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.

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Singer, writer and producer Natasha Khan moved to LA to write scripts and music for film after her 2016 release, The Bride. The release marked the end of her recording contract with EMI and she wasn't sure she'd write another album as Bat for Lashes.

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America is becoming more racially diverse. And in a growing number of counties, whites are no longer the majority. Some have greeted these changing demographics with fear, others have embraced it. And parties that have reached out to new voters of color are winning races.

For my day job here at NPR, I cover identity, race and culture. And in 2019, there was no shortage of stories to tell.

This summer I met a girl named Katy Martinez — she was 16 and bubbly and spoke so fast she would forget to take breaths between sentences. She was obsessed with dance and like most teens spent a lot of time on her phone. But in the past year, something had started to bother her. She noticed people making assumptions about her based on her name and her ethnicity. She was born in Las Vegas; her parents came from El Salvador.

It's billed as one of the most livable places in the country with its good schools, leafy streets and safe neighborhoods. That's what makes Boise, Idaho, an odd backdrop for a heated legal fight around homelessness that is reverberating across the western United States and may soon be taken up by the Supreme Court.

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Nearly two years ago NPR profiled Usama Canon, a celebrated Muslim preacher facing his own mortality. He'd been public about his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, a degenerative neurologic condition that robs people of their ability to move, to speak. Eventually it takes your life.

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More than 200 years ago, in January of 1811, a group of enslaved people on a plantation on the outskirts of New Orleans rose up, armed themselves and began a long march toward the city. Hundreds would join them along the way. Their goal: to free every slave they found and then seize the Crescent City.

Halloween is around the corner and guess what that means? Someone will metaphorically step in it with an insensitive or straight up racist costume.

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On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

It's a hectic morning at the home of Kathleen O'Donnell and her wife, Casey. Kathleen is getting their 4-year-old foster daughter ready for the park. She got placed with them overnight. Casey is wrangling the four dogs. They've already got their 11-year-old son off to school.

They live on a tree-lined street in Billings, Mont. It's a place they've called home since 2014.

"All of my family lives in Billings, so with a kid we wanted to be near them," Kathleen said.

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MGM Resorts has agreed to pay up to $800 million to victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. But for many, the money means little. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

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For nine months, Rosa Gutierrez Lopez has been living at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Md. She can't leave the property. If she does, she risks being deported to El Salvador.

It's Monday night and performer Mark Shunock is where he comes alive — on stage.

"Hello, Mondays Dark!" he calls out to the audience of about 400 people. They cheer. "We have an amazing line up of talent that have given their time to be here tonight."

With an olive-green body encasing three jaws, each lined with more than 50 teeth, it looks like a cigarette-sized relative of the skin-crawling creature from the Alien films. Actually, it's far less sinister: a new species of a bloodsucking leech.

Anna Phillips, the curator of parasitic worms at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., led the team that recently discovered Macrobdella mimicus in almost their own backyard.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

At 79, Harry Reid may be retired, living in a gated community in Henderson in his home state of Nevada, but his national political shadow looms large.

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