- Expected Aug 11, 2020
A searing, behind-the-scenes account of Jamal Khashoggi’s final year at the Washington Post, the search for answers after his brutal murder, and the defining fight for the soul of Washington, Saudi Arabia, and the greater Arab world.
In September 2017, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi filed his first piece for the Washington Post with his editor, Karen Attiah. The column, about his decision to go into self-exile and speak out against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, instantly went viral, and Jamal became a regular columnist for the paper. Working closely with Attiah to publish the newspaper’s first columns to appear in Arabic, Khashoggi, who dreamt of an Arab world free from tyranny and oppression, made it his mission to demystify Saudi Arabia for a global audience and to urge Saudi leadership to govern wisely.
A year later, he was dead.
Say Your Word, Then Leave is the riveting account of Khashoggi’s time at the Post. Attiah unravels the stranger than fiction story behind his disappearance and murder, the Post’s efforts to find answers and demand accountability. The saga reveals Saudi Arabia’s deep ties with America—in Washington, D.C., on Wall Street, and in Silicon Valley—most notably, its close ties to the Trump administration. Over the course of their working relationship, neither Attiah nor Khashoggi imagined—though there were signs—that he would be kidnapped and killed by a Saudi hit squad in Turkey, or that she would be thrust into the global spotlight of an international political assassination that would grip the world.
A shocking, eye-opening tale of the fight for justice and a deeply moving portrait of Jamal and Karen’s growing friendship, Say Your Word, Then Leave goes behind the headlines as it illuminates the life-threatening dangers journalists face under repressive regimes, and brings together the inspiring stories of courageous activists working for change in the Arab world.