Khashoggi’s daughters promise to keep his legacy alive

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 24 2018 09:32 PM

A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25, 2018. Osman Orsal, Reuters

WASHINGTON- In a poignant farewell to their father published in The Washington Post, the daughters of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vowed that "his light would never fade" and that his legacy lived through them.

Khashoggi, former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last month.

His death unleashed a global wave of criticism against the crown prince, who Saudi officials say had no role in the killing.

"This is no eulogy, for that would confer a state of closure," Noha Khashoggi and Razan Jamal Khashoggi wrote in a Post opinion piece published online Friday.

"Rather, this is a promise that his light will never fade, that his legacy will be preserved within us."

The 59 year-old journalist was at the consulate in Istanbul seeking documents needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. Riyadh -- after weeks of denial -- said he was killed in a "rogue" operation.

The daughters remember their father, affectionately referred to as "Baba," as a "loving man with a big heart" who traveled widely and always returned bearing "gifts and fascinating stories."

"As bittersweet as it was, we knew from a young age ... that he was an important man whose words had an effect on people over a great distance."

It was vital for him "to speak up, to share his opinions, to have candid discussions," the daughters recall.

For him "writing was not just a job; it was a compulsion. It was ingrained into the core of his identity, and it truly kept him alive.

"Now, his words keep his spirit with us, and we are grateful for that."

Khashoggi had created a new life in the United States, but "he grieved" for his native Saudi Arabia, never abandoning hope for his country.

"Dad was no dissident," the daughters wrote. 

"If being a writer was ingrained in his identity, being a Saudi was part of that same grain."