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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4:31pm

Thu July 30, 2015
World

U.S. Couple Held In Egyptian Prison For 1 Year Over Unfounded Child Abuse

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:49 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:54am

Fri July 24, 2015
Parallels

Egypt's Military Struggles To Quell Growing ISIS-Linked Insurgency

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 1:13 pm

Egyptians carry the coffin of 1st Lt. Mohammed Adel Abdel Azeem, one of more than 20 Egyptian military personnel killed by militants in the Sinai on July 1.
Hassan Ammar AP

In 2013, there were seven known militants from the village that Ahmed Abu Deraa comes from in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula. Today, that number has jumped to about 60, says Abu Deraa, an independent journalist who sometimes works for NPR. All of them are with Sinai Province, the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State.

The Sinai's militants are all gathering under the ISIS umbrella, Abu Deraa says. But what they're fighting for isn't some grand regional cause.

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1:09pm

Tue July 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Hearing Postponed For Freelance Photographer Jailed In Egypt

Pictured here in a protest sign, Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid has been held without charge since his arrest on August 14, 2013. He was taken into custody by Egyptian police while he was taking pictures during a chaotic protest in Cairo.
Amr Nabil AP

Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as the freelance photographer Shawkan, has been behind bars in Egypt for 705 days without charge. Today's hearing to either renew his time in jail or release him was postponed. His detention continues.

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5:24am

Mon July 13, 2015
Movies

Egypt Mourns Omar Sharif, Its Homegrown Cinema Star

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 12:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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12:39pm

Fri June 26, 2015
Parallels

A Muslim-Jewish Love Story On Egyptian TV Sends Sparks Flying

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:20 pm

A still from Haret al Yahood.
Haret al Yahood

Ahmed Kardous sets up an establishing shot. He trains the camera on the actors standing on a cliff overlooking a valley of greenery, and someone yells out, "Action."

Kardous is the director of photography for this Ramadan's breakout television show in Egypt. It's called Haret el-Yahood, or The Jewish Quarter.

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8:42am

Fri June 19, 2015
Parallels

The Business Of Smuggling Migrants Across The Mediterranean

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:06 am

Some 800 migrants from the Middle East arrive at the Greek port of Piraeus on Sunday. Smugglers are charging thousands of dollars to take migrants across the Mediterranean, and prices can vary widely. Children are often allowed to travel for free.
Anadolu Agency Getty Images

The massive wave of people fleeing the Middle East and Africa face dangerous conditions to make the trip across the Mediterranean Sea, crowded onto rickety boats and overloaded ships. An estimated 2,000 migrants have died so far this year alone.

But, despite the danger, the burgeoning business of smuggling migrants has taken on some retail features.

Smugglers sending desperate migrants from Egypt to Europe are looking to make money — but they do offer discounts. Small children can go for free; migrants who organize a group can go free, as a sort of referral bonus.

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4:34pm

Thu June 11, 2015
Parallels

As Egyptian Activists Vanish, Suspicion Falls On The Security Forces

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Egyptian security forces take up positions during anti-government demonstrations in Cairo last November. Egyptian activists have been disappearing in growing numbers, and human rights groups say they believe the security forces are responsible.
Amr Sayed APA\Landov

It happens suddenly. One day, without warning, someone goes out to run an errand or go to class, and they don't come home.

Forced disappearances by Egypt's security forces aren't a new tactic in Egypt, but they're on the rise, human rights groups and activists say. And a cross section of activists, human rights defenders and journalists are being targeted.

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5:18pm

Mon June 8, 2015
Middle East

Syrian Mother Sends Children Across Mediterranean With Smugglers

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:56 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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6:16am

Sat May 30, 2015
Parallels

Mecca Becomes A Mecca For Skyscraper Hotels

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 11:14 am

An aerial view of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in October 2014.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

At the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the booming call to prayer competes with the racket of construction.

The Grand Mosque is the destination for the most sacred Muslim pilgrimage and it holds the Kaaba, the black cube of a building in the center of the mosque known to Muslims as the House of God.

But skyscraper hotels increasingly dominate the skyline, dwarfing the Great Mosque where worshippers gather, and angering those who seek to retain the city's history and traditional architecture.

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8:00am

Sat May 9, 2015
Middle East

Saudi Shiites Fear A Backlash Over War In Yemen

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 6:29 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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4:42am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Saudi King Salman Reshuffles Line Of Succession

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:42 pm

Earlier this month, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's new deputy crown prince, met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo.
Egyptian Presidency Handout EPA /Landov

Things are changing in Saudi Arabia. The new king made a surprising move this week, choosing his nephew to take over as crown prince and his son to take the position of deputy crown prince.

The decision marks a generational shift. For the first time, a grandson of the founder of the kingdom is heir to the throne. And one young prince, the son of King Salman, is emerging as a war hero for many Saudis as the country continues to carry out airstrikes in Yemen.

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4:05pm

Mon April 20, 2015
Parallels

Saudi Airstrikes Raise Doubts Abroad, Spark Patriotic Fervor At Home

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 pm

Saudi Arabia's army fires artillery shells toward Houthi rebels along the Saudi border with Yemen on April 15. Outside Saudi Arabia, many are critical of the military campaign and question whether it will succeed, but it is popular inside the kingdom.
STR Reuters/Landov

Saudi airstrikes in Yemen began almost a month ago, targeting rebels who have taken over much of the country.

Internationally, there are concerns about increasing casualties and questions about the strategy in the Saudi operation, which is receiving help from the U.S., among others.

But at home in the kingdom, the war has sparked a patriotic fervor that's noticeable just about everywhere you turn.

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4:20am

Wed March 25, 2015
Parallels

Couple Spends Millions To Save Migrants In The Mediterranean

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:23 am

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) carries out its first rescue in the Mediterranean in August 2014. The Malta-based private rescue service founded by a wealthy American and his Italian wife has rescued more than 3,000 migrants since its launch in August 2014.
Barcroft Media /Landov

Christopher Catrambone, a wealthy businessman from Lake Charles, La., docks his boat these days in Malta, the Mediterranean island he now calls home. That boat, called the Phoenix, has been getting outfitted for a series of trips set to begin in May.

But Catrambone and his crew don't intend to use the Phoenix for luxury cruises. He and his Italian wife, Regina, invested about $8 million of their own money to buy the ship and hire a crew for an entirely different purpose: to save lives at sea.

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7:48am

Sat March 14, 2015
Parallels

Egyptians Fight ISIS Fear-Mongering With Punchlines And Parody

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 5:20 pm

A photo from the wedding of Ahmed Shehata and Shaimaa Daif shows friends of the couple mocking members of the so-called Islamic State. Shehata says he staged the surprise to show his wife that ISIS was "something to laugh at, not to fear."
Courtesy of Ahmed Shehata

One of the self-proclaimed Islamic State's biggest weapons has been its terrifying propaganda. Highly-produced videos of brute violence are its hallmark: a man being burned alive in a cage; Christians being beheaded on a beach in Libya; a child being used to execute a suspected traitor.

But in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, people are responding by laughing rather than cowering.

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9:46am

Mon February 23, 2015
The Two-Way

Egyptian Court Orders Prominent Activist Jailed For 5 Years

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 7:56 pm

Relatives and supporters of Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah react after Monday's verdict in a trial over an illegal protest.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

A Cairo criminal court has sentenced prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah to five years in jail for violating a controversial law that bans unlicensed protests.

Another activist, Ahmed Abdul Rahman, was also sentenced to five years on Monday. Eighteen other people were given three years, and several tried in absentia got 15 years.

As the judge read out his verdict, the courtroom erupted in protest.

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