King Hussein, one of the most durable of Mideast rulers, marked his 40th birthday and his 22nd year on the throne on Friday (14 November).
King Hussein, one of the most durable of Mideast rulers, marked his 40th birthday and his 22nd year on the throne on Friday (14 November). A number of civic celebrations were planned including a parade through the streets of Amman.
He also attended an economic and industrial exhibit at Jordan University intended to demonstrate the progress made in industrialisation during the period of his reign.
The diminutive King has surprised many by remaining in power so many years. They've been difficult years which included two major wars with Israel in which Jordan lost considerable territory; a bitter feud with Palestinian guerrillas whom he considered a threat to his country's stability; and numerous assassination attempts.
As a result of his feud with the guerrillas, King Hussein was isolated in the Arab world for several years but recently there has been a rapprochement. It started with his acceptance at the Rabat Summit of the rights of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to speak for all Palestinians and has continued with a drawing together of Syria and Jordan following Egypt's decision to reach a separate agreement with Israel.