Abdullah II of Jordan

Abdullah II of Jordan

Overview
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 family. Since 1993, Abdullah has been married to Queen Rania of Jordan.

Abdullah was born in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 to King Hussein of Jordan
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 during his marriage to Princess Muna al-Hussein.
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Encyclopedia
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 family. Since 1993, Abdullah has been married to Queen Rania of Jordan.

Early life


Abdullah was born in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 to King Hussein of Jordan
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 during his marriage to Princess Muna al-Hussein. He was the king's eldest son and as such he was automatically heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 to the throne of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 under 1952 constitution. However, due to unstable times in the 1960s, King Hussein decided to appoint his brother, Prince Hassan bin Talal, as his heir.


King Abdullah II attended Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy is an independent, coeducational boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, United States. It is a four-year college-preparatory school with approximately 600 students and about 100 faculty, all of whom live on or near campus....

 in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is a British Army officer initial training centre located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England...

 in 1980, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and served as a platoon leader in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars. In 1982, King Abdullah II attended Pembroke College
Pembroke College, Oxford
Pembroke College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England, located in Pembroke Square. As of 2009, Pembroke had an estimated financial endowment of £44.9 million.-History:...

 at Oxford University where he completed a one-year Special Studies course in Middle Eastern Affairs. In 1987, he attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service is a school within Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., United States. Jesuit priest Edmund A...

 at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 in Washington, D.C. Abdullah would later serve in the Jordanian forces and became Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 in May 1998.

In the 1980s, the King considered arranging the throne to pass to his brother and then to his son Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, but changed his mind by 1992. He seriously considered appointing one of his nephews as heir, but on his deathbed, on 25 January 1999, he appointed Abdullah as his heir.

King of Jordan



Abdullah became king on 7 February 1999, upon the death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had recently named him Crown Prince
Crown Prince
A crown prince or crown princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. The wife of a crown prince is also titled crown princess....

 on 24 January, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan, who had served many years in the position.

Politics as King



King Abdullah II is the head of a constitutional monarchy in which the King retains substantial power. In 2010, he was chosen as the 4th most influential Muslim in the world.

Jordan's economy has improved greatly since Abdullah ascended to the throne in 1999, and he has been credited with increasing foreign investment, improving public-private partnerships, and providing the foundation for Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

's free trade zone and Jordan's flourishing ICT sector. He also set up five other special economic zones: Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

, Ajloun
Ajloun
Ajloun also written Ajlun is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate . A hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle...

, Mafraq
Mafraq
Mafraq is the capital city of Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, located 80 Km to the north from the Jordanian capital Amman in crossroad to Syria to the north and Iraq to the east. It has 58,954 inhabitants...

, Ma'an
Ma'an
Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan 218 km away from the capital Amman. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality...

 and the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. As a result of these reforms, Jordan's economic growth has doubled to 6% annually under King Abdullah's rule compared to the latter half of the 1990s. Foreign direct investment from the West as well as the countries of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 has continued to increase. He also negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States, which was the third free trade agreement for the U.S. and the first with an Arab country.

In 2008, King Abdullah began his Decent Housing for Decent Living campaign in which all Jordanian citizens, and even Palestinian refugees, will be guaranteed high quality residential housing with easy access to community needs such as health, education, and community activities.

Abdullah's speech at The Catholic University of America's
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

 Columbus School of Law
Columbus School of Law
The Columbus School of Law, also known as CUA Law, is the law school of The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C..Over 900 Juris Doctor students attend CUA Law. Incoming classes are typically composed of two to three hundred students, including day and night programs. Around 3,500...

 in September 2005 was entitled "Traditional Islam: The Path to Peace." While en route to the United States, King Abdullah met with Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 to build on the relations that Jordan had established with Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 to discuss ways in which Muslims and Christians can continue to work together for peace, tolerance, and coexistence.

The King announced on 2 March 2007 municipal elections in Jordan and in 25 November 2006 in his parliament address, told the parliament to work on reforms of the press and publication law.

King Abdullah II has worked for the Middle East Peace Process, attending the Arab Summit in 2002, OIC conferences and having several summits with US, Israeli and Palestinian delegations to find a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

.

Jordan received criticism when Toujan al-Faisal
Toujan al-Faisal
Toujan al-Faisal is a human rights activist and a former TV journalist, who was Jordan's first female Member of Parliament. She is a Circassian.-Alleged apostasy:...

, Jordan's first female member of Parliament and an outspoken advocate for freedom of expression and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

, was jailed for slandering the government after she charged it with corruption in a letter to Abdullah. She was pardoned and released by King Abdullah. Despite these events, King Abdullah has continued his aggressive liberalization of Jordan's media. He recently issued a declaration forbidding detention of journalists in Jordan.


Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Yair Naveh
Yair Naveh
Yair Naveh is a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces and is the current Deputy Chief of the General Staff. In 1975, he was drafted into the IDF where he served in all positions in the Golani Infantry Brigade from Company Commander to Brigade Commander...

, GOC of the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 Homefront Command and former GOC of Israeli Central Command
Israeli Central Command
The Israeli Central Command , often abbreviated to Pakmaz , is a regional command of the Israel Defense Forces. It is responsible for the units and brigades located in the West Bank , Jerusalem, the Sharon, Gush Dan, and the Shephelah.The commander of the central command is the one who is...

, said in a gathering with reporters that King Abdullah might fall and that he could be Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

's last king. The statement created tension between the two countries, and afterwards Naveh retracted his statement and apologized. Later, the Israeli prime minister expressed the disagreement of Israel with Naveh's statement, and referred to it as a personal and irrelevant view.

In March 2007, Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 commented on any American withdrawal from Iraq by saying that, "Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is worried a hasty American withdrawal from Iraq could have negative impact on the Hashemite regime in Jordan..." Jordan's spokesman Nasser Jawdeh replied by saying, "The Israeli prime minister should worry about his political future before worrying about us."

King Abdullah has a strong belief in a powerful military and has led Jordan into adopting a "quality over quantity" policy. This policy has led Jordan to acquire advanced weaponry and greatly increase and enhance its F-16 fighter jet fleet. The ground forces have acquired the Challenger 1 main battle tank, a vehicle far superior to the T-72/55 tanks that have traditionally dominated Arab armies.

Successor

See Line of succession to the Jordanian throne
Line of succession to the Jordanian throne
Line of succession to the Jordanian throne is the line of people who are eligible to succeed to the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The succession is regulated by Article 28 of the Constitution of Jordan....

.

On 28 November 2004, Abdullah removed the title of Crown Prince from his half-brother, Hamzah, whom he had appointed on 7 February 1999, in accordance with their late father's wishes. In a letter from Abdullah to Hamzah, read on Jordanian state television, he said, "Your holding this symbolic position has restrained your freedom and hindered our entrusting you with certain responsibilities that you are fully qualified to undertake." No successor to the title was named at that time, but it was anticipated that Abdullah intended to appoint formally his own son, Prince Hussein
Prince Hussein bin Al Abdullah II
Crown Prince Hussein bin Al Abdullah is the eldest child of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan. Hussein is part of the Hashemite family and is also said to be a 44th-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad....

 as crown prince. On 2 July 2009, Abdullah indeed named Prince Hussein as heir.

Democracy in Jordan


In 2005 BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 international published an article titled "Jordan edging towards democracy", where King Abdullah expressed his intentions of making Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 a democratic country. According to the article, president George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 "urged King Abdullah, a U.S. ally, to take steps towards democracy." Thus far, however, democratic development has been limited, with the monarchy maintaining most power and its allies dominating parliament.

Elections were held in November 2010, and following the Arab Spring 2011, a new prime minister was appointed. In June 2011 the King has announced a move to a British style of Cabinet Government
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

.

Economic liberalization



Jordan has embarked on an aggressive economic liberalization program under King Abdullah II in an effort to stimulate the economy and raise the standard of living. Therefore, Jordan's economic growth peaked at 8 percent in 2004 and has been averaging at 7 percent. King Abdullah II has liberalized the telecommunications sector and has implemented an ICT
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

 curriculum into Jordan's education system. This has made Jordan's telecommunications sector the most competitive in the region. King Abdullah called on the government to lower internet prices in an effort to increase internet penetration to 50% by 2010. He is also very involved in promoting Jordan's tourism sector, especially with the establishment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

Under King Abdullah II, the air transport sector was liberalized. Also, King Abdullah II established six special economic zones: Aqaba, Ma'an, Mafraq, Irbid, the Dead Sea, and Ajloun. Each SEZ has its own niche which will carve a unique identity for that region of Jordan. The Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 SEZ is primarily devoted to tourism and industry. The Ma'an
Ma'an
Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan 218 km away from the capital Amman. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality...

 SEZ is industrial primarily with a focus on renewable energy resources especially solar energy. The world's largest solar power plant will be constructed in Ma'an. The Mafraq
Mafraq
Mafraq is the capital city of Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, located 80 Km to the north from the Jordanian capital Amman in crossroad to Syria to the north and Iraq to the east. It has 58,954 inhabitants...

 SEZ will become a regional hub in transport and logistics with planned air, road, and rail connections to neighboring countries. The Irbid SEZ is adjacent to the Jordan University of Science and Technology
Jordan University of Science and Technology
The Jordan University of Science and Technology , often abbreviated JUST, is a comprehensive, state-supported university located on the outskirts of Irbid at Ar Ramtha region, in northern Jordan....

 and it will focus on scientific and medical facilities. The recently launched Dead Sea zone will focus on tourism and entertainment. The Ajloun
Ajloun
Ajloun also written Ajlun is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate . A hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle...

 SEZ includes a 24 proposed tourism projects, including a 2,000 dunum tourism city that will comprise 900 hotel rooms, restaurants, and other entertainment facilities with environmental considerations.

Nuclear plans for Jordan


On 20 January 2007, King Abdullah revealed to Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

that Jordan has plans to develop nuclear power for internal energy purposes because unlike other countries in the region Jordan has almost no oil. Jordan is one of the few non-petroleum producing nations in the region and is strategically dependent on oil from its neighbor, Iraq. Continuing civil unrest in Iraq puts Jordanian national and energy security at risk. Jordan's first nuclear power plant will be ready by 2015 and it will be located in Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

. There are more nuclear power plants planned in Karak and near the proposed Red Sea-Dead Sea project which will provide Jordan with all the much needed water resources it needs, it will also supply the shrinking Dead Sea and nuclear power plants with water. In turn, the nuclear power plants will desalinate the water and pump it to northern Jordan. (According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Jordan is one of the poorest countries in terms of access to drinking water.)

Marriage and children


King Abdullah is married to Rania al-Abdullah, a Palestinian. They have four children:
  • Crown Prince Hussein
    Prince Hussein bin Al Abdullah II
    Crown Prince Hussein bin Al Abdullah is the eldest child of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan. Hussein is part of the Hashemite family and is also said to be a 44th-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad....

     (born 28 June 1994)
  • Princess Iman (born 27 September 1996)
  • Princess Salma (born 26 September 2000)
  • Prince Hashem (born 30 January 2005)

Interests


King Abdullah has many interests. He has a love and passion for sky diving, rally racing, scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 and science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

. He promotes tourism in Jordan, having acted as a tour guide for Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 travel host Peter Greenberg
Peter Greenberg
Peter S. Greenberg is the CBS News Travel Editor reporting regularly on The Early Show and the CBS Evening News. He may be best known as the Travel Editor for NBC's Today, CNBC and MSNBC from 1995 until 2009. Previous to NBC, Peter was Travel correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America from...

 in order to produce a show called "Jordan: The Royal Tour". In the program the king notes that since assuming the throne, he is no longer permitted to sky dive. King Abdullah also likes motorcycles, and toured Northern California on a Harley-Davidson in July 2010.

King Abdullah attended Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy is an independent, coeducational boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, United States. It is a four-year college-preparatory school with approximately 600 students and about 100 faculty, all of whom live on or near campus....

 in his youth, and in appreciation of the schooling he received, he has created a sister institution King's Academy
King's Academy
King’s Academy is a co-educational private boarding school that opened in August 2007 in Madaba-Manja, Jordan. It is named in honour of Abdullah II of Jordan...

 in Jordan. He hired Deerfield Headmaster Eric Widmer
Eric Widmer
Dr. Eric Widmer is an American scholar and educator. He was educated at Deerfield, Williams, and Harvard. After finishing his Ph.D, he joined the faculty at Brown teaching Chinese History and would then go on to spend much of his career there as a dean...

 to lead it, along with many other Deerfield staff. Prior to Deerfield, King Abdullah attended Eaglebrook School
Eaglebrook School
Eaglebrook School is an independent junior boarding school for boys in Deerfield, Massachusetts. It is located on the Pocumtuck Range near Deerfield Academy and sited on a campus which is also preserved by the Deerfield Wildlife Trust....

.

He is the Colonel-in-Chief
Colonel-in-Chief
In the various Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its patron. This position is distinct from that of Colonel of the Regiment. They do not have an operational role. They are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its...

 of the UK Light Dragoons regiment; his previous connection to the unit includes his service as a platoon leader in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.

The king is also an acknowledged fan
Trekkie
A Trekkie or Trekker is a fan of the Star Trek franchise, or of specific television series or films within that franchise.-History:In 1967, science fiction editor Arthur W...

 of the science fiction saga Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

. In 1996, while he was still a Prince, he appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

 
episode "Investigations
Investigations (Voyager episode)
"Investigations" is the 36th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 20th episode in the second season. It had an average fan rating of 4.4/5 on the official Star Trek website as of September 2009.-Plot:...

". It was a non-speaking role as he was not a member of the Screen Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide...

. A Star Trek theme park will open in 2014 as part of the $1.5-billion Red Sea Astrarium project in Aqaba, with the King being the majority local investor.

His interest in the film industry has also influenced his decision to create the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts
Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts
The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts is the first and only MFA program in Cinematic Arts for the Middle East and North Africa. It is based in Aqaba, Jordan. RSICA is a joint effort of Royal Film Commission of Jordan and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts...

 in the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 coastal town of Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

, in partnership with the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 School of Cinematic Arts
USC School of Cinematic Arts
The USC School of Cinematic Arts, until 2006 named the School of Cinema-Television , is a film school within the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. It is the oldest and largest such school in the United States, established in 1929 as a joint venture with the Academy of...

 on 20 September 2006. When the crew of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction-action film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to the 2007 film Transformers and the second installment in the live-action Transformers series...

decided that they were going to film in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, he called on 38 military helicopters to help transport equipment into Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

.

King Abdullah II has a great interest in the internet and information technology. This is one of the reasons why he put ICT at the forefront of Jordan's economic development. In an unprecedented move, King Abdullah commented on two Jordanian blogs that discussed his interview with the Petra News Agency, the Black Iris and the newspaper daily Ad-Dustor, showing his support for dialogue and debate in the Kingdom. His comment on the blogs was as follows:

"Thank you all for your feedback and comments. I am very happy and proud to see so many responsible citizens engaging in this dialogue. People must not be afraid to express their opinions without using aliases. We are a country of freedom, tolerance, diversity and openness, and everyone has the right to express their thoughts – no matter what they are – in an atmosphere of respect, so long as they are not personally offending others, attempting character assassination or undermining the nation’s interest. Your comments only indicate how deeply you care about Jordan and its future and I am happy that we are partners in the development process."


—King Abdullah II


Ancestry





Published works

  • al-Hussein, Abdullah II bin. Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril
    Our Last Best Chance
    Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril is a book written by King Abdullah II of Jordan and published by Viking Press in New York City...

    , New York City: Viking Adult, 2011. ISBN 978-0670021710

Further reading

    • Robins, Philip. A History of Jordan, Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-521-59895-8

External links



Articles