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Men You Wish You Were: King Hussein of Jordan

Every month Primer Magazine is recognizing a different individual for their accomplishments, cultural significance, and general awesomeness. This month: King Hussein of Jordan.

 

“I still feel that those of us who work for peace and believe in peace have a very, very loud voice, and hopefully, wisdom and common sense will prevail.“

- King Hussein of Jordan shortly before his death

Being a rational, cool headed, and humane leader in the Middle East these days is about as difficult a job you could ever find on the planet.  In the second half of the 20th century, in a region run rampant with violence, fanaticism, and out and out chaos, King Hussein established Jordan as a beacon of civil liberty, human rights, and democracy.

Walking a razor thin line between smooth relations with the west and his fellow Islamic nations, King Hussein, worked tirelessly to try and maintain a stable and peaceful state for his people and the people of neighboring countries.  He accepted over a million Palestinian refugees as citizens after the Six Day War and led Jordan to become only the second country in the Middle East to sign an official peace treaty with Israel.  Hussein even developed a life long friendship with the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and spoke at his funeral.

Throughout his 46-year reign his aversion to extremists helped to establish a very close relationship with the United States and other countries in the western world.  To this day, the Jordanian GID holds the closest ties to the CIA of any intelligence agency in the Middle East.

King Hussein was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1998.  While returning from treatment in January of 1999, despite doctors’ advice to stay in London and rest, he piloted his own aircraft in a flight back to Jordan and then proceeded to stand in a limousine in the pouring rain to meet the millions of citizens that came out to greet him during the long drive from the airport to his home.  He would die less than a month later.

To learn more about King Hussein visit:

http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/

http://www.questia.com/library/history/middle-eastern-history/king-hussein-jordan.jsp

About

Kevin H. MacLean currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where he enjoys people watching, writing, and dominating all comers in four-square. You can keep tabs on him at his blog http://ratedwrong.com/.

 
  • http://todhd.com TODHD

    This dude is definitely balling out of control

  • Noel

    Definitely true that he was a standout leader in the middle. The amount of peace brokering he did was nuts. Jordan was always mentioned in the news when any kind of settlement/negotiation was/is going on the middle east.

    But I don’t see whats so good about having close ties with the CIA. Thats possibly the last thing I would want if was leading a country.

  • Yazeed

    I read a lot about the modern middle east. I live there too, and I haven’t read something more deceiving as this sentence: “King Hussein established Jordan as a beacon of civil liberty, human rights, and democracy.” Human rights huh? he killed more than 3000 of his citizens during what was known as black September, oh and just for your information, Jordan never was a democracy, yes it had a “parliament” but it was with no powers and was only a tool in the hand of the king.

    I don’t blame you though, Kevin. You took all your information from his official website! Very smart.

  • Hugh Ackston

    Well said YAZEED, I wouldn’t put too fine a point on the “hard facts” in this article though. It’s a puff piece after all -kinda like the fluff you get in the NY Times or MoveOn or the WashPo only less harmful. It’s useful however in that it points out how much the accuracy of our knowledge base depends on doing ones own research instead of consuming news like one would a Big Mac burger.

  • Kevin

    I wonder if either Yazeed or Hugh would care to show their “sources” for their opinions.

    Meanwhile, here is a transcript from the UN Assembly in memoriam (I think it pretty solidly backs up the content of the article).

    http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/50fcab40648861c0852569430054859e?OpenDocument

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  • http://malefitnessmodels.net Michael Novotny

    This is a wonderful tribute for a great man. Thanks for sharing this.
    .-= Michael Novotny´s last blog ..pic9 =-.

  • FROM JORDAN

    WELL DONE AND WELL WRITTEN! I KNOW THIS IS A YEAR LATE BUT I JUST CAME ACROSS YOUR SITE! KING HUSSEIN WAS TRUELY A REMARKABLE MAN! HE LOVED HIS PEOPLE AS HIS PEOPLE ALSO LOVED AND CONTINUE TO LOVE HIM AND NEVER INSTIGATED WAR BY ANY MEANS HE WAS ALL FOR PEACE!
    HE HAD A RIGHT TO DEFEND HIS COUNTRY AND PEOPLE AS THE REST OF THE WORLD DID!
    THOSE THAT CLAIMED OTHER-WISE OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HISTORY!
    A KING OF ALL KINGS A MAN THAT IS MISSED BY HIS PEOPLE!
    GOD REST HIS SOUL!

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