Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Las Vegas, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.

Most recently, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Cairo and covered the wave of revolts in the Middle East and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond. Her stories brought us to the heart of a state-ordered massacre of pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Cairo in 2013 when police shot into crowds of people to clear them and killed between 1,000 and 2,000 people. She told us the tales of a coup in Egypt and what it is like for a country to go through a military overthrow of an elected government. She covered the fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014 and documented the harrowing tales of the Yazidi women who were kidnapped and enslaved by the group. Her coverage also included stories of human smugglers in Egypt and the Syrian families desperate and willing to pay to risk their lives and cross a turbulent ocean for Europe.

She was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of the 2013 coup in Egypt and the toll it took on the country and Egyptian families. In 2017 she earned a Gracie award for the story of a single mother in Tunisia whose two eldest daughters were brainwashed and joined ISIS. The mother was fighting to make sure it didn't happen to her younger girls.

Before joining NPR, she covered the Middle East for The Washington Post as the Cairo Bureau Chief. 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. In 2016 she was the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow fellow.

Leila Fadel is a Lebanese-American journalist who speaks conversational Arabic and was raised in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

On Monday, Nevada's statehouse begins its legislative session by marking a major milestone. It's the first time in our nation's history that any state legislature holds a majority of female lawmakers. Just like the country, the body is slightly more than half women.

"It's been a long, hard fight. I'm starting to see some of the fruits of not just my labor, but the labor of so many other people whose names I don't know," says Patricia Ann Spearman, a Democrat and Nevada senator who was first elected in 2012.

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In Carson City tomorrow, Nevada's legislature is meeting. And in a first for the United States, women will outnumber men. NPR's Leila Fadel reports.

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There is a battle over a wall in Washington, D.C.

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This past week there was yet another tragic mass shooting, this time at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Twelve people were killed before the gunman fatally turned the gun on himself. It's an all too common scene.

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This midterm season, nearly 400 LGBTQ candidates ran for state, local and federal offices. Many of them made history. Advocacy groups see the wins as a reaction to hostility from Washington and statehouses in recent years. NPR's Leila Fadel has the story.

On the last day of taping for a new 10-part Web series called East of La Brea, the cameras are set up at a local mosque for a scene about a 20-something black Muslim woman who's praying. Suddenly her phone rings and the quiet space fills with raucous and racy lyrics from a pop song. Around her, older women shoot her shady stares.

Nevada, a swing state, bucked the trend in 2016. That was when Nevada chose Hillary Clinton for president, when Democrats flipped the state legislature from red to blue and when the state delivered the first Latina senator to Washington D.C.

Dennis Hof, who used his celebrity as a brothel owner to launch a political career, was found dead Tuesday at the Love Ranch, one of several legal brothels he owned in Nevada.

Hof was best known for his reality TV show Cathouse that aired on HBO. But recently he stepped into the spotlight as an aspiring politician, vying for a seat in the state assembly. His primary victory over a three-term Republican in a rural district in Southern Nevada roiled local politics and made national headlines.

Watching Nick Campbell now you wouldn't know what he's been through.

NPR first spoke to Campbell last year when he was 16, a high school student from a suburb of Las Vegas, just after the shooting. He was in a hospital bed, his right lung pierced by a bullet, his ribs broken.

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And now a story about the struggle of American Muslims against discrimination. NPR's Leila Fadel concludes her series on a new generation of American Muslims with this report on a family in Northern California.

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Fashion designers. Community activists. Parents. Converts. High school students facing down bullies. Podcasters creating their own space to exhale.

The newest generation of American Muslims is a mosaic, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse faith groups in the country. At a time when all religions are struggling to keep youth engaged, Islam is growing in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.

Amena Khan is a Muslim British beauty blogger who wears a headscarf. And beauty brand L'Oreal did something historic last month. They chose her, a Muslim woman in hijab as one of their hair care ambassadors. Not a strand of her hair was on display.

It earned them praise for their bold choice.

But the praise turned to controversy when tweets that Khan wrote in 2014 — as civilian casualties mounted in the Gaza strip in a war between Israel and Hamas — surfaced.

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This week, when a district court in Las Vegas unsealed nearly 300 pages of police affidavits, the name of a second person of interest in the mass shooting that left 58 people dead was blacked out.

But because of an error, the documents released to The Las Vegas Review-Journal included name of an Arizona man named Douglas Haig, according to the newspaper. And it started another frenzy over whether Stephen Paddock acted alone.

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The many people watching the president's discussion of immigration last night included voters in the battleground state of Nevada. Immigrant rights activists and organizers there watched with NPR's Leila Fadel.

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Christine Caria flips through pictures and videos she took at the Route 91 Country Music Festival on her phone. She was having so much fun, working with her friend Heather Sallan who has a company that sells cowboy boot accessories.

She stops on one picture.

"This is Kurt Von Tillow," she says. "He passed."

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On a recent night in Chicago, a Muslim preacher sits on the floor in the center of an ethnically mixed and mostly young group of men and women. Around him, a drum circle sings praises of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

Mint tea is served on gold trays. A man with a hipster beard circulates an incense burner. A musky, wood scent fills the air.

This was supposed to be the Ekblad family's first Christmas in their new home, a four-bedroom near a park in Ventura, Calif., that they stretched their budget to buy. Allie Ekblad, 32, says she was ready for the holiday: For once, she had finished Christmas shopping early for her husband, Matt, 2-year-old Jace and 8-month-old Ava.

"The one year I'm ahead of everything," she says, sighing. "I had everyone done, including the kids, stockings, the extended family. All done."

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