My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins



By Hatice Cengiz Ms. Cengiz



 Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, and how it made him anxious.Afterward, I wrote to him to thank him for the conversation. We continued our dialogue, which quickly evolved into an emotional relationship. I admired his personality: his wisdom and courage to raise political questions in our part of the world. We connected over our shared passion for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression — the fundamental principles for which he fought.Jamal’s family was originally from the Turkish city of Kayseri. For more than 30 years, he worked as a journalist.


He was a reporter for the Saudi Gazette and other publications, a top editor at Arab News and Al Watan newspapers, he ran a television network, wrote columns, and advised some of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent leaders and policymakers — including Prince Turki al-Faisal, the country’s former intelligence chief.He traveled widely across the world, but loved Saudi Arabia more than anywhere else. Yet there was no room left in his native country for him. He fled Saudi Arabia with two suitcases amid a crackdown on intellectuals and activists who criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Hatice Cengiz Ms. Cengiz, a doctoral student at a university in Istanbul, is Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée