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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At MGM Grand Las Vegas, a bookmaker takes bets on sports events at the round counter at the Race & Sports Book near the casino.

In a year of reporting on Muslims across this country, I walked away knowing that there is no one story to tell, there are many stories. And yet so often, Muslims are spoken of as a monolith rather than the diverse mosaic of practice, culture, tradition, race, gender and sexualities that they are.

It started with a sign pinned to Sana Afzal's backpack after the election in 2016. "I like Trump, you're fired."

At the 16-year-old's new high school in Gilroy, Calif., just outside San Jose, kids whispered in her Spanish class: "Allahu Akbar" — "God is great" in Arabic — in a derogatory way.

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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.

A new generation of American Muslims is asserting its own narrative, worrying less about explaining Islam to others and more about embracing what makes them different and contributing to the American tapestry.

As NPR is reporting, they are community organizers, converts, high schoolers facing bullies and podcasters creating a space to be themselves.

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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