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Close to heart

Jul 23,2019 - Last updated at Jul 23,2019

The first thing that His Majesty King Abdullah did upon returning to Jordan was to visit Al Husseini Mosque at the heart of downtown Amman to pray and inspect the damage resulted from a fire that damaged the second floor of the historic landmark.

This shows that even when the King is away from the country, his heart remains connected to the nation. The King never stays out of touch with his people; this connection remains alive and strong wherever he is. 

In this instance, Al Husseini Mosque is very dear to the King as it was rebuilt during the reign of the late King Abdullah l in 1921 and dates back to the era of Islamic Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab. 

It remains a major landmark in the capital city, where people in large numbers gathered to pray before other mosques were built to accommodate the increasing numbers of worshippers. 

The recent turbulence in the Gulf region must have also added to the King's concerns. The recent seizure of a British oil tanker by Iranian gunboats in the Strait of Hormuz has escalated tensions. Iran must have wanted to up the ante in retaliation for not only the British seizure of oil tanker Grace l off the coast of Gibraltar last week but also for the suffocating and punitive economic sanctions that US President Donald Trump has imposed on Tehran. 

The biting economic sanctions have started taking a heavy toll on Iran’s coffers. These tit-for-tat actions and counter-actions may very well get out of control and trigger military skirmishes between Iranian naval forces and the US and British warships deployed in the area; a development no side wanted in the first place.

The King must be concerned by these ominous developments in the Arab Gulf. Under the circumstances the King must have wanted to stay close to his country and people.

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