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.

Next week marks a grim anniversary for Las Vegas. The single deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. A man opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino into crowds at a country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017. He killed 58 people, injured hundreds more and left this city reeling.

A year on the city is still healing. We spoke to two survivors.

'I hid under someone who was dead'

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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.

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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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 Sunday, people around the country will mark one year since the Women's March on Washington, D.C. Last year it brought hundreds of thousands of liberals to the capital, many wearing pink knitted caps in solidarity. Others marched in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States and more than 80 other countries.

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."

Marquan Ellis was evicted from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was 18.

His mother battled with a drug and gambling addiction while he stayed at his godmother's house. But he couldn't stay there forever.

He found his way to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth where he enrolled in the independent living program.

At A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Lisa Rhodes fields calls at the front desk.

"Congratulations," she tells the caller and then offers the list of services — marriage by an Elvis impersonator, a ceremony in the gazebo or the chapels.

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Marcus Hutchins' Twitter account suddenly went quiet a day ago when the FBI took him into custody in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The 23-year-old British citizen — who was praised earlier this year when he was credited with helping to control a global ransomware attack — was in town attending the Black Hat and DefCon cybersecurity conferences.

Three years ago, Egypt's military carried out a swift and successful coup, ousting a conservative Muslim ruler and party that had been elected. A part of Turkey's armed forces attempted a very similar overthrow on July 15.

In both countries, the two most populous in the region, democracy suffered a setback in the wake of the military actions.

The parallels mostly end there.

Turks survived a chaotic and bloody attempted military takeover on Friday that left more than 260 dead. Since then, the government has suspended thousands of public and private sector employees — everyone from teachers to police officers. Meanwhile, the parliament has ratified a state of emergency that will last up to three months. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it's necessary to protect democracy. But many Turks are afraid of what's to come.

Turkey's government says it is removing from government institutions anyone it considers loyal to Fethullah Gulen, an elderly Turkish cleric who has been living in eastern Pennsylvania since the late 1990s.

Turkish officials are blaming Gulen, who has a large following inside and outside Turkey, for a failed coup last Friday, an accusation Gulen denies.

Meanwhile, the broadcasting licenses for at least two dozen Turkish radio and TV stations have been canceled for alleged links to Gulen, whose extradition Turkey says it will seek from the United States.

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