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Jordan remembers King Hussein

By JT - Feb 07,2015 - Last updated at Feb 07,2015

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday visited the tomb of King Hussein on the 16th anniversary of his death.

The King laid wreaths and recited verses from the Koran, according to a Royal Court statement.

Several members of the Royal family, and senior officials and officers, as well as representatives of various entities, also visited the tomb on Saturday.

King Hussein died at the age of 63 on February 7, 1999 following a battle with cancer.

Also on Saturday, Jordanians marked the anniversary of King Abdullah’s assumption of constitutional powers, as he was proclaimed King on the same day 16 years ago.

King Abdullah received several cables from senior officials and officers congratulating him on the anniversary and voicing their support for his “tireless” efforts for the betterment of Jordan and the protection of “true Islamic tenets”.  

A direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad, King Hussein was born on November 14, 1935 as the eldest son of King Talal and Queen Zein Al Sharaf.

He studied at the Islamic Scientific College and then enrolled at Victoria College in Alexandria. In 1951, he entered Harrow College in England before receiving his military education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, from which he graduated in 1953.

Hussein was proclaimed King of Jordan on August 11, 1952 and a Regency Council was appointed until his formal accession to the Throne on May 2, 1953, when he assumed his constitutional powers after reaching the age of 18, according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

At the time of his death, King Hussein was the longest serving executive head of state in the world.

Throughout his five-decade rule, he worked to raise the living standards of his people, and during his reign, the literacy rate rose dramatically.

King Hussein’s commitment to democracy, civil liberties and human rights helped make Jordan a model state in the region.

He believed that the key to a brighter future lay in working together towards the goals of conflict resolution, peace, education for enlightened citizenship and leadership, and the values of community, mutual understanding and sustainable development.

Enhancing joint Arab coordination was a priority for King Hussein, who believed that resolving outstanding issues and conflicts between Arab countries should be done through upholding the higher Arab interest and believing in the common destiny of the Arab nation.

He also sought throughout his reign to promote peace in the Middle East.

After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he was instrumental in drafting UN Security Council Resolution 242, which calls on Israel to withdraw from all Arab lands occupied in the 1967 war in exchange for peace. The resolution has served as the benchmark for all subsequent peace negotiations.

In 1991, King Hussein played a pivotal role in convening the Madrid peace conference, providing an “umbrella” for Palestinians to negotiate their future as part of a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.

The 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel was a major step towards achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

During his reign, several agricultural projects were implemented, including the establishment of the East Ghor Canal, known as the King Abdullah Canal, which irrigates hundreds of thousands of dunums of land in the Jordan Valley, as well as several dams and artesian wells.

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