Jamal Khashoggi was a complex man, but to us, his daughters, he was simply “Dad.” Our family has always been proud of his work, and we understood the awe and grandeur with which some people viewed him. But in our lives, he was “Baba” — a loving man with a big heart. We loved it when he took us every weekend to the bookstore. We loved looking through his passport, deciphering new locations from pages covered with exit and entry stamps. And we loved digging through the years of musty magazines and newspaper clippings that surrounded his desk.
As children, we also knew our father as a traveler. His work took him everywhere, but he always returned to us with gifts and fascinating stories. We would stay up nights wondering where he was and what he was doing, trusting that no matter how long he was gone, we would see him again, wide-armed, waiting for a hug. As bittersweet as it was, we knew from a young age that Dad’s work meant that his reach extended far beyond our family, that he was an important man whose words had an effect on people over a great distance.
Throughout our lives, it was common for people to stop us on the street to shake hands with Dad, telling him how much they valued and appreciated him. To many, our father was more than just a public figure — his work touched their lives powerfully and resonated with them personally. And it still does. [Continue reading…]