US renames Saudi embassy street after Khashoggi

Published June 17, 2022
WASHINGTON: A street sign for “Jamal Khashoggi Way” is being unveiled during a ceremony in front of the Saudi embassy on Wednesday.—AFP
WASHINGTON: A street sign for “Jamal Khashoggi Way” is being unveiled during a ceremony in front of the Saudi embassy on Wednesday.—AFP

WASHINGTON: The renaming of the street in front of the Saudi embassy as Jamal Khashoggi Way sends a strong signal to the US President Joe Biden — many among its supporters are unhappy with his planned visit to the kingdom next month.

“Today we officially unveil Jamal Khashoggi Way,” Washington D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson said in a tweet posted on Thursday, a day after the renaming ceremony held outside the embassy’s main entrance.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday at 1:14pm symbolising the time Khashoggi, a Saudi human rights activist and journalist was last seen before his death on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“By designating the street fronting of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi, the District (the city government) is creating a memorial in his honor that cannot be covered up or repressed,” he added in another tweet. The district unanimously passed the bill to rename the street in December but required approval from the mayor and had to undergo congressional review before it became law. Tawakkol Karman, the first Arab woman to win a Nobel Prize, attended the renaming ceremony as did Brooke Pinto, a Democrat and the youngest ever elected member of the city government in Washington. Other members of the DC Council also joined them.

Abdullah Alaoudh, Gulf Director at DAWN, told the crowd that the location of the street sign is to serve as a reminder to “passersby, to Saudi royals, to Americans, to all humans of conscience that Jamal’s legacy will live on.”

The Washington Post described the renaming as “trolling Riyadh for its role in the killing of the dissident Saudi activist and journalist.” And it happened just two days after the White House announced President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which aims to reset relations with the kingdom.

Sarah Leah Whitson, who heads the organisation called Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), called the visit “a shameless capitulation” for “cowardly concessions” from Riyadh.

Khashoggi founded DAWN months before he went to Istanbul and disappeared. DAWN launched the renaming campaign.

Some of those who addressed the renaming ceremony were particularly critical of President Biden’s expected meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Published in Dawn,June 17th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Warming ties
05 Jul, 2022

Warming ties

BILATERAL ties with the US are clearly on the mend after an extensive rough patch under the PTI government. While ...
LNG emergency
Updated 05 Jul, 2022

LNG emergency

The problem is that Pakistan does not have sufficient cash at the moment to buy even a single LNG cargo at present prices.
The invisible half
05 Jul, 2022

The invisible half

WHAT better illustrates the Afghan Taliban’s misogynistic and mediaeval worldview than the fact that not a single...
Wise counsel
Updated 04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

Fuelling the fires of communalism for petty political gains is dangerous and can have a long-lasting impact on India’s stability.
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...