King Hussein bin Talal Essay

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Many individuals desire power to create change and leave a mark in history. Though some were successful in achieving this, many were left to do their part and contribute to the betterment of many. One man was able to do this and create his own legacy; an unending desire to develop and create his lasting marks both in the Muslim and Western world. This man, a born leader and dreamer, is King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan. Born in November 14, 1935 from Prince Talal bin Abdullah and Princess Zein al-Sharaf bint Jamil, the young King Hussein possessed the leadership and skill that can surpass his father (King Hussein.

gov, 2006). Along with his two siblings, King Hussein lived a happy life full of luxuries and on one day creating a legacy of his own in Jordan. Since the Muslim believed in the traditional transfer of power to the direct descendants of Mohammed, he was being groomed to assume the throne as the forty second generation descendant, when the time comes (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). At such a young age, then Prince Hussein saw the violence of the world when an assassination attempt took his grandfathers life (King Abdullah).

There was a story wherein Prince Hussein was saved from the assassination because of the medal his grandfather gave him wherein in the future he forever cherished the most (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). Due to this sudden turn of events, Prince Husseins father, King Talal assumed the throne. However his reign was not going to last for long because of an illness. During his fathers reign, Prince Hussein dedicated his life in the study of politics, law and proved to be a scholar in different areas. He devoted his lifetime towards the pursuit of information and new ideas.

His mind was very open to changes and dreamed to improve the welfare of his country (King Hussein. gov, 2006). Not long shall he realize that he will assume the throne of his father and become one of the most prominent figures in the Muslim world. King Husseins formal accession to the throne came in two years after his father was proven to mentally incapacitated and unable to lead. Seeing this, formal procedures were made to appoint the next successor and deal with the current issues surrounding Jordan during that time.

A Regency Council was appointed until King Husseins formal accession to the throne on May 2, 1953, when he assumed his constitutional powers after reaching the age of eighteen, according to the Islamic calendar (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009, p. 1). At a young age of 18, the new King Hussein was a vibrant and energetic fellow. However, his reign was immediately put to the test with the recent challenges and hurdles impeding Jordans growth. There were issues of poverty and unemployment in the country.

He needed to enact changes immediately to help and sustain the growth of the state and improve the welfare of his countrymen. With this, he primarily focused his ideas and interests in creating and developing the economy and its key industries. He looked into what can make the country benefit more and sought to improve and intensify them with the incorporation of technology during that time. He believed that by devoting his time on this, he can have a competitive advantage over other states. Among these vital sectors include (1) phosphate, (2) potash and (3) cement (King Hussein.

org, 2006). Also, King Hussein understood that for trade to increase and develop there must be an available path to vital locations and commercial areas. That is why another of his first projects included linking the many cities of Jordan using an effective highway system. This was a good strategy for the Kingdom because it enabled mobilization and easier access for communication, goods and trade. At this rate, he knew that after a while, changes will start to manifest and help develop the country towards its desired objectives.

With his interest in implementing change, many developments have been seen even in the first five years of his reign. Overall, he proved to be a mover towards growth and a powerhouse in giving out what needs to be done. It is reported that during 1950, only 10% of Jordanians have access to clean water, however this has gone up to 99% during his reign as king (King Hussein. org, 2006). Though his interests were focused on the development of the economy, King Hussein never neglected the needs of his people.

He believed that the Jordanians are a huge asset towards growth and improvement (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). That is why he also pursued to develop Jordans healthcare system and administered cheap but effective treatment to those who need it most. UNICEF statistics show that between 1981 and 1991, Jordan achieved the worlds fastest annual rate of decline in infant mortality -from 70 deaths per 1000 births in 1981 to 37 per 1000 in 1991, a fall of over 47% (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009, p. 1). In foreign policy and international relations, King Hussein has always been considered a pacifist.

He never wanted to engage in conflict with other states and sought ways to deepen and enhance relationships especially among Muslim countries. In his 45 years of reign as king, he was one of the promoters of implementing peace in the Middle East. He operated and cooperated with the rules and tenets of international organizations such as the United Nations and used it as a model to denounce conflict and war (King Hussein. org, 2006). This was particularly evident as he was a mediator in many conflicts such as the Madrid Peace Conference, the 1994 Peace Treaty, and the 1990-1991 Gulf Crisis (King Hussein. org, 2006).

This is important to point out because he wanted peace and tolerance among states either in political and religious affairs. It is through this belief that he modeled his country to be and advocate liberty, human rights and equality among all citizens. With this move, he next sought to democratize the country by offering his power towards citizens via parliamentary elections. It is in here that he amended the Jordanian constitution and sought to include tenets of liberal democratization and political pluralism during the 90s (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). As far as his personal life is concerned, he had a happy family.

He is married to Queen Noor on June 15, 1978 and had 12 children from three different wives. During his past time, away from politics and international relations, he focused his attention on sports such as racing, motorcycles and aviation (King Hussein. org, 2006). At the same time, this did not stop him from writing and he was able to publish three books which are Uneasy Lies the Head (1962), about his childhood and early years as king, My War With Israel (1969), and Mon Metier de Roi (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). However, later in his life, King Hussein has been suffering from different ailments.

He had surgery for a cancerous kidney in 1992, and had six months of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic in 1998 (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2009). The world was shocked when they found out that he died of cancer. Though he did leave Jordan grieving, he left yet another contribution that forever shall be remembered and cherished. King Husseins directive to provide Internet access for every Jordanian school highlights yet another aspect of his enduring legacy (King Hussein. org, 2006). In the end, King Hussein exemplified what really is to be a leader.

His grasp of power was used to move not only his country but the world forward. His contributions enveloped change and made his nation prosper. It is wise therefore that his name Al-Malik Al-Insan (The Humane King) be bequeathed accordingly and be recognized as one of the captivating leaders of modern times.


American-Isreali Cooperative Enterprise (2009) King Hussein bin Talal in Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from, http://www. jewishvirtuallibrary. org/jsource/biography/Hussein. html King Hussein. org (2006) Biography. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from, http://www. kinghussein. gov. jo/biography. html

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