DENVER -- A University of Denver professor is remembering a Saudi Arabian journalist for his brave fight for democracy.
The director of DU’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies returned from a trip to Turkey on Tuesday.
Professor Nader Hashemi knew Jamal Khashoggi and had just spoken with him earlier this year.
CMES focuses on themes involving democracy and religion in the Middle East. Khashoggi, had spoken at the conference in Washington.
It was co-sponsored by DU’s Center for Middle East Studies seven months ago.
Hashemi voted to name Khashoggi “Muslim Democrat of the Year.”
“We chose him because of the courageous principles and positions that he was taking authoritarianism in his native Saudi Arabia," Hashemi said.
Hashemi noted Khashoggi’s bravery on exposing oppression in Saudi Arabia, an aspect of that country he says Americans don’t always see.
Hashemi met Khashoggi during the conference in April. Coincidentally, he was in Istanbul when he heard DU’s honoree had gone missing.
“My immediate reaction was the repressive nature of the regimes in the Middle East," Hashemi said. "They feel so arrogant. They can off a dissident figure and try to get away with it."
Hashemi says DU’s Center for Middle East studies will continue to support efforts to question authoritarian governments.