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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Africa
4:50 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Egyptians Grown Weary Of Ongoing Political Clashes

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:55 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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Africa
5:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Salafi Rapper Sings About His Identity Crisis

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:22 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
4:33 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Tunisian Veil Ban: Frontline Of Identity War

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:44 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
2:32 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 7:36 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
2:30 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 9:11 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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