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Abdullah - King of Jordan

Coronation of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania

Abdullah II bin al-Hussein is the current King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. King Abdullah is a member of the Hashemite family and is reportedly a 43rd-generation direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

King Abdullah, then Crown Prince, at the age of two and a half, with the Late King Hussein and His younger brother, Prince Feisal (right). Amman, 1965.

Born in Amman on January 30th, 1962, King Abdullah II is the eldest son of His Majesty the late King Hussein and Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al Hussein. He began his primary education at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and later attended St. Edmund's School in Surrey, England. For his secondary education, he attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States of America.

He entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (U.K.) in 1980 and was commissioned as second Lieutenant in spring of 81. He then served as a Reconnaissance Troop Leader in the 13/18th Royal Hussars Regiment (British Army) in the U.K. (and West Germany).

King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

From 1985 to 1993 he served mainly in the Armoured Corps (3rd Division) in all related command appointments at platoon, company and as battalion second in command positions, until finally commanding the Second Armoured Battalion, 40th Armoured Brigade with the rank of lieutenant Colonel from January 1992 to January 1993. During this period he attended several military courses in the U.S. and the U.K. including Staff College Camberley (U.K.) 1990-1991. He also has several attachments to the Special Forces and a year as a tactics instructor with Jordan Army's Anti-Tank, Cobra Helicopter Wing.

The beginning of 1993 saw him as Deputy Commander of Jordanian Special Forces till he took full command in November 1993. He commanded these forces till October 1996, when he was instructed to re-organize this and other elite units into the Special Operations Command (SOCCOM). In 1998, as SOCCOM Commander, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and continued this command until the passing away of His Majesty King Hussein in February 1999.

King Abdullah,then prince, with the Late King Hussein

In addition to his career as an army officer, King Abdullah II served Jordan many times in the official capacity of Regent in the absence of the late King Hussein, and regularly traveled on official missions. He was proclaimed Crown Prince on the 24th of January 1999 by a Royal Decree. He had also assumed the position of Crown Prince at birth by a Royal Decree until April 1st, 1965.

Since his ascension to the throne, King Abdullah II has continued his late father's commitment to creating a strong and positive moderating role for Jordan within the Arab region and the world, and has worked towards the establishment of a just and lasting comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. King Abdullah II is committed to building on the late King's legacy to further institutionalize democratic and political pluralism in Jordan. He has exerted extensive effort to ensuring sustainable levels of economic growth and social development aimed at improving the standard of living of all Jordanians. He is also working towards modernizing Jordan's information technology and educational systems.

King Abdullah II

Under King Abdullah's reign, Jordan was admitted to the World Trade Organization, and ratified agreements for the establishment of a Free Trade Area with the United States of America, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association countries, and sixteen Arab countries. King Abdullah II has also been involved in the drive for national administrative reform, as well as governmental transparency and accountability. He has been working on the advancement of civil liberties making Jordan one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East. Also, he has been involved in enacting the necessary legislations that guarantee women a full role in the Kingdom's socio-economic and political life.

King Abdullah II married Queen Rania on June 10th, 1993. The Royal Couple have two sons, Prince Hussein, born on June 28th, 1994, and Prince Hashem, born on January 30th 2005, and two daughters, Princess Iman, born on September 27th, 1996, and Princess Salma, born on September 26th, 2000. The King has four brothers and six sisters.

King Abdullah II holds a number of decorations from various countries. He is a qualified frogman, pilot and a free-fall parachutist. His other interests include automobile racing, water sports, scuba diving and collecting ancient weapons and armaments.

Women Building Bridges

Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian women have been marching for peace in Israel's Beit-Shean valley - a border area that was once an area of bloodshed between Israel and Jordan. But peace has reigned there ever since Israel's prime-minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein signed a peace agreement in 1994. The guest of honor was Jordanian General Mansour Abu-Rashed, who served as an aide to the late King Hussein during the peace negotiations. General Abu-Rashed told IsraCast that he hopes Israeli and Palestinian leaders will go to Annapolis with the spirit of King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin. Read More...



 

Eulogy for the Late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan

Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem
6 November 1995


My sister, Mrs. Leah Rabin, my friends, I had never thought that the moment would come like this when I would grieve the loss of a brother, a colleague and a friend - a man, a soldier who met us on the opposite side of a divide whom we respected as he respected us. A man I came to know because I realized, as he did, that we have to cross over the divide, establish a dialogue, get to know each other and strive to leave for those who follow us a legacy that is worthy of them. And so we did. And so we became brethren and friends.

I've never been used to standing, except with you next to me, speaking of peace, speaking about dreams and hopes for generations to come that must live in peace, enjoy human dignity, come together, work together, to build a better future which is their right. Never in all my thoughts would it have occurred to me that my first visit to Jerusalem and response to your invitation, the invitation of the Speaker of the Knesset, the invitation of the president of Israel, would be on such an occasion.

You lived as a soldier, you died as a soldier for peace and I believe it is time for all of us to come out, openly, and to speak our piece, but here today, but for all the times to come. We belong to the camp of peace. We believe in peace. We believe that our one God wishes us to live in peace and wishes peace upon us, for these are His teachings to all the followers of the three great monotheistic religions, the children of Abraham.

Let's not keep silent. Let our voices rise high to speak of our commitment to peace for all times to come, and let us tell those who live in darkness who are the enemies of life, and through faith and religion and the teachings of our one God, this is where we stand. This is our camp. May God bless you with the realization that you must join it and we pray that He will, but otherwise we are not ashamed, nor are we afraid, nor are we anything but determined to fulfill the legacy for which my friend fell, as did my grandfather in this very city when I was with him and but a young

boy. He was a man of courage, a man of vision and he was endowed with one of the greatest virtues that any man can have. He was endowed with humility. He felt with those around him and in a position of responsibility, he placed himself, as I do and have done, often, in the place of the other partner to achieve a worthy goal. And we achieved peace, an honorable peace and a lasting peace. He had courage, he had vision, and he had a commitment to peace, and standing here, I commit before you, before my people in Jordan, before the world, myself to continue with our utmost, to ensure that we leave a similar legacy. And when my time comes, I hope it will be like my grandfather's and like Yitzhak Rabin's.

May your spirit rise high and may it sense how the people of Jordan, my family, the people of Israel, decent people throughout the world feel today. So many live and so many inevitably die. This is the will of God. This is the way of all, but those who are fortunate and lucky in life, those who are greater, those who leave something behind, and you are such a man, my friend.

The faces in my country amongst the majority of my people and our armed forces and people who once were your enemies are somber today and their hearts are heavy. Let's hope and pray that God will give us all guidance, each in his respective position to do what he can for the better future that Yitzhak Rabin sought with determination and courage. As long as I live, I'll be proud to have known him, to have worked with him, as a brother and as a friend, and as a man, and the relationship of friendship that we had is something unique and I am proud of that.

On behalf of the people of Jordan, my large Jordanian family, my Hashemite family, to all those who belong to the camp of peace, our deepest sympathies, our deepest condolences as we share together this moment of remembrance and commitment, to continue our struggle for the future of generations to come, as did Yitzhak Rabin, and to fulfill his legacy. Thank you.

 

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