Abdullah II of Jordan

Abdullah II
King Abdullah portrait.jpg
Abdullah in 2008
King of Jordan
Reign7 February 1999 – present
Coronation9 June 1999
PredecessorHussein
Heir apparentCrown Prince Hussein
Prime Ministers
Born (1962-01-30) 30 January 1962 (age 56)
Amman, Jordan
Spouse
Rania Al-Yassin (m. 1993)
Issue
Detail
Crown Prince Hussein
Princess Iman
Princess Salma
Prince Hashem
Full name
Abdullah bin Hussein bin Talal bin Abdullah
HouseHashemite
FatherHussein of Jordan
MotherMuna Al-Hussein
ReligionSunni Islam
SignatureAbdullah II's signature

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein (Arabic: عبدالله الثاني بن الحسين‎, ʿAbdullāh ath-thānī bin Al-Ḥusayn, born 30 January 1962) has been King of Jordan since 1999. He belongs to the Hashemite family, who have ruled Jordan since 1921 and claim agnatic descent from Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.

Abdullah was born in Amman as the first child of King Hussein and his second wife, British-born Princess Muna. As the King's eldest son, Abdullah was heir apparent until Hussein transferred the title to Abdullah's uncle, Prince Hassan, in 1965. Abdullah began his schooling in Amman, continuing his education abroad. He began his military career in 1980 as a training officer in the Jordanian Armed Forces, later assuming command of the country's Special Forces in 1994, and he became a major general in 1998. In 1993 Abdullah married Rania Al-Yassin (of Palestinian descent), and they have four children: Crown Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem. Few weeks before his death in 1999, Hussein named Abdullah his heir, and Abdullah succeeded his father.

Abdullah, a constitutional monarch, liberalized the economy when he assumed the throne, and his reforms led to an economic boom which continued until 2008. During the following years Jordan's economy experienced hardship as it dealt with the effects of the Great Recession and spillover from the Arab Spring, including a cut in its petroleum supply and the collapse of trade with neighboring countries. In 2011, large-scale protests demanding reform erupted in the Arab world. Many of the protests led to civil wars in other countries, but Abdullah responded quickly to domestic unrest by replacing the government and introducing reforms to the constitution and laws governing public freedoms and elections. Proportional representation was reintroduced to the Jordanian parliament in the 2016 general election, a move which he said would eventually lead to establishing parliamentary governments. The reforms took place amid unprecedented challenges stemming from regional instability, including an influx of 1.4 million Syrian refugees into the natural resources-lacking country and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Abdullah is popular locally and internationally for maintaining Jordanian stability, and is known for promoting interfaith dialogue and a moderate understanding of Islam. The third-longest-serving Arab leader, he was regarded by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center as the most influential Muslim in the world in 2016.[1] Abdullah is custodian of the Muslim and Christian sacred sites in Jerusalem, a position held by his dynasty since 1924.[2]

Early life

A young King Hussein and Princess Muna, holding their two young sons
Prince Abdullah and Prince Faisal with their parents, King Hussein and Princess Muna, in 1964

Abdullah was born on 30 January 1962 in Amman, to King Hussein, and Hussein's British-born second wife, Princess Muna.[3] He is the namesake of his great-grandfather, Abdullah I, who founded modern Jordan.[4][5] Abdullah's dynasty, the Hashemites, ruled Mecca for over 700 years—until the House of Saud conquered Mecca in 1925—and have ruled Jordan since 1921.[6][7] The Hashemites are the oldest ruling dynasty in the Muslim world.[1] According to family tradition, Abdullah is the 41st generation agnatic descendant of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and her husband, Ali, the fourth caliph.[3][8]

As Hussein's eldest son, Abdullah was heir apparent to the Jordanian throne under the 1952 constitution.[5][9] Due to political instability, King Hussein though it wise to appoint an adult heir instead, choosing Abdullah's uncle Prince Hassan, in 1965.[10][11] Abdullah began his schooling in 1966 at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and continued at St Edmund's School in England. He attended high school at Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States.[3]

King Hussein and Princess Muna had three more children – Prince Faisal, Princess Aisha, and Princess Zein – before they divorced in 1972.[12] Princess Muna stayed in Jordan and had a strong influence on Abdullah's upbringing; Abdullah grew up "unmistakably English in deportment, character and outlook", with a better command of English than Arabic. Furthermore, enduring doubts about Muna's religion made Abdullah an unlikely contender for the throne.[12] In addition to an older half-sister, Princess Alia, Abdullah gained five half-siblings from his father's subsequent marriages: Prince Ali, Prince Hamza, Prince Hashem, Princess Iman, Princess Raiyah.[13]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: II Abdullah
беларуская: Абдала II
čeština: Abdalláh II.
français: Abdallah II
한국어: 압둘라 2세
հայերեն: Աբդալլահ II
hrvatski: Abdulah II.
Bahasa Indonesia: Abdullah II dari Yordania
ქართული: აბდულა II
Napulitano: Abd Allah II
norsk nynorsk: Abdullah II av Jordan
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Abdulloh II
Runa Simi: Abdullah II
Simple English: Abdullah II of Jordan
slovenščina: Abdulah II. Jordanski
Taqbaylit: Ɛebdellah II
Türkçe: II. Abdullah
українська: Абдалла II
Tiếng Việt: Abdullah II của Jordan