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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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Editor's note: NPR's Leila Fadel traveled across the country to meet young Muslims expressing themselves in new ways. You can see more from her Muslims in America series here and in the May issue of the National Geographic.

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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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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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The many people watching the president's discussion of immigration last night included voters in the battleground state of Nevada. Immigrant rights activists and organizers there watched with NPR's Leila Fadel.

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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."

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Some 50,000 Haitians who've lived and worked in the United States since a catastrophic earthquake there in 2010 are reeling from news that their special protected status will be canceled.

They have 18 months until their temporary protected status — or TPS — is terminated in the summer of 2019. A statement from The Department of Homeland Security says the 18-month lead time is to "allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019."

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