Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, 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.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

There are some alarming new trends in this pandemic in the U.S. The contagious delta variant is now dominant. Cases have surged at a time when the pace of vaccinations has been stalling. Today President Biden talked about how he plans to turn all of that around. He called it straight talk.

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Updated July 26, 2021 at 8:48 AM ET

TOKYO — Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya dazzled during the Olympic women's skateboarding street competition. She skated through a park of rails, ramps and stairs meant to mimic city street parks at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

When she finished, she became Japan's youngest-ever gold medal winner and one of the youngest Olympic champions of all time. Nishiya shared the podium with two other teenagers.

For Mandy Bujold getting to the Tokyo Olympic Games was a fight that had nothing to do with boxing. She was effectively disqualified by the International Olympic Committee for having a baby.

"I have a child. That's a blessing, it's not a hindrance," Bujold said in an interview before her match in Tokyo today.

The Canadian boxer timed the birth around the Olympic cycle. But then the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Games, interrupted training and forced the cancellation of the May boxing qualifier in Buenos Aires for the Americas. She was out.

A Dutch rower has become the first athlete at the Tokyo Olympics to receive a positive coronavirus test after they competed in their event.

Finn Florijn, a 21-year-old vaccinated Dutch rower, tested positive after his Olympic debut in the men's single sculls race. He finished fourth in his heat and was scheduled to row again on Saturday, but now he's out of the competition and isolated for 10 days.

"I wasn't completely satisfied with my race yet. But I was hopeful to improve in the rematch. Now it's over in an instant," the athlete said in a statement.

The youngest Olympian at the Tokyo Games was knocked out of the competition in her first round on Saturday.

The Syrian table tennis player, Hend Zaza, just 12 years old, took it all in stride. She snapped a picture with her Austrian opponent, Liu Jia before leaving.

In her Olympic debut, Zaza played a woman more than three times her age at the women's singles preliminary round. She's beat players more seasoned than herself before. To qualify for the Games she bested a 42-year-old Lebanese player when she was 11.

Updated July 23, 2021 at 4:01 PM ET

TOKYO — In some ways, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics looks very normal. Delegations of athletes decked out in clothes representing their countries march triumphantly into the stadium, waving flags. A beautifully choreographed spectacle from the host country, Japan, celebrates its art and traditions.

Emiliano Bosso gets into the elevator of his Tokyo hotel with a Japanese newspaper tucked under his arm. He has a translation app on his phone and tonight the paper will be the field hockey player's companion.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

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