Jamal Khashoggi

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Jamal Khashoggi
Born Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi
1958 (age 56–57)
Nationality Saudi Arabian
Alma mater Indiana State University
Occupation Journalist, columnist, author and editor-in-chief
Religion Islam

Jamal Khashoggi (Arabic: جمال خاشقجي‎) (born 1958) is a US-educated Saudi journalist, columnist, author and the general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel.[1]

He is internationally respected for his contributions to Al Watan for its becoming a platform for Saudi progressives.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Khashoggi was born in Madinah in 1958.[1] He received elementary and secondary education in Saudi Arabia. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana State University in 1982.[1][3][4]


Jamal Khashoggi began his career as a regional manager for Tihama Bookstores from 1983 to 1984.[5] Later, Khashoggi worked as a correspondent for the Saudi Gazette and an assistant manager for Okaz from 1985 to 1987.[5] 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.[1][5] He became managing editor and acting editor-in-chief of Al Madina in 1991 and his term lasted until 1999.[5]

From 1991 to 1999, he was a foreign correspondent in such countries as Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the Middle East.[1] It is also claimed that he served with both Saudi Intelligence Agency and possibly the United States in Afghanistan during this period.[6] 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.[7]

Khashoggi became the editor-in-chief of Al Watan for a short period, less than two months, in 2003.[1][8] In fact, his tenure as editor-in-chief lasted just for 52 days.[9][7] 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.[10]

After this event, he went to London in voluntary exile. There he joined the Al Faisal's team as an adviser.[11] Then, he served as a media aide to Prince Turki Al Faisal, while the latter was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. [12]

In April 2007, Khashoggi began to work as editor-in-chief in Al Watan for a second time.[7] 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.[13] 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.[13]

After his second resignation from Al Watan in 2010, Khashoggi appointed by Al-Waleed bin Talal as director of the Al Arab News Channel in Bahrain.[14] He is also political commentator for Saudi and international channels, including MBC, BBC, Al Jazeera and Dubai TV.[5]

Interviews with Osama bin Laden[edit]

Khashoggi had followed Osama bin Laden's career since the 1980s and had interviewed him several times. Khashoggi knew bin Laden during his formative years as a radical Islamist and interviewed him in Afghanistan in 1987 during the fight against Russian occupation.[2] He also met bin Laden in Tora Bora and lastly in Sudan in 1995.[15] It is reported that Khashoggi once tried to persuade him to quit violence.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Speakers". International Public Relations Association - Gulf Chapter (IPRA-GC). 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hendley, Paul (16 May 2010). "Saudi newspaper head resigns after run-in with conservatives". AFP. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Khashoggi, Jamal". JRank Organization. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jamal Khashoggi". SO.ME. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Jamal Khashoggi". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Saudi Al Watan Editor Sacked for the Second Time". Saudi Information Agency. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Q & A with Al Watan’s Jamal Khashoggi". Asharq Alawsat (Jeddah). 25 April 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Saudi editor-in-chief fired following criticism of Ibn Taymiyya, spiritual father of Wahhabism". MEMRI. 9 July 2003. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Murphy, Caryle (11 January 2011). "Tactical Delivery". The Majalla. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Blanford, Nicholas (5 June 2003). "Reformist impulse in Saudi Arabia suffers setback". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Soubra Barrage, Rada (2007). "The domestic challenges facing Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Ecommons. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Wright, Lawrence (11 September 2006). "The master plan" (PDF). The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Saudi editor Jamal Khashoggi resigns from of AlWatan". BBC. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jamal Khashoggi, director of the Al Arab News Channel in Bahrain". France24. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Susanne Koelbl (14 June 2011). "Last Bastion: Saudi Arabia's Silent Battle to Halt History". Der Spiegel (Riyadh). Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Head of Saudi’s most daring newspaper resigns". Al Arabiya. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2012.