Paul Jay speaks to Leila Fadel, Baghdad bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers. They speak on Iraqi perception of the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The Arabic-version of the agreement is firm on the United States completely withdrawing all aspects of its occupation of Iraq by December 31, 2011. Fadel says that most Iraqis are suspicious of the Agreement and of their government’s dedication to ending the US-led occupation firmly. Fadel also talks about Muqtada al- Sadr and his supporters’ reaction to the Agreement as well as the fall in violence in Iraq in the past year.

Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is the chief of the Baghdad bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She has covered the war in Iraq for Knight Ridder and now McClatchy on and off since June 2005, as well as the 34-day war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel in the summer of 2006. Prior to joining the McClatchy team she worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a crime and higher education reporter.

Fadel graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2004 and has lived in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. She speaks conversational Arabic. She was named print journalist of the year by the Houston Press Club for her work in 2005 and won a Katie Award from the Dallas Press Club in 2006 for her portfolio of work.

Her Iraq reporting won her Print Journalist of the Year honors from the Houston Press Club citing her work from "Bedford (Texas) to Baghdad."