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.

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In Minneapolis, Majdi Wadi was a celebrated businessman. Three generations of his Palestinian American family run the Holy Land brand, a multi-million-dollar enterprise with restaurants, a grocery store, a bakery and a hummus factory. It's become well known locally and nationally after the Wadi family was featured on local television programs and on the Food Channel's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for bringing a "little piece of the Middle East to the Midwest."

Like the elements that she discovered — polonium and radium — Marie Curie was "unruly," says actor Rosamund Pike. Pike plays the famous scientist in the new biopic Radioactive.

The film, streaming on Amazon Prime, is about the power of science and how it can be harnessed in both positive and destructive ways. Curie's discoveries led to medical breakthroughs, but they were also weaponized — into bombs and poison.

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The corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis is the place where police brutality ended the life of a black man named George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

It was here that police officers held down the 46-year-old man that people called Perry, until his pulse stopped. It was here where a passerby filmed his killing, shared it online and sparked an uprising that's spread from this one corner to cities across the country, and now the world.

And it's here now where people gather every day to protest, to remember and to find comfort.

Cesia Baires knocks on the three apartment doors above her restaurant and a neighboring taqueria just before curfew.

A woman opens the door. Her two young children are inside.

"Remember," she says to them in Spanish. "Same thing as yesterday. I'm going to come check on you. If there's anything you guys need, give us a call right away."

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On the south side of Minneapolis over the weekend, Safia Munye and her family walk up to the door of what was Mama Safia's Kitchen.

A volunteer from the neighborhood walks out onto Lake Street.

"Is this your business?" she asks.

Safia and her daughter Saida Hassan nod silently.

"I'm sorry," the woman says.

It's the first time they've seen it since fiery protests erupted among cries for racial justice and as state troopers in riot gear blocked the road to this street.

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As of Friday in Texas, you can go to a tanning salon. In Indiana, houses of worship are being allowed to open with no cap on attendance. Places like Pennsylvania are taking a more cautious approach, only starting to ease restrictions in some counties based on the number of COVID-19 cases.

By Monday, at least 31 states will have partially reopened after seven weeks of restrictions. The moves come as President Trump pushes for the country to get back to work despite public health experts warning that it's too soon.

Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET

Michelle Sweeney could barely sleep. The nurse in Plymouth, Mass., had just learned she would be furloughed. She only had four hours the next day to call all of her patients.

"I was in a panic state. I was sick over it," Sweeney said. "Our patients are the frailest, sickest group."

Sweeney works for Atrius Health as a case manager for patients with chronic health conditions and those who have been discharged from the hospital or emergency room.

In their tiny apartment just outside Minneapolis, Sarah Alfaham directs her husband Mohamed Ahmed to hold up the gold curtains she picked up at Walmart.

She takes a look.

"I like it," she says.

With thumbtacks, string and dowels, Alfaham fashions a canopy in the corner of their living room with a homemade navy blue and gold "Ramadan Mubarak" sign underneath. On the floor is a prayer rug.

"It's just really creating a mosque feel inside your house in a sense. I don't know how else to do it," she says with a laugh.

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At one New York City hospital, a doctor's used mask tore as she performed CPR on her infected patient.

In Seattle, a nurse compares walking into her intensive care unit to bathing in COVID-19.

And in St. Louis, a nurse slips her used N95 mask into a paper bag at the end of her shift and prays that it's disinfected properly.

These are scenes playing out in hospitals across the country, based on interviews with more than a dozen residents, doctors and nurses who go into work every day feeling unprotected from the disease they're supposed to treat.

Neilly Buckalew is a traveling doctor who fills in at hospitals when there's need. So in the midst of this pandemic, she feels particularly vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus — not just in hospitals but in hotels and on her travels.

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On Mondays and Tuesdays, Jessica's daughter is supposed to stay overnight with her in Brooklyn, N.Y., but that's all changed with the coronavirus outbreak.

"I have to just do FaceTime, video conference and three-way calls," Jessica says. "I can't see her anymore, for now."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom took the dramatic step this week of ordering the state's nearly 40 million residents to stay at home. That order on Thursday was followed by similar orders in states including New York, Illinois and Nevada.

These were actions welcomed by health care professionals who are trying to prepare hospitals even in the midst of the pandemic, as they watch the Italian hospitals buckle under the demand of the fast-spreading virus.

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As a composer, producer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sergio Mendes helped pioneer the bossa nova movement and popularize Brazilian music globally with his band, Brasil 66. In his over 60-year career, Mendes has been one of the most explorative collaborators in world music, working with everyone from the Black Eyed Peas to jazz great Cannonball Adderley. His new album, In The Key Of Joy, is out now.

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.

A new documentary, Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, introduces us to heroes of the American Revolution who aren't typically found in history books. They are a writer, a double agent, a martyr and a soldier — and they are all black.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the executive producer. He is a Hall of Fame basketball player, writer, activist, and in 2016 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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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