Profile of Jordan's King Abdullah II, Ascending the Throne Since 1999
UMMATIMES - King Abdullah II ascended the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 7 February 1999. His coronation was carried out on the day his father, King Hussein bin Talal died.
King Abdullah II is a direct descendant of the 41st Prophet Muhammad. King Abdullah II is the eldest son of King Hussein bin Talal and Princess Muna Al Hussein. He was born in Amman on January 30, 1962. King Abdullah II has four brothers and six sisters.
He received his basic education at the Islamic Educational College in Amman in 1996. King Abdullah II then proceeded to St. Edmund's School in Surrey, England, then at Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States to complete secondary education.
In training as an officer in the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army, King Abdullah II joined the Royal Sandhurst Military Academy in Britain in 1980. King Abdullah II was then assigned as Second Lieutenant after completing his military education there. He was then appointed commander of a reconnaissance company in the 13/18 battalion of the British Royal Hussars.
In 1982, King Abdullah II completed a one-year course of special studies on the Middle East at the University of Oxford.
On his return to Jordan, King Abdullah II enlisted in the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army with the rank of first lieutenant and later served as platoon commander and assistant company commander in the 40th Armored Brigade. In 1985, King Abdullah attended an advanced armor course at Fort Knox, Kentucky in the United States.
In 1986, the King became commander of a tank company, with the rank of Captain in the 9th Armored Brigade of the Armed Forces. He also served on the anti-tank helicopter wing of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, having qualified as a paratrooper in military freefall and as a Cobra Attack Helicopter pilot.
In 1987, King attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and undertook advanced study and research in International Affairs within the framework of a master's program in Foreign Service. King Abdullah II served as assistant company commander in the 17th Royal Tank Battalion, and was later promoted to Major. He also attended staff courses at Staff College, Camberley in England.
In the period 1991-1992, King Abdullah II represented Armored Corp at the Office of the Inspector General of the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army.
He also led the Second Royal Armored Battalion and in 1993 was promoted to Colonel, taking over as Commander of the 40th Armored Brigade.
King Abdullah II later became Assistant Commander of the Royal Jordan Special Forces, before taking over as Commander with the rank of Brigadier General.
In 1996, the King restructured the Special Forces in 1996 to form an elite unit and form the Special Forces Command.
He was promoted to Major General in 1998 in June and July of the same year, attending courses on defense resource management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Apart from military service, the King served as regent several times in the absence of His Majesty King Hussein.
On January 29, 1999, His Excellency Prince Abdullah II bin Al Hussein was appointed as Crown Prince by virtue of a Royal Decree.
King Abdullah II was previously crowned Crown Prince by virtue of a Royal Decree issued in accordance with Article 28 of the Constitution, at birth on January 30, 1962, which was in effect until April 1, 1965.
King Abdullah II married Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah on 10 June 1993. They have two sons, Her Majesty the Crown Prince Al Hussein, born on 28 June 1994, and His Excellency Pangeran Hashem, born on 30 January 2005 and two daughters, Her Majesty Putri Iman, born on 27 September 1996 and Her Majesty Putri Salma, born on September 26, 2000.
King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein wrote Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril. In this book, King Abdullah II recounts major events and achievements and details Jordan's vision for ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The book was published in Arabic by Al Saqi publisher in 2011 and was also published by Viking Press in English that same year.