egypt's revolution was marked with violent clashes across the country between pro and anti-government demonstrators. By Sunday morning at least 49 people had been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.

Middle East
9:21 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Three Years Later, Tahrir Protesters Drained And Defeated

Egyptian security forces close Tahrir Square to disperse protesters in December.
Ahmed Abd El Latif AP

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 6:17 pm

Three years after the start of the 2011 revolution, many of the young secular activists who led the protests are behind bars.

Others have gone silent, afraid to speak out as the military and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood are locked in a battle for Egypt itself.

For most of those revolutionaries, this is a dark and bitter time.

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Middle East
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Deadly Explosions Rattle Cairo

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 am

There have been three deadly explosions in Cairo on Friday. First, a car bomb targeted Egypt police headquarters in the heart of Cairo. The bombings come on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the 2011 uprising.

Middle East
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Doubt And Insecurity Loom As Egypt Goes To The Polls

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Middle East
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Begin Voting On New Draft Charter

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Egyptians go to the polls over the next two days to vote on a draft constitution. The military-backed government is pushing for a "yes" vote amid indications that military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for the presidency.

Middle East
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As Egypt Votes On New Constitution, Space For Dissent Closes

Egyptians walk under a billboard with Arabic that reads, "yes to the constitution, Egyptians love their country," in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 11. Many Egyptians say there is no real choice in the country's referendum on a new constitution.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Egyptian voters go the polls Tuesday and Wednesday in a constitutional referendum. The vote comes at a time Egypt is witnessing what many analysts call a full-blown counterrevolution. While the country remains dangerously polarized, the space for dissent is closing. The government continues a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, but now it's also targeting the youth activists whose names and faces are synonymous with the 2011 revolution.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Egypt's Coptic Christians Celebrate Christmas Amid Fear, Hope

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:12 am

Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrated their Christmas on Tuesday in an atmosphere of uncertainty. There were dozens of attacks on churches and Christian homes both during and after the tenure of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Coptic leaders publicly supported the military coup that ousted Morsi.

Middle East
5:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

In Egypt, Protests Shift To University Campuses

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's turn next to Egypt, where the protest movement is shifting from the street to university campuses. Student activism is now at the heart of dissent against the military-backed government. But like Egypt itself, this movement is divided. Groups of secular and Islamist protesters are working separately, closing down campuses and demanding that the police be tried for their crimes. From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Parallels
12:28 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

The High Price Egyptians Pay For Opposing Their Rulers

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood run from tear gas during clashes with riot police near Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square on Nov. 22.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:11 pm

Mohamed Yousef is a tall, handsome practitioner of kung fu. In fact, he's an Egyptian champion who recently won an international competition.

But a month ago, when he collected his gold medal at the championship in Russia, he posed for a picture after putting on a yellow T-shirt with a hand holding up four fingers.

That's the symbol of Rabaa al-Adawiya, the Cairo square where Egyptian security forces opened fire in August on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hundreds were killed, including seven of Yousef's friends.

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Middle East
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Egyptians Hit Streets, Defying Protest Ban

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

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Sports
2:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

World Cup Qualifying Match Tests Cairo's Security

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

Ghana qualifies for its third straight World Cup — defeating Egypt 7-3 on total goals after a 2-1 loss. This was the first international match in Cairo in two years. A bloody soccer riot there left dozens dead in 2011. It was also the first match since authorities lifted the curfew that went into effect after widespread clashes between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters, protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

Middle East
3:41 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Back To The Future: Calls Grow For A Military Ruler In Egypt

An Egyptian woman kisses a poster of Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as she arrives at Cairo's Tahrir Square to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war last month. Many are calling for the general to run for president next year, but so far he has remained coy.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

For nearly three years Egyptians have battled for a different, and better, future. But the transition has been tumultuous, filled with pitfalls, death and disappointment.

Today, many are ready to settle for a return to the pre-revolution status quo: a strong, military man who can guide Egypt back to stability.

At the Kakao lounge in central Cairo, teenage girls sample chocolates that bear the face of Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The chocolates depict Sissi in sunglasses, Sissi saluting and Sissi's face in ornate chocolate frames.

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Parallels
1:07 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Tripoli Zoo Sees Different Kind Of Cage — One With Migrants

Illegal immigrants captured in the Libyan coastal city of Surman are held at a temporary prison in an eastern district of Tripoli, Libya, on Oct. 19.
Hamza Turkia Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 11:34 am

Gun-toting militiamen man the steel gate that leads into the Tripoli zoo. A sign promises a garden of animals. Inside, there are paths that meander through a maze of cages and animal habitats. Monkeys climb trees; hippos submerge themselves in water and lions lounge in the heat.

Just a few hundred yards away, there's a different kind of cage: Inside there are people — migrants waiting to be deported or to prove they are in Libya legally.

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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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