Birthday: January 30, 1962
Age: 59 Years, 59 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein
Born in: Amman, Jordan
Famous as: King of Jordan
Emperors & Kings
Jordanian Emperors & Kings
Spouse/Ex-: Rania Al-Yassin (m. 1993)
father: Hussein of Jordan
mother: Princess Muna al-Hussein
siblings: Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein, Prince Hashim Al Hussein, Princess Aisha bint Al Hussein, Princess Alia bint Al Hussein, Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, Princess Iman bint Al Hussein, Princess Raiyah bint Al Hussein, Princess Zein bint Al Hussein
children: Crown Prince of Jordan, Hussein, Prince Hashem bin Abdullah, Princess Iman bint Abdullah, Princess Salma bint Abdullah
Founder/Co-Founder: King's Academy
education: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Deerfield Academy, Pembroke College
awards: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Grand cross of the Order of the White Lion
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henri
Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
Order of the Chrysanthemum
Order of the White Eagle
Award of the Peace of Westphalia
Order of the Star of Romania
Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award
Order of Freedom
Who is Abdullah II of Jordan?
Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein is the 41st direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad and the present king of Jordan. He belongs to the Royal Hashemite family, the rulers of Jordan since 1920s, and took the throne from his father, Hussein. Abdullah studied in England for sometime before starting his career with British military. Some family disputes took the claim of the throne from his uncle Hassan and keeping in mind Abdullah’s military experience, he was deemed as suitable heir to the throne. And rightly so, under his reign, which started in 1999, Jordan opened up to economic reforms and has since shown a remarkable economic and social development. However, the great recession affected Jordan hard and resulted into a cut of petroleum supplies and trades with western countries, for which Abdullah received a widespread criticism from his own countrymen along with the neighbouring countries, which led to several civil wars in many countries. Abdullah, being a people’s king, acted immediately and took the revolutionary step of introducing reforms which led to formation of a new government in 2011. Abdullah is widely admired for being the most influential Muslim in the world and for maintaining peace and stability in his country. His approach to promote interfaith dialogue has made him one of the most admired Muslim leaders in the world.
Childhood & Early Life
Abdullah was born on 30th January 1962 in Amman, Jordan in the royal household. He is the son of former King Hussein and Queen Mona, a British, and the second wife of King Hussein. Some unrest in the Middle East prompted his father Hussein to make his younger brother Hassan the heir to the throne, but according to the rules, Abdullah should have been the one to sit on the throne considering the fact that he was King Hussein’s eldest son.
Abdullah’s initial education took place in Jordan and later he went on to finish his education in the UK and the USA. Abdullah was the eldest among 11 of his siblings and step brothers and thus, had the pressure from his initial days to perform, as he was expected to rule Jordan someday. And rightly enough, Abdullah was a responsible kid from the very beginning and was good in academics and sports as well.
His formal education began in the Islamic Educational College in Jordan and he finished his secondary education from English and American schools, and later went on to attend the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and in 1984, the young prince did one year course in foreign affairs and international politics. After studying the international political scenario in Washington DC, he went back to Jordan to serve his country as a military man.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Upon moving back to Jordan in 1989, Abdullah became a part of 17th Royal Tank Battalion as the assistant commander and seeing his abilities, he soon got promoted as a major. He served at the rank for two years and in 1991, he earned the position as Armour Representative in the office of Inspector General. In January 1993, Abdullah rose to the rank of colonel and was handed over the command of special armed forces of Jordan.
His efficiency and extensive experience in Sandhurst academy came handy and it led him to continuously grow through ranks in the Jordanian army. He got promoted to the rank of brigadier general within one year and in 1997, he starting serving Jordan as commander of Special Operations Command and by the middle of the very next year, he was a major general in the Jordanian armed forces.
As A Royalty
Abdullah accompanied his father on several of his missions, which apparently included meetings with European, American and Russian delegates, to learn basics of bureaucracy. In 1992, King Hussein was diagnosed with cancer, which apparently led to a shock wave in Jordan. He had already named his younger brother Hassan heir to the throne but in 1998, disputes took place between the two brothers over Hassan’s management of internal affairs in Jordan. Just two weeks before his death, King Hussein named his son Abdullah as the heir, and he was crowned as the king on June 9th 1999.
King Hussein was known as a very able ruler all his life and under his reign, peace and modernisation had persisted in the country. Abdullah was seemingly nervous while taking oaths in the Parliament. But within the very first year of his coronation, he proved his haters wrong and displayed a strong determination and affection towards his people and his foreign policies also reflected the desire of maintaining peace in the region.
He held on to Jordan’s strong ties with western countries, and cracked down on the Hamas’ activities in Jordan, acting on the pleas made by Israel, USA and Palestine. After the 9/11 attacks where most of the world turned their back toward Muslims, Abdullah was among the first Muslim representatives to openly condemn the attacks and said that Jordan is with the USA in the fight against radical Islamic terrorist groups. Abdullah started receiving threat calls from Al-Qaeda for lending his support to the US, but it wasn’t enough to scare him as he was a keen advocate of world peace.
He received criticism in his country for his unconventional moves, one of which was postponing the Jordanian General Election, which was supposed to take place in 2001. The elections finally culminated in 2003 and later, keeping in mind the position of women in the country and its politics, he introduced six seat quota for women in parliament.
Under Abdullah’s reign, Jordan opened up to the world and economic reforms were introduced, upping the standard of living of the Jordanian population. He kept receiving flaks from Muslim radicals for being ‘the puppet’ of western forces, but Abdullah kept ignoring the allegations and did what he thought was right.
American war with Syria caused an utter discomfort in Middle East, causing millions of refugees to enter Jordan, who Abdullah accepted wholeheartedly. The radical Islamic population, labour class and some other groups of lower class Jordanians went on street protests to speak against unemployment, but most of the protests were restrained by Abdullah.
In the 2016 general election, Abdullah introduced proportional representation in the parliament; a move which he thought would enable democracy to thrive in the country. Some local groups despised his action, while others praised the move, but one thing became obvious, Abdullah proved to be a better representative of the people of Jordan than his father.
Abdullah is married to a Palestinian woman Rania Al-Yassin, whom he met in 1993 during a dinner. They immediately connected, got engaged two months later, and married in June 1993. Abdullah is only the second Jordanian king to marry only once. The couple have four children and their eldest son, named after Abdullah’s father, Hussein, has been crowned as the prince.
Abdullah loves living life to the fullest and is heavily into sports, movies and music. He is a massive fan of the ‘Star Trek’ series and has even appeared in one of the episodes.