Lesser known facts about the life of Jamal Khashoggi

The death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey has sent shockwaves around the world. Born in Madina, Khashoggi was the descendant of a well-known Saudi family. His grandfather Muhammad Khashoggi was the personal physician to King Abdul-Aziz al Saud. Though Jamal Khashoggi studied business administration in the US, he chose to become a journalist. He began his journalistic career as a reporter for an English-language newspaper, the Saudi Gazette.

In the 1980s, Khashoggi covered the war in Afghanistan. He took several interviews of Osama bin Laden. Both were said to be friends in early adulthood and were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Later Khashoggi became wary of bin Laden’s extremism.

Khashoggi had close relations with two sons of Shah Faisal. When they brought out an English newspaper they made him deputy editor. However, he was fired two months into his new job after publishing stories critical of the Saudi religious establishment.

In 2011, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced a new satellite TV channel in Bahrain. Khashoggi was appointed station manager. However, the station was shut down the day it started broadcasting in 2015 after airing an interview with Bahraini opposition figure, Khalil Marzook.

When Prince Al-Faisal became the ambassador of US, he appointed Khashoggi media advisor. After Prince Al-Faisal was removed from the post, Khashoggi again returned to Saudi Arabia. But when the Saudi government launched a crackdown on dissent in 2017, Khashoggi went into self-imposed exile in the US and began working as a contributor to the Washington Post.

Jamal Khashoggi wanted to marry his fiancée, so he went to Saudi Consulate in Turkey to get documents. He might be smelling danger that is why he told his fiancée waiting outside for him to inform Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s advisor if he does not appear from the consulate. There’s also suspicion that the US might have used Saudi Arabia’s shoulder to remove Khashoggi from its path and prevent several secrets from being revealed.