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
5:03 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 8:17 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
3:21 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 8:19 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
5:19 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 2:30 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
2:44 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 5:59 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
4:36 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Police Officers Caught In The Middle Go On Strike In Egypt

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 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 to Egypt, where police officers are on strike.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS)

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Africa
3:02 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 10:29 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
5:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Egyptian Women Begin To Speak Out Against Sexual Violence

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:34 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
5:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Group Of Violent Anarchists Emerges Amid Egypt's Political Turmoil

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 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
6:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Criticism Against Egypt's Opposition Coalition Grows

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 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
5:33 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 6:36 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
6:28 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Egyptian Cleric's Mission: Spread Salafi Doctrine

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

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
5:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Egyptians Grown Weary Of Ongoing Political Clashes

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 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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NPR Story
6:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Salafi Rapper Sings About His Identity Crisis

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:22 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
5:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Tunisian Veil Ban: Frontline Of Identity War

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 10:44 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
3:32 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 8:36 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
5:21 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

At Least 40 People Dead In Egypt As Violent Protests Continue

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

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Africa
3:30 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 10:11 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
5:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Tries To Distract From Second Anniversary Of Egyptian Revolt

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:20 pm

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.

Africa
6:29 am
Sun October 21, 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 6:54 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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Middle East
4:52 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Cemetery For Hezbollah Martyrs Continues To Grow

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 8:29 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. In a cemetery in Beirut, Lebanon, new graves are appearing more frequently than usual. This isn't just any cemetery. It's where the martyrs of Hezbollah are buried. The Shiite militant group is backed by the governments of Iran and Syria. While it's not clear where these latest martyrs were killed, members of Syria's opposition accuse the group of sending fighters into their country to help its embattled government.

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