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.

Pages

Parallels
4:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Common Ground Between Iraq's Rebels May Be Crumbling

People walk by a damaged police station in Mosul on July 15. The militants of the Islamic State are in control of the key city and have acted against former members of Saddam Hussein's regime who helped them drive out the Iraqi army last month.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:36 pm

Abu Wissam speaks to us by phone from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. He asks us to use his nickname to protect him, his family and his missing father before he recounts his father's kidnapping.

The men came on evening of July 3, just before Abu Wissam's family was preparing to break their day-long fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

"There were seven of them and before I knew it they were in our kitchen," he says.

Read more
Iraq
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Life Under 'The Islamic State': Order In The Shadow Of Terror

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

Transcript

: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Middle East
4:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

After An Ultimatum, Christians Flee Iraqi City

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:30 am

For the first time since the first century, there are basically no Christians left in the historic Iraqi city of Mosul.

Iraq
11:12 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Extremists Leave A Violent Message In A Small Iraqi Town

Thousands of Iraqis fleeing Sunni extremists fled to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where they lined up here on June 12 at a checkpoint before entering.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 7:34 pm

A small Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad put up a fight when Sunni Muslim extremists from the so-called Islamic State tried to impose their rule on the town.

The residents lost, and now the town, Zowiya, just outside of Tikrit, is destroyed. More than 200 of its homes have been blown up, and the residents have fled.

The Islamic State leveled the town as a warning to anybody else that dares to fight them.

"My town is gone," says Abu Saad, a businessman in his sixties. "They bombed all our houses. Everything we have is gone."

Read more
Iraq
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Few New Faces Aren't Likely To Satisfy Iraqi Government's Critics

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
4:10 am
Sat June 28, 2014

A Rogue Libyan General Tries To Impose Order With An Iron Fist

Libya's Gen. Khalifa Hifter speaks at a news conference in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi, on May 31. Hifter, a former military officer in Moammar Gadhafi's army, has has launched a self-declared campaign against Muslim extremists. This has won him both supporters and enemies.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 11:43 am

No one is safe in Libya these days. Judges, activists, human rights defenders and former officers in Moammar's Gadhafi's army are being silenced with bullets and knives.

There are no formal security forces, weapons remain unsecured and the economy is foundering because rebels seized oil ports in the east.

For all these reasons, a rogue general with a checkered past has found support in large swaths of the country as he vows to fight what he calls terrorist groups.

Read more
Africa
3:19 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Remembering Salwa Bugaighis, The Libyan Advocate Who Took On Ghadafi

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:10 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, sobering news out of Libya - a prominent rights activist was shot and stabbed to death in her home last night. Salwa Bugaighis was a lawyer from Benghazi who had opposed former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Today, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice issued a statement lauding her courage and leadership. NPR's Leila Fadel had visited Bugaighis just recently, and has this report.

Read more
Middle East
3:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Guilty Verdicts Claim 3 More Reporters, As Egyptian Courts Roll On

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's a case that's drawn international condemnation. Today, an Egyptian court sentenced two journalists to seven years in jail, and a third to 10 years. They all work for the Al Jazeera English news network and were convicted of being or aiding terrorists and tarnishing Egypt's image. No evidence of their alleged crimes were present - was presented in court. NPR's Leila Fadel has more.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Arabic spoken).

Read more
Middle East
4:22 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences Al Jazeera Reporters To Prison

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:11 am

Two journalists in Cairo got seven years in prison and third received 10 years. Egypt's government accused them of helping the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Parallels
5:19 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Saddam's Ex-Officer: We've Played Key Role In Helping Militants

Kurdish peshmerga forces look at a checkpoint held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Iraq's second city, Mosul, on Monday.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:00 pm

As they steamrolled across northern Iraq, Sunni militants had important help from an old power in the country — former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and his army.

One retired air force colonel said he is a member of a newly formed military council overseeing Mosul, the large city captured last week by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and its allies from Sunni Arab armed factions.

Read more
Iraq
3:07 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Calm Or Violent Chaos, Life Under ISIS Depends On The City

Demonstrators chant in support of the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as they wave the group's flag in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, on Monday, after the Sunni militants captured Tal Afar, another northern Iraqi town.
STR AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:20 pm

People in northern Iraq are getting their first taste of life under ISIS — the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that captured the large Iraqi city of Mosul last week with shocking speed.

The Sunni extremist group holds much of the mainly Sunni areas of northern and western Iraq.

Over the weekend it launched a bloody takeover of Tal Afar, an ethnically and religiously mixed Iraqi city near the Syrian border.

Read more
Africa
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

One Week A Prime Minister: The Short Story Of Libya's Former Leader

New Libyan Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteg meets with his ministers for the first time, on June 2 in Tripoli. A week later, he was out of office.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 9:46 pm

In Libya, you never know from one week to the next who's going to be prime minister. And when I met with the man in the job last week, it was clear no one is really in charge.

Ahmed Maiteg had only been prime minister a couple of days. He took office under the apparent protection of a militia that supports him, even as another man still claimed the job.

Maiteg, a 41-year-old businessman, was so new in the building that his staff was getting lost.

Read more
Africa
5:08 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Political Chaos Reigns 3 Years After Moammar Gadhafi's Ouster

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:16 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We are reminded this morning of how difficult the transitions have been in the countries of the Arab Spring. Egypt has had a coup. Serious bloody civil war carries on. And in Libya, two men now claim to be the rightful prime minister. One is a businessman elected by parliament earlier this month with the backing of Islamists.

Read more
Parallels
1:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

No Surprise Here: Sisi Rolls To Victory In Egypt's Election

Less than a year after a coup, Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has won the country's presidential election with more than 90 percent of the vote. Election monitors widely criticized the way the election campaign was handled.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:58 am

It was never in doubt, but now it's official. Ex-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be Egypt's president after nearly a year of being the nation's de facto leader.

He won by a landslide with more than 93 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary results. His victory was so sweeping that his lone opponent, Hamdeen Sabbahy, came in third with just 3 percent of the vote. People who voided their ballots in protest outnumbered those who voted for Sabbahy.

Read more
Middle East
3:17 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Egyptian Media Encourages Voters To Get To Polls — Or Else

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Egyptian authorities added a third day of voting tomorrow in the country's presidential election. Backers of candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are worried about underwhelming voter turnout. Sisi is the former military chief who led the popular coup against Egypt's last elected president. Sisi is almost certain to win, but his legitimacy could rely on turnout. NPR's Leila Fadel reports.

Read more
Middle East
4:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Voting Begins For Egypt's Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is expected to emerge victorious from Egypt's two-day polling, which began Monday. But the country remains divided.

Middle East
4:06 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Egyptians Vote Monday And Tuesday For Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 6:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

Read more
Middle East
5:45 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Egypt's Ex-Military Chief Right For Presidency, Female Voter Says

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 8:48 am

Egyptians elect a new president next week. There are two candidates, and the man nearly certain to win is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was the head of the military until he resigned to run for president.

Middle East
3:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Hopes Dim For Turkish Miners, But Rescuers Carry On

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:34 pm

Hope is fading that any more mine workers will be rescued from a mine in western Turkey, where over 280 miners died after an explosion. NPR's Leila Fadel has been at the mine and offers more details.

News
3:37 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

On Second Day Of Mass Trial, Egyptian Judge Sentences 683 To Death

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Today brought another shocking sentence from an Egyptian court. A judge issued death sentences for nearly 700 people accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement. They were charged with committing violence during unrest last summer. This is from the same judge who outraged rights groups last month by sentencing more than 500 people to death. Today, he commuted all but 37 of those cases to life in prison.

Read more
Middle East
3:56 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Egyptians Fear Power Outages Could Fuel More Unrest

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Sometimes in the evening in Cairo, Egypt, people take a sailboat ride on the Nile. I got to do this once, Renee. It's amazing. The river cuts through the center of the city and you can see the lights of Cairo spreading along each bank. Except, of course, when the lights are out.

Read more
News
3:40 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Egyptian Journalist Trial Is Long On Jail Time — But Short On Proof

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. In Cairo today, three journalists with the al-Jazeera English channel were back in court. They're accused of being terrorists and spreading false information and it's a case causing international condemnation. The journalists have now been in jail for more than 100 days, part of a wide crackdown on Islamists, critics of the government and the press.

Read more
World
4:10 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Egyptian Town Reeling Over Mass Death Sentence

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 5:38 pm

More than 500 people in Matea, Egypt, have been sentenced to death. On one street alone, a juice store owner, a sweets shop owner, a doctor and more than 20 others have been condemned.

Parallels
3:38 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

In Egypt, Defendants Are Being Tried By The Hundreds

Relatives of defendants gather outside the courthouse in the central Egyptian city of Minya on Tuesday. Some 700 Islamists charged with deadly rioting were on trial. The day before, the court sentenced 529 men to death for killing a policeman.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:30 pm

Egypt's legal system has already been under scrutiny with a raft of high-profile cases that include two ousted presidents and scores of activists. And a new wave of international criticism is building after an Egyptian court sentenced 529 men to death after a two-day trial.

The judge sentenced the men for the killing of a police officer. They were also charged with arson, inciting violence and other crimes in the province of Minya, just south of Cairo.

Read more
Middle East
4:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:33 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.

Read more
Parallels
2:28 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 10:27 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.

Read more
Africa
2:36 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 10:34 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.

Read more
Parallels
3:26 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 12:33 pm

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.

Read more
Middle East
8:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Libya's Slow And Bloody Path Toward Stability

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 12:13 pm

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.

Read more
Africa
1:48 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 2:55 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.

Read more

Pages