February 12, 2014
Directly descended from the Prophet Mohammad, King Abdullah II is the oldest son of King Hussein and his British born second wife, Antoinette Gardiner. He attended the Islamic Educational College in Amman, then St. Edmunds in Surrey England, then to America and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. In 1980 he graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, and joined the Jordanian Armed Forces as a Cobra Attack Pilot. He attended the Armored Officers Advanced Course at Fort Knox Kentucky. At Georgetown University he received a Masters degree. Abdullah II was promoted to Major General; and attended defense courses in Monterey California at the Naval Post Graduate School. He is a qualified frogman, a free fall parachutist, a motorcyclist, and a race car driver.
Petra, an ancient city in Jordan, was the resting place of the Holy Grail in the Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade. It is one of the world's most impressive archeological sites. Archeological riches, from Greco-Roman Jerash, to Ezion Befer where King Solomon built ships and the Queen of Sheba visited; to the 14th Century Fort in Aqaba where Lawrence of Arabia launched his 1916 attacks, to the modern skyline of Amman; His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein reigns the land between Iran and Israel on the Gulf of Aqaba. At age 37 he assumed the Hashemite Kingdom's Monarchy on the day his father, King Hussein, passed away.
The King married a Kuwaiti born Palestinian with a degree from the American University in Cairo. Queen Rania is a stunningly beautiful woman with expensive tastes and designer clothes; she is a regular in London society pages. They have four children.
Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace, his memoir, focuses on the Middle Eastern Peace Process, and his journey to the throne. The back cover is signed by President Bill Clinton, General Tommy Frank, and Warren Buffet. Jordon is one of Israel's few friends in the Middle East.
President Bill Clinton was an observer at the peace treaty signing between Israel and Jordan in 1994. Half of the population is Bedouin and Hashemite, the rest are Palestinian. Queen Rania is Palestinian. Peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Authority have included a refugee "Right of Return." This means that the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the 1948 refugees who fled during the war when Israel was attacked by Arab neighbors seeking to drive her into the sea. The countries they fled to have never granted citizenship. Generations of Palestinian families living all over the Middle East are not citizens of the country where they are born.
Secretary of State John Kerry showed bias against Israel with recent comments regarding a boycott of Israeli goods if they did not concede to his demands in the negotiations. He offered no rebuke to Palestinians for lack of concessions.
King Abdullah II is a proponent of the peace negotiations with Israel, which derailed six years ago. Israeli President Shimon Peres and the King have met at the Palace in Amman to discuss ways to overcome obstacles in the peace process.
After the "Arab Spring" protests, the King replaced the cabinet and took concrete steps to launch genuine political and economic reforms. This subdued the Muslim Brotherhood, but there are still groups against the King.
Middle Eastern Kingdoms are nervous. Perhaps world class destiny has been thrust upon this soldier King. In a Washington Post interview King Abdullah II said "Nobody can depend on America anymore." However he is meeting with President Obama at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage California, on Friday. King Abdullah does not seek international domination; but joins in a quest for solutions of thrashings by extreme Islamists, and perhaps a process for a peaceful solution to the Israel Palestinian dilemma.
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