Today marks the 51st birthday of His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who ascended the Jordanian Throne on the 7th of Feb, 1999 after the death of his late Majesty King Hussein. On occasion of His Majesty’s birthday I’m writing this quick biographical blogpost to highlight the milestones of His Majesty Life.
Born in Amman, HM’s mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein (born Antoinette Avril Gardiner). His Majesty attended St Edmund’s School and Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, before joining the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1980.
His Majesty completed a one year program in Middle East Affairs at Oxford University, and later on served in the Jordanian Forces to become MAJOR GENERAL in May of 1998. When he was off-duty he showed compassion and interest in land, sea, and airports, including speed driving and free-fall parachuting.
In 1993, he met Rania Al Yassin, and they married on June 10th of 1993. As a princess, Queen Rania started her journey of social work, women empowerment and advocacy, which continues to this day as Queen.
In February of 1999, King Abdullah was appointed King of Jordan. In 2004, he worked with leading Islamic scholars to release the Amman Message, reaching a global audience with Islam’s guiding principles of peace, tolerance and dialogue among faiths. Later on in 2010, he was named the fourth most influential Muslim in the world.
Following the leadership and legacy of the Late King Hussein, King Abdullah made the welfare of the Jordanian Citizens a priority; his main concern for the future of Jordan puts the Youth’s engagement, education, and opportunity on top of his Agenda. HM also provided a foundation of building the Aqaba Free Zone, and has a direct impact on flourishing Jordan’s ICT Sector. Five other economic zones were created in Irbid, Ajloun, Mafraq, Ma’an, and the Dead Sea, and it is because of these Economic Reforms that Jordan’s Economic Growth has doubled to 6%.
Because Jordan’s pressing economic needs require a real solution, His Majesty worked to bring both public and private sectors together, locally and globally through joint initiatives that hope to create opportunity to the Jordanian young population. It was because of the Kings Efforts that Jordan became the 1st Arab Country to sign a free trade agreement with the United States and has forged new bilateral and multilateral economic alliances with countries from Asia to Latin America.
Here’s a quick video by Comedian Russel Peters telling a story on the Lopez Tonight Show on how he was pranked by HM.