On 20th Anniversary of King Hussein's Death, Jordanians Reflect on Adroit Monarch

Published February 7th, 2019 - 11:09 GMT
Jordan marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of the late King Hussein on February 7, 1999. (AFP/ File)
Jordan marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of the late King Hussein on February 7, 1999. (AFP/ File)

Jordan marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of the late King Hussein today, who died at the age of 63 on February 7, 1999 following his battle with cancer.

Jordan also marks the anniversary of King Abdullah’s assumption of constitutional powers today.

King Abdullah received several cables from senior officials and officers congratulating him on the anniversary of his Accession to the Throne and voicing their support for efforts towards a better Jordan, a Royal Court statement said.

The late 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.

King 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.

Throughout his reign, King Hussein worked hard to improve his country and raise citizens’ living standards. He also focused on building an economic and industrial infrastructure that advanced the quality of life for the Jordanian people.

During his reign, primary education became mandatory and schools were established across the Kingdom’s cities, villages and rural areas, allowing Jordan to become one of the leading Arab countries in terms of literacy.

King Hussein also focused on improving higher education, with dozens of public and private universities and colleges built under his rule.

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 called on Israel to withdraw from all Arab lands occupied in the 1967 war in exchange for peace. The resolution has served as a 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.

The late King Hussein’s commitment to democracy, civil liberties and human rights helped pave the way for Jordan to become a model state in the region.

At the time of his death on February 7, 1999, King Hussein was the longest serving executive head of state in the world.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright The Jordan Times. All rights reserved.

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