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 apparentHussein
Prime Ministers
Born (1962-01-30) 30 January 1962 (age 56)
Amman, Jordan
SpouseRania 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: عبد الله الثاني بن الحسين‎, ʿAbdullāh ath-thānī ibn Al-Ḥusayn, born 30 January 1962) has been King of Jordan since 1999. According to Abdullah, he is a 41st-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family—who have ruled Jordan since 1921.

He was born in Amman as the first child of King Hussein and his second wife, British-born Princess Muna. Shortly after his birth, Abdullah was named the crown prince. King Hussein transferred the title to his brother, Prince Hassan, in 1965 and unexpectedly returned it to Abdullah in early 1999 a few weeks before his death. 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.

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: 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

Abdullah and his father, hugging on a couch
Abdullah (age six) and his father, King Hussein, on 7 August 1968

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

As Hussein's eldest son, Abdullah became heir apparent to the Jordanian throne under the 1952 constitution.[5][9] Due to political instability, King Hussein appointed Abdullah's uncle Prince Hassan as his heir apparent in 1965; he returned the appointment to Abdullah shortly before his death in 1999.[10] Abdullah has four brothers and six sisters—Princess Alia, Prince Faisal, Princess Aisha, Princess Zein, Princess Haya, Prince Ali, Prince Hamza, Prince Hashem, Princess Iman, Princess Raiyah—seven of whom are paternal half-siblings.[11]

He began his schooling in 1966 at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and continued at St Edmund's School in England. Abdullah attended high school at Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States.[3]

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
қазақша: Абдалла 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