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

Middle East
5:08 pm
Sat October 18, 2014

Saudi Cleric's Death Sentence Focuses Shia Anger On Ruling Family

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was a leading voice during protests in 2011 and 2012 by the minority Shiite Muslim community.
AP

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 9:23 am

Protests broke out in Saudi Arabia this week over the death sentence of a leading Shiite cleric. Human rights activists call his sentencing political and warn that by killing him, the country may deepen sectarian discord and spur more violence.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was a leading voice during protests in 2011 and 2012 by the minority Shiite Muslim community.

Read more
Iraq
10:30 am
Sun October 12, 2014

Iraqis Displaced By ISIS Face Another Threat: Winter

The dirt and gravel at the Baharka displacement camp in northern Iraq will turn to a sea of freezing mud in the winter rain. Aid workers say they don't have enough blankets and winter clothing for all those displaced by the advance of ISIS.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 4:54 pm

Leeza Guerges sits on the concrete floor of the unfinished building where she lives now.

She calls for her two kids, husband and in-laws to eat the eggs, meat and rice she's prepared. The meat was donated, a rare treat for the family displaced from their home near the northern city of Mosul when ISIS took it about two months ago.

They gather together on the floor and for a moment try to forget that they can't go home, and everything they once had is lost.

Read more
Parallels
3:37 am
Fri October 3, 2014

ISIS Captives Tell Of Rapes And Beatings, Plead For Help

Displaced demonstrators from the minority Yazidi sect demonstrate outside the United Nations offices in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 4 in support of those held captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Azad Lashkari Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 8:57 am

When militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State swept through the Sinjar area of northern Iraq in August, they killed hundreds and kidnapped unknown numbers of men, women and children.

The fate of most of them is still unknown, but activists and those who have escaped recount horror stories of rapes and beatings. They're trying to focus international attention on those still being held.

Read more
Parallels
2:08 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

Kidnapped By ISIS, One Woman Tells How She Saved Her Sisters

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 11:13 am

In English, the 22-year-old woman's name means life. She's afraid to let us use it for the safety of the hostages that ISIS still holds. She was taken with thousands of other women and children, but she escaped, and now they're searching for her. Her nickname is Dudu.

We meet her and her four younger sisters inside a shipping container that's propped up on cinder blocks and fashioned into a makeshift shelter. It's where her extended family lives now, just outside the northern Kurdish city of Dohuk.

Read more
Parallels
5:00 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Libya's Crisis: A Shattered Airport, Two Parliaments, Many Factions

Islamist fighters in the Libya Dawn coalition guard the entrance of the Tripoli International Airport on Sunday. After days of battles, they captured it from forces aligned with rogue general Khalifa Hifter.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 10:03 pm

As Libya has descended into chaos, it has split into two broad camps. On one side is Libya Dawn, an Islamist-backed umbrella group; on the other is a renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, who is based in the eastern part of the country along with his allies.

As this power struggle has escalated, it is no longer just an internal Libyan conflict. It is now being fought regionally, with parallels to other battles playing out in North Africa and the Middle East.

Read more
Africa
4:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Foreigners Flee As Violence Worsens In Libya

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 7:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
1:14 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Barrel Bomb Attacks Devastate Iraqi Families

Smoke rises from buildings in May after shelling on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which is currently held by anti-government fighters. Rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs.
Sadam el-Mehmedy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:44 pm

Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.

Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.

Read more
Parallels
5:14 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 10:36 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
4:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 6:35 pm

Transcript

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Iraq
12:12 pm
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 Mon July 21, 2014 10:49 am

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
4:58 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 7:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
5:10 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 12:43 pm

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
4:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Remembering Salwa Bugaighis, The Libyan Advocate Who Took On Ghadafi

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:10 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
4:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:07 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
Parallels
5:42 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 3:00 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
4:07 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 9:20 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
4:06 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 10:46 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
Parallels
2:58 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 5:58 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
4:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Egyptian Media Encourages Voters To Get To Polls — Or Else

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Middle East
5:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Voting Begins For Egypt's Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:43 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.

Pages