39 Facts About King Hussein

1. King Hussein walked a fine line during and after the events leading to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the Gulf War of 1991.

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2. In 1988 King Hussein surrendered Jordan's claim to the disputed West Bank, as well as its role in representing the Palestinians living there, to the PLO.

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3. The King Hussein was a fan of race-car driving, water sports, skiing, and tennis.

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4. King Hussein was a trained pilot, flying both airplanes and helicopters as a hobby.

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5. King Hussein was an enthusiastic ham radio operator and an Honorary Member of The Radio Society of Harrow and a life member of the American Radio Relay League.

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6. King Hussein disliked paperwork, and had no solid view for the economy.

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7. King Hussein established the Al-Amal medical center in 1997, a clinic specializing in cancer treatment in Jordan.

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8. King Hussein turned the Kingdom from a backwater divided polity into a reasonably stable well-governed modern state.

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9. King Hussein entrusted some of them with senior posts in the government.

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10. On 24 January 1999, King Hussein replaced Hassan with his son Abdullah as heir apparent.

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11. On his way back to Jordan in January 1999, King Hussein stopped in London.

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12. King Hussein was crown prince when he was born in 1962, but Hussein transferred the title to his brother Hassan in 1965 due to political uncertainty back then.

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13. King Hussein called American President Clinton and requested his intervention, threatening to annul the treaty if Israel did not provide the antidote.

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14. King Hussein was preparing for a 30-year Hamas–Israel truce three days prior to the attempt after Hamas had launched two attacks in Jerusalem.

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15. King Hussein could not participate in the details of the talks, a task he handed to his brother Hassan.

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16. King Hussein had advised Saddam after 1988 to polish his image in the West by visiting other countries, and by appearing at the United Nations for a speech, but to no avail.

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17. In May 1989, just before the elections, King Hussein announced his intention to appoint a 60-person royal commission to draft a reformist document named the National Charter.

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18. King Hussein relented to the demands by dismissing Al-Rifai, and appointed Zaid ibn Shaker to form a new government.

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19. King Hussein described the summit as one of the best moments in his life.

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20. In 1978 King Hussein went to Baghdad for the first time since 1958; there, he met Iraqi politician Saddam Hussein.

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21. King Hussein refused Sadat's request to allow the fedayeen's return to Jordan but agreed that in case of a military operation, Jordanian troops would play a limited defensive role in assisting the Syrians in the Golan Heights.

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22. On 13 October King Hussein signed an agreement with Arafat to regulate the fedayeen's presence, but the Jordanian army attacked again in January 1971.

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23. King Hussein was not there, the CIA director in Amman Jack O'Connell relayed a message threatening the Israelis, and the attempts stopped.

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24. King Hussein was tipped off to Al-Shar'a's involvement, but did not reveal it until they both landed back in Jordan.

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25. The King Hussein had requested Nabulsi, as prime minister, to crack down on the Communist Party and the media it controlled.

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26. King Hussein called this a "liberal experiment", to see how Jordanians would "react to responsibility".

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27. On 1 March 1956, King Hussein asserted Jordanian independence by Arabizing the army's command: he dismissed Glubb Pasha as the commander of the Arab Legion and replaced all the senior British officers with Jordanians, thereby renaming it into the "Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army".

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28. King Hussein was enthroned on 2 May 1953, the same day that his cousin Faisal II assumed his constitutional powers as king of Iraq.

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29. On 20 July 1951 15-year-old Prince King Hussein traveled to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque with his grandfather.

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30. King Hussein proceeded to Harrow School in England, where he befriended his second cousin Faisal II of Iraq, who was studying there.

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31. King Hussein was the namesake of his great-grandfather, Hussein bin Ali, the leader of the 1916 Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

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32. The King Hussein died at the age of 63 from cancer on 7 February 1999.

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33. King Hussein acted as a conciliatory intermediate between various Middle Eastern rivals, and came to be seen as the region's peacemaker.

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34. King Hussein lifted martial law and reintroduced elections in 1989 when riots over price hikes spread in southern Jordan.

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35. The King Hussein renounced Jordan's ties to the West Bank in 1988 after the Palestine Liberation Organization was recognized internationally as the sole representative of the Palestinians.

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36. In 1970 King Hussein expelled Palestinian fighters from Jordan after they had threatened the country's security in what became known as Black September.

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37. King Hussein was enthroned at the age of 17 on 2 May 1953.

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38. King Hussein began his schooling in Amman, continuing his education abroad.

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39. King Hussein was born in Amman as the eldest child of Talal bin Abdullah and Zein Al-Sharaf.

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