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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3:07am

Tue November 12, 2013
Parallels

Tripoli Zoo Sees Different Kind Of Cage — One With Migrants

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 1:34 pm

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

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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12:10pm

Thu November 7, 2013
Parallels

In Libya, The Militias Rule While Government Founders

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 6:51 pm

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

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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12:58pm

Fri October 18, 2013
Parallels

Egypt's Crackdown On Islamists Spreads To Mosques, Charities

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:09 pm

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

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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3:00am

Wed October 9, 2013
Parallels

Bound By Blood, Divided By Politics: Three Egyptian Sisters

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:44 pm

Egyptian women queue outside a polling station during voting on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of then-President Mohammed Morsi, in Giza, Egypt, last December. In a country divided by a political crisis, families are not spared.
Nasser Nasser AP

Nagwa, Dina and May are sisters. All three are married, all three have children. All three had always been close — until now.

Egypt's political crisis is changing those relationships. Nagwa and May sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood. Dina, on the other hand, supports the military, arguing that the generals are just keeping extremists at bay.

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5:00pm

Thu September 12, 2013
Parallels

As The Revolution Fades, Tunisia Begins To Splinter

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:35 pm

People gather outside the Constituent Assembly headquarters during a protest to demand the ouster of the Islamist-dominated government, in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 28.
Anis Mili Reuters/Landov

For Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, what happened this summer in Egypt is a cautionary tale and a constant reminder of the risks it faces as it navigates through its own political crisis.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood easily dominated all post-revolutionary elections, only to be ousted by the military in July. Brotherhood supporters now carry yellow placards, a reminder of the military crackdown, and that same placard now hangs on Ennahda's headquarters in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

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12:02pm

Thu August 29, 2013
Parallels

In Egypt's Political Turmoil, Middle Ground Is The Loneliest

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:01 pm

The protesters who opposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, like these demonstrators in Cario's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8, 2011, have been pushed to the sidelines in the current confrontation.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Egypt is quieter these days. Protests against the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have subsided for now. And the military-appointed interim government is firmly in charge.

Yet, Egypt remains deeply polarized. And the middle is a lonely place to be.

Some of the young revolutionaries who led the 2011 uprising against the regime of Hosni Mubarak feel they are back to square one, battling authoritarian forces on both sides.

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4:50am

Fri August 23, 2013
Middle East

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:07 pm

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

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7:55am

Sat August 17, 2013
Middle East

Despite Bloodshed, Many Egyptians Support Military

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 8:16 am

A pro-Morsi supporter stands with other demonstrators in Cairo's Abbassiya neighborhood on Friday.
Mohammed Abdel Moneim AFP/Getty Images

Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history this week. More than 600 people were killed, most during a security crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

And it isn't over. Dozens more have died since, some in citizen-on-citizen violence. A standoff is going on at a central Cairo mosque, and the nation is spiraling out of control.

Much of Egypt has little sympathy for Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood or their supporters.

'For The Good Of Egypt'

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7:09pm

Thu August 15, 2013
Parallels

Scene From A Cairo Mosque Turned Morgue

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:50 pm

A man walks among shrouded bodies at a Cairo mosque on Thursday. At the El-Iman mosque, more than 200 bodies were being prepared for burial, the victims killed in a crackdown on protesters by Egypt's military-backed government.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

After the bloodshed, comes the grief.

A man weeps as he surveys row upon row of corpses. Some are completely burned. "They are all my brothers," he cries.

Nearby, men methodically break apart blocks of ice in two caskets inside this Cairo mosque. They then place them under the bodies to stop them from decomposing.

But still the sickly sweet smell of death hangs in the air.

Volunteers burn incense and spray air freshener to mask it, but that only adds to the stifling atmosphere.

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5:34pm

Tue July 9, 2013
Political Crisis In Egypt

For Now At Least, Egypt's Police Are Seen As The Good Guys

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:15 pm

A member of Egypt's police special forces stands guard next to an armored vehicle on July 3, protecting a bridge between Cairo's Tahrir Square and Cairo University where Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered.
Manu Brabo AP

Egypt has undergone profound change over the past 10 days. The military has overthrown an elected Islamist president and is back in control of the country amid deadly clashes between Islamists and the state security forces.

There's been another change as well: Egypt's police, long reviled by much of the population, have become unlikely heroes for opponents of the now-ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

During Egypt's 2011 uprising, revolutionaries fought pitched street battles with the police force, the protector of the autocratic regime.

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