King Abdullah II of Jordan is not your typical Arab ruler. Named after his great-grandfather, King Abdullah (also known as the founder of modern Jordan), he is widely popular both locally and internationally for having maintained Jordan’s stability despite overwhelming odds.
The king is considered to be the 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, through his belonging to the Hashemite family, which has ruled Jordan since 1921.
The Royal Hashemite family has been a key player in the Arab world for almost 72 years now. King Abdullah took over the throne after his late father, King Hussein passed away in 1999.
King Hussein married four times and has 12 children.
Here’s an overview.
1. The legacy started with the late King Hussein
King Hussein, dubbed the father of modern Jordan, was proclaimed King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1952, succeeding at the age of 16. A Regency Council was appointed until he came of age. He was enthroned on May 2, 1953.
Throughout his 47-year rule, King Hussein struggled to promote peace in the Middle East. He became instrumental in the years that followed the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, whereby he drafted UNSC Resolution 242, which called on Israel to withdraw from all the Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war in exchange for peace.
King Hussein passed away in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer in 1998.
2. Princess Muna Al-Hussein
King Abdullah’s mother, Princess Muna al-Hussein was born Antoinette Avril Gardiner in the United Kingdom on April 25, 1941. She is said to have met King Hussein while working as a secretarial assistant on the film set of Lawrence of Arabia.
They married in 1961. She converted to Islam and was renamed Muna al-Hussein upon marriage. She was the second wife of King Hussein and together they had four children: King Hussein II, Prince Faisal, Princess Aisha and Princess Zein (who are twins).
3. Prince Faisal bin Hussein
Prince Faisal is the younger brother of King Abdallah and has served as regent during the King’s absence abroad. He is currently the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces.
Prince Faisal married three times and has five children: Princess Ayah, Prince Omar, Princess Sara and Aisha (who are twins) and in 2016, he welcomed Prince Abdullah.
4. Princess Aisha bint Hussein
Princess Aisha is known as the first female in the Middle East to receive parachutist wings after completing five military parachute jumps. She currently serves as a major general in the Jordanian military.
Princess Aisha currently lives in the United States and has two children, Aoun and Muna.
5. Princes Zein bint Hussein
Princess Zein is the twin sister of Princess Aisha, she is primarly known for her charity work with orphans. She has two children: Jaafar, Jumana and an adopted son named Tahani.
6. Queen Rania
Viewed as a worldwide fashion icon and humanitarian, Queen Rania married the King in 1993. Her Instagram page is one of the most followed accounts in the region and she is an avid advocate for women’s rights in Jordan.
She and the King have four children: Crown Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem.
7. Prince Hussein bin Abdullah
He became the Crown Prince of Jordan in 2009 and graduated from Georgetown University in Washington in 2016, with a degree in international history. The Crown Prince holds the rank of first lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and became the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council meeting in 2015.
8. Princesses Iman, Salma & Prince Hashem
Princess Iman is currently studying at Georgetown University. Apart from that, she is an awarded athlete. She’s still pretty much under-the-radar but we’re expecting big things!
Princess Salma who is only 16 years old is still in high school, while Prince Hashem is just 12 years old.