Reporters who knew Jamal speak of his energy for, and being energized by, writing freely in the United States. He was a full-time resident, living in Virginia. He is not defined as a radical, but as a believer in Freedom of the Press, and in Free Speech. Also, he had a vision to create an NPR (National Public Radio) like program, or platform in Saudi Arabia, and reportedly, had the investments needed to get it started.
The Washington Post, who Jamal reported for and who published his columns/articles in Arabic for the Arabic speaking world, published what is reportedly his final column, on Wednesday night, October 17th. Jamal filed the report with the Washington Post the day before he entered the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey.
In his words.
“My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be able to better understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.
The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.
The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before.
NPR/All Things Considered [10.18.18]
A tender and pointed reflection with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly speaking with Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor from The Washington Post, about the publication of what seems to be Jamal Khashoggi’s final column and the Post’s effort to get to the bottom of Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“Hollywood, Silicon Valley, presidential libraries and foundations, politically connected private equity groups, P.R. firms, think tanks, universities and Trump family enterprises are awash in Arab money. The Saudis satisfy American greed, deftly playing their role as dollar signs in robes”— Maureen Dowd/NYTimes