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
10:30 pm
Sun January 27, 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 5:11 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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The Two-Way
11:17 am
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 3:22 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
12:19 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 1:08 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
12:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Egypt's Constitution Vote Mired In Controversy

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:05 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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Africa
1:18 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Egyptian Judges Prepare For A Strike

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 3:21 pm

After a series of controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, the country's judges are conflicted over what to do.

The president and Egypt's highest judicial authority met Monday to try to resolve the crisis, but the decrees, which essentially nullify judicial oversight, remained in place. And the judges are going ahead with plans for a strike.

Yussef Auf has been a judge for 10 years and says he has never witnessed such an affront to his profession.

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Middle East
12:48 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

Burst Of Protest In Egypt But No Revolution, Yet

Pro-democracy demonstrators occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday night. The writing on the tent reads, "Egypt is not a farm, Constitution party, Egypt for Egyptians."
AP

Cairo's Tahrir Square was nearly empty as the sun rose Saturday. A few demonstrators camped out overnight after mass protests on Friday condemned controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.

Earlier this week, Morsi gave himself unchecked powers until a constitution is written and passed by a popular referendum — in about two months. He also decreed that neither the body writing the constitution nor the upper house of Parliament could be dissolved by the courts.

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Middle East
12:32 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Protests Erupt In Egypt After President Expands Powers

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 2:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded into the streets of Egypt today, some in support of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

CROWD: (Chanting) Morsi, Morsi...

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Middle East
11:47 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Price Hikes Lead To Deadly Protests In Jordan

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 1:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Israel's neighbor Jordan had largely avoided the unrest sparked by the Arab Spring until now. Jordan's king has outlasted protests that have been much smaller than in other nations, but a government move to raise fuel prices sparked fresh protests and even calls for King Abdullah to step down. A protester who died in a clash with police has become a symbol of protesters' fury. NPR's Leila Fadel has the story.

UM QAIS: (Speaking foreign language)

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Africa
11:38 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Vigilantes Spray-Paint Sexual Harassers In Cairo

A young Egyptian man grabs a woman crossing the street with her friends in Cairo. Vigilante groups are now taking to the streets and spray-painting the clothes of the harassers.
Ahmed Abdelatif AP

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:15 pm

Over the recent four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, more than 1,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed in Egypt.

President Mohammed Morsi has ordered an investigation, but some are not prepared to wait for the government and the police to act.

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Africa
8:33 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Will The '24-Hour City' Of Cairo Call It A Night?

Nighttime shoppers pause to look at a display at Cairo's Ataba market in May 2011. The government says shops must close earlier in order to save scarce electricity, but many Cairo residents are complaining.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:54 pm

When the sun goes down, Cairo bursts to life. Men play backgammon and smoke water pipes. Young fashionistas meet friends for midnight coffees. Families go shopping with small kids in tow.

Life in the Egyptian capital is lived at night. Last year, one study rated Cairo the "most 24-hour city" in the world. New York City trailed far behind at No. 32.

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Africa
12:07 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Libya To Disband Rogue Groups

Soldiers from the Libyan National Army get ready to enter the compound of Rafallah al-Sahati in Benghazi on Saturday. Libya's president announced that all government-aligned militias will now report to the army chief of staff, and that all other armed groups must disband.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 4:08 am

Violent protests in eastern Libya have set in motion a movement to take back the nation from dozens of militias born from the revolt against strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Since the dictator's demise, Libya has been beholden to men with guns.

The transitional state is weak, and it depends on the militias to help secure the streets. The state has now promised to integrate the militias into the security forces.

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Africa
12:21 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Africa
12:14 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Group Denies Role In U.S. Consulate Attack

A Libyan follower of Ansar al-Sharia Brigades carries a placard reads in Arabic "our Islamic holies are red line," during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 14, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:36 pm

Ansar al-Sharia, the ultraconservative armed Islamist group accused of taking part in the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, denies it was involved. But the group's leadership stopped short of condemning the deadly attack. A top U.S. counterterrorism official says they are looking at the group in connection with the assault.

Ansar al-Sharia is one of the most powerful Islamist militias in eastern Libya. The brigade claims hundreds of men who fought, with U.S. and NATO support, to unseat strongman Moammar Gadhafi last year.

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Africa
2:35 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Consulate Attack Preplanned, Libya's President Says

A Libyan military guard stands in front of one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt-out buildings in Benghazi Sept. 14 during the visit of President Mohammed el-Megarif.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 3:36 am

Libya's president says he believes al-Qaida is behind a deadly attack in eastern Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. staffers.

In an exclusive interview with NPR in Benghazi, President Mohammed el-Megarif says foreigners infiltrated Libya over the past few months, planned the attack and used Libyans to carry it out.

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Middle East
12:53 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Egypt's President To Recalibrate Foreign Policy

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 4:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Well, the new president of Egypt is traveling overseas, and Mohammed Morsi appears to be setting a new course for his country in international affairs - or at least, trying to. He's reaching out to adversaries and allies, and trying to bring back his country's diplomatic importance. NPR's Leila Fadel has the story.

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Middle East
11:52 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Egypt's New Leader Accused Of Censorship

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:58 am

Egypt's first democratically elected president is under fire for trying to silence his critics. In the last two weeks, a satellite TV channel was pulled off the air, two journalists were referred to criminal court for defamation and a state newspaper was accused of censoring columns critical of President Mohammed Morsi.

Africa
1:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Egypt's New Leader Struggles To Fulfill Big Promises

Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, has promised to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians during his first 100 days in office. But Morsi, shown here in July, is dealing with multiple challenges, including an economy that has been struggling since last year's revolution.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 4:58 am

Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, has made sweeping promises to the Egyptian people, saying he'll improve the quality of their lives during his first 100 days in office.

Morsi has been busy on several fronts, but he has only a few weeks left to fulfill those big pledges.

His promises have come in nightly radio broadcasts during the holy month of Ramadan. A decent loaf of bread is a demand for us all, he declared in one of those broadcasts, saying subsidized bread will be more widely available and of better quality.

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