Karen Attiah knew Jamal Khashoggi’s name and face. She saw him constantly on TV, heard him on the radio, and read his name quoted in countless articles. But it was only after she edited his first column in The Washington Post that she came to understand that he was living just a few miles away from The Post’s newsroom, in exile from Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi had lived in Washington before, and quickly plugged back into a large circle of friends, associates, and acquaintances. His criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and newly elected President Donald Trump made life in his homeland risky and, ultimately, untenable in the summer of 2017.
Now, with Khashoggi allegedly murdered by a Saudi assassination team inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Attiah and others are left mourning the big, burly, generous man they came to see as more of a heartsick patriot than an angry dissident. Which, they say, is also the way he saw himself.
Hardly a household name in the United States, Khashoggi had 1.69 million followers on Twitter and was widely known in Middle East circles as an editor and a journalist unafraid to call out what he saw as the crown prince’s misguided policies. He was last seen more than a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to get a document he needed to certify his divorce and marry his Turkish fiancée.
Khashoggi’s intellect, intimate style, and principled ferocity were evident in that first Post column, which appeared on September 18, 2017:
When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I’m from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised? With young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power, he …read more
Source:: The Atlantic – Best of