Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi born 13 October 1958 is a missing Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, author and the former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel He also served as editor for Saudi newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi progressives.
Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017, and has since written newspaper articles critical of the Saudi government. Khashoggi is a high-profile critic of Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman and its King, Salman of Saudi Arabia He has also criticised Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. He is currently missing and allegations have been made that he was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey sometime during or after 2 October 2018.
Jamal Khashoggi began his career as a regional manager for Tihama Bookstores from 1983 to 1984. Later, Khashoggi worked as a correspondent for the Saudi Gazette and an assistant manager for Okaz from 1985 to 1987. He continued his career as a reporter for various daily and weekly Arab newspapers from 1987 to 1990, including Al Sharq Al Awsat, Al Majalla and Al Muslimoon. He became managing editor and acting editor-in-chief of Al Madina in 1991 and his term lasted until 1999.
From 1991 to 1999, he was a foreign correspondent in such countries as Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and in the Middle East. It is also claimed that he served with both Saudi Intelligence Agency and possibly the United States in Afghanistan during this period. He then was appointed a deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News, the leading English newspaper of Saudi Arabia and served in the post from 1999 to 2003.
Khashoggi became the editor-in-chief of Al Watan for a short period, less than two months, in 2003. In fact, his tenure as editor-in-chief lasted just for 52 days. He was fired in May 2003 by the Saudi ministry of information after several commentaries published in the paper about the potent influence of the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia.
After this event, he went to London in voluntary exile. There he joined the Al Faisal’s team as an adviser. Then, he served as a media aide to Prince Turki Al Faisal, while the latter was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.
In April 2007, Khashoggi began to work as editor-in-chief in Al Watan for a second time. A column by poet Ibrahim al-Almaee challenging the basic Salafi premises was published in Al Watan in May 2010. Then, Khashoggi had to resign again on 17 May 2010. Al Watan announced that Khashoggi resigned as editor-in-chief “to focus on his personal projects”. However, it is thought that he was forced to resign due to official displeasure with articles published in the paper that were critical of the Kingdom’s harsh Islamic rules.
After his second resignation from Al Watan in 2010, Khashoggi was appointed by Al-Waleed bin Talal as director of the Al Arab News Channel in Bahrain. He is also a political commentator for Saudi and international channels, including MBC, BBC, Al Jazeera and Dubai TV.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour, Khashoggi criticized Israel’s settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying: “There was no international pressure on the Israelis and therefore the Israelis got away with building settlements, demolishing homes.”
In December 2016, The Independent, citing a report from Middle East Eye, said Khashoggi had been banned by Saudi Arabian authorities from publishing or appearing on television “for criticising US President-elect Donald Trump”.
Khashoggi also criticized Saudi-led blockade against Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic dispute with Canada and the Kingdom’s crackdown on dissent and media.