Saudi Writer’s Dream Comes to Life Two Years After His Killing

2020-09-29 | Since 4 Week

On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, friends and colleagues of the late journalist and writer Jamal Khashoggi decided to launch the organization, "Democracy for the Arab World Now," known for short as DAWN, in conjunction with the second anniversary of the killing of the Saudi journalist, according to The New York Times.

Jamal Khashoggi had been planning in the months before he was killed by Saudi agents in 2018, to fulfill his dream of establishing an organization in Washington to promote democracy in the Arab world.

DAWN is a Washington-based human rights organization that plans to focus on abuses by America's closest Arab allies and publish articles written by political exiles from the Middle East to preserve and pursue Khashoggi's legacy.

The founders of the organization say they hope the organization will continue to work with Khashoggi's vision.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the organization said, "The basic principle that democracy and human rights are the only solution to achieving stability, security and dignity in the Middle East is 100% Jamal's vision. This is what he wanted this organization to be based on."

DAWN: It is reported that the organization registered in the United States in early 2018, but was unable to launch before Khashoggi's killing. After his death, close people to Khashoggi raised money and made plans to launch the organization, according to Sarah Whitson, formerly director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.

The organization has been described as a combination of a think-tank and a human rights monitoring organization whose work will focus, at least initially, on authoritarian states that have close ties to the United States, such as Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. One of its goals is to counter the notion that the United States is a doer of good in the Middle East.

She said, "Let us do good. Stop doing evil, stop arming, stop helping these abusive governments, because this is offensive to the Americans."

 

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She also said that the organization will focus on naming and exposing indirect officials who are implicated in human rights violations, but who usually escape accountability.

Fadwa Misat, Director of Arab Media at DAWN, said: “These governments always say that the king, the crown prince, or the minister of interior are not responsible for the violations but the people around them. We want to get the names of those people who are behind these violations.”

The organization will also launch a "Khashoggi Index" to track the roles of foreign governments in promoting or impeding democracy and rights in the Middle East and will publish articles in English and Arabic written by political exiles, experts and activists.

Sarah Whitson also said that the organization's initial staff consists of 10 people and is funded by "people in the United States who were friends of Jamal."



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