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  #181  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:06 PM
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Shelley,
Could you elaborate on what the locals(Jordanians) think about HM Queen Rania? I know in a Vogue article, she was quoted as saying that the chattering classes of Amman were just jealous of her. It was in context to their criticism of her addiction to designer handbags.
Personally, I'm just curious because I find her to be absolutely vulgar. People always crticise MC of Greece, but at least she spends her own inherited money. Rania comes from a poor country and the cost of one handbag could feed multiple Jordanian families. Rania acts as if she is adored.


By the way, gossip is the favorite past time of most arab countries as there really is not much to do otherwise.
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  #182  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
This opinion is shared by many people I know, Jordanian and otherwise and so I staying reading and asking questions, and try to put two and two together. Problem is - I never was very good at maths. !
I'm a math genius, Shelley. I'm almost sure two and two together equals four.
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  #183  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paloma
Shelley,
Could you elaborate on what the locals(Jordanians) think about HM Queen Rania? I know in a Vogue article, she was quoted as saying that the chattering classes of Amman were just jealous of her. It was in context to their criticism of her addiction to designer handbags.
Personally, I'm just curious because I find her to be absolutely vulgar.
Shelley's definitely an expert at this. However, I can say that I spent some time in Jordan last summer, and I did hear locals grumble a bit about QR. Since it is an imprisonable offense to criticize the JRF in Jordan, I didn't attempt to ascertain the nature of their beefs against her. Just noted them with interest.

I, too, find QR's spending habits vulgar and her dismissiveness of criticism immature, self aggrandizing, and not terribly respectful of others. I guess the latter is just her way of not having to listen seriously to anything she finds disagreeable. Maybe if she did listen and care more, she would learn something and grow and evolve as a human being.
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  #184  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:21 PM
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King Hussein and Succession

Now, years later, I believe the King realized he was dying upon his first return to Jordan. He had long lobbied for a family council to determine succession but ran out of time. He certainly had a closeness to Hamzah, who he said reminded him of himself. He also extracted a promise from Abdullah to obey his wishes that Hamzah succeed him (we'll see) and to treat Noor well. He said Hassan would not agree to Hamzah's succession nor did he support the family council idea. And let's not forget this was a VERY ill man who spent his last hours in Jordan redrafting and rethinking succession. It is unclear how clear he was in his rush to draft the letter. So he probably went with the safest option--one which could be implemented immediately--naming his son the new King. I don't believe he hated Hassan or Sarvath but he did feel strongly the "new generation" should be empowered to help Jordan transition to the new millenium.
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  #185  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:32 PM
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I agree with you butterfly. The shopping and spending is pretty bad but really at the end of the day w/o transparency in the Jordanian Central Bank you will never know what she spends and where it comes from. But the dismissiveness is COMPETELY out of wack for a queen of such an impoverished place.

And muslims on the forum can enlighten us even further but I always thought that modesty was a virtue that the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) spoke about during his days. if i'm not wrong, the orgins of women being veiled (body not hair) is to hide a woman's finery so as not to provoke envy (I know it was also about hiding a woman's curves but that could be done w/o the cape) the cape was about not flaunting wealth. and so this kinda strikes me as odd that she would be so crass given her husband's noble blood.

and generally, i think she is quite an 'immature' person. something about her just rubs my last nerve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papillon
Shelley's definitely an expert at this. However, I can say that I spent some time in Jordan last summer, and I did hear locals grumble a bit about QR. Since it is an imprisonable offense to criticize the JRF in Jordan, I didn't attempt to ascertain the nature of their beefs against her. Just noted them with interest.

I, too, find QR's spending habits vulgar and her dismissiveness of criticism immature, self aggrandizing, and not terribly respectful of others. I guess the latter is just her way of not having to listen seriously to anything she finds disagreeable. Maybe if she did listen and care more, she would learn something and grow and evolve as a human being.
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  #186  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryshawn
He also extracted a promise from Abdullah to obey his wishes that Hamzah succeed him (we'll see) and to treat Noor well.

So he probably went with the safest option--one which could be implemented immediately--naming his son the new King. I don't believe he hated Hassan or Sarvath but he did feel strongly the "new generation" should be empowered to help Jordan transition to the new millenium.
Well, it seems KA has already reneged on the promise to treat QN well. So I wouldn't bet on him to honor the other half of his agreement. :(

Sorry, Mary Shawn, I just don't agree with your characterization of the succession change as the "safest option." I think it was fraught with danger for the region, for Jordan, for the people of Jordan, for the JRF, for KA, and for P. Hassan and his family. I remember reading newspaper reports in the States about concerns there would be rioting in the streets of Amman and other towns in Jordan, bloodshed, and possible coup attempts over the change in succession. I think it was a very risky (and, frankly, ill advised) move on KH's part. Jordan has been one of the more stable countries in the region. I shudder to think what might have happened there and throughout the region had P. Hassan not had the good judgement and class to go quietly into the night.
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  #187  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:34 PM
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I do see Abdullah complying with the wish of the late King Hussein. The problem will be Rania's influence. I'm sure that if she gets her way, the children of Noor will be marginalized and shoved out of sight in Jordan.
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  #188  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ipi Tombe
I agree with you butterfly. The shopping and spending is pretty bad but really at the end of the day w/o transparency in the Jordanian Central Bank you will never know what she spends and where it comes from.
Well, I agree accountability and transparency would be very enlightening, but I also have to blame my own government (US) for not accounting to the American people how our taxpayer dollars are being spent. In other words, I think there should be a quid pro quo when we provide aid to any country, not just Jordan. We'll give you the aid, but you have to account for how it is utilized and give us access and audit rights to your accounts. If you want secrecy, then sorry, we cannot help.

Apart from the whole question of the source of QR's mad money. . .let's even assume for the purpose of argument that it is all her own private savings from her lengthy career as a banking and technology industry executive (:)). . .it just seems so crass to be spending like that in front of people who are so poor they can't figure out how they're going to provide lunch for their children. There's a lack of sensitivity issue involved in that spending for me, too, in addition to the wonderment of where it all comes from.
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  #189  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paloma
The problem will be Rania's influence. I'm sure that if she gets her way, the children of Noor will be marginalized and shoved out of sight in Jordan.
Kind of seems to me as though this is already happening. :(
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  #190  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:48 PM
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Gossip isn't only confined to Jordan, or the Middle East...it's a universal thing.
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  #191  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papillon
Nice to hear from you, SafaaBatin. Love reading first-hand accounts from people in Jordan.
Me too! Welcome to TRF.
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  #192  
Old 09-03-2004, 03:37 PM
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I just went and read the letter KH wrote to Prince Hassan...so basically, Hassan was passed over for King because He disagreed with the establishment of a succession council and who should be his successor once it came time for him to step down from being King? Also, Hassan was made Crown Prince because of an amendment to the Jordanian constitution? Well, at least His Majesty loved his brother even though he bypassed him for King. I also wonder if showing his love and appreciation helped to take a little of the sting out of being bypassed for King.
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  #193  
Old 09-03-2004, 04:50 PM
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I cannot imgine someone as savvy as Prince Hassan would really care about the actual title and position of being King of Jordan, a pretty poisoned chalice at the best of times. I think what was very unpleasant were the slurs and mud slinging that went along with the change which was totally uneccessary, (especially as P. Alia says, P. Hassan offered to stand down more than once) and the way he has been side lined from any involvement in a country he helped build and to which he could still contribute so much.
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  #194  
Old 09-03-2004, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
I cannot imgine someone as savvy as Prince Hassan would really care about the actual title and position of being King of Jordan, a pretty poisoned chalice at the best of times. I think what was very unpleasant were the slurs and mud slinging that went along with the change which was totally uneccessary, (especially as P. Alia says, P. Hassan offered to stand down more than once) and the way he has been side lined from any involvement in a country he helped build and to which he could still contribute so much.

Then I think that P. Hassan past resignations should have been honored...at least let the man exist with some grace and dignity...not saying he didn't have any grace and dignity when he was bypassed, but I wonder if it didn't hurt some. Also, it is wrong for P. Hassan not to be allowed involvement in Jordan because of the fallout from the succession. Didn't King Hussein say something about his talents being need for other things concerning Jordan?
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  #195  
Old 09-03-2004, 05:03 PM
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I have followed all the posts here about Prince Hassan and would just like to add one more thing about Prince Hassan here that no seems to have mentioned. From what I have heard, he is a very kind,loving husband and father.
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  #196  
Old 09-03-2004, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papillon
Well, it seems KA has already reneged on the promise to treat QN well. So I wouldn't bet on him to honor the other half of his agreement. :(

Sorry, Mary Shawn, I just don't agree with your characterization of the succession change as the "safest option." I think it was fraught with danger for the region, for Jordan, for the people of Jordan, for the JRF, for KA, and for P. Hassan and his family. I remember reading newspaper reports in the States about concerns there would be rioting in the streets of Amman and other towns in Jordan, bloodshed, and possible coup attempts over the change in succession. I think it was a very risky (and, frankly, ill advised) move on KH's part. Jordan has been one of the more stable countries in the region. I shudder to think what might have happened there and throughout the region had P. Hassan not had the good judgement and class to go quietly into the night.
Good points all. Did you know that on the ride to the plane to Mayo after new succession had been announced, QR asked QN if there would be a coup against her husband and rioting? She was VERY worried about it.
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  #197  
Old 09-04-2004, 06:32 AM
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Further to why's and how's and maybe's of the succession change

Quote:
Originally Posted by igniya
I have followed all the posts here about Prince Hassan and would just like to add one more thing about Prince Hassan here that no seems to have mentioned. From what I have heard, he is a very kind,loving husband and father.
In keeping with with you say here, I feel I have to put forward something that has been discussed by people I know who are interested in what finally precipitated the change, and often end up discussing it, as for them the whole business is one of life's mysteries. The late king was brave, dashing, charismatic, generous, intelligent, wily, street wise, sometimes rash and certainly a risk taker. So there were good and not so good facets to his character, which meant he was human, not a demigod. And so, is it not possible, that underneath his undoubted love and pride in a brother whom for years and years he regarded as the light of his life , his other half etc ( phrases he actually never used about a wife ) there could have also been a teensy weensy bit of pure old sibing jealousy ? Here was a younger brother who had done better educationally ( to be fair, it was Q. Zein who was responsible for this. And she was the wife of choice of K. Talal who believed in education, and was herself educated at a French run convent, unusual for an Arab woman of her time - Hussein had the perhaps questionable privilege of having his educational pattern mapped out by a reactionary grandfather. The minute K. Abdullah I died, Hussein was sent to school in England, but perhaps too late to really benefit). Hassan had a stable marriage, and 'Alhamdulliah' as the Arabs would say, he had a small, cohesive family, and succesful, non problem children who got on with their lives, all graduates, who made good, normal marriages etc. He was a better sportsman ( the late king enjoyed a lot a machine linked sports - fast cars and motor bikes and go carts, water skiing, but not ones where he himself would have to perform). And although P. Hassan always kept himself out of the limelight, the late king knew almost better than anyone else how much of the sheer grunt work of creating modern Jordan had in fact been achieved through Hassan's efforts ( although no-one should underestimate the wisdom and initital self confidence of the elder brother in recognising the potential of the younger one, and allowing him the freedom and space to do what he did ). So as Liz Taylor once said, 'I never broke up a happy marriage', maybe there was a little chink there that was perhaps was the opening that various interested parties could build on and benefit from. For there is no doubt that had Hassan become king, his many talents would be more generally known, and obviously he would have had a freer hand to build on what he had already achieved the in areas of economy, health, education, and general infra- structure of the country, and peace- building. Combined with his other skills and talents, dare I say it, he might have even better king and role model for a modern country than his predecessor. If Hassan had indeed not had the ability and personality that he has clearly has , there is no way that he would still command the respect and affection he does, and be in such demand world wide, as pure and simple Prince Hassan , not His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I don't see any other royal family member doing the same. Imagine if those skills were being put to use as a head of state in the made, bad world we live in ? I realise I am saying something very controversial...but then, we are occasionally controversial here in TRF, are we not ? At least, it is food for thought. :) And I think I am on topic !
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  #198  
Old 09-04-2004, 07:08 AM
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Why did P. Hassan accept a “credit” of 30 millions of US Dollars by Ahmad Chalabi’s then existing Petra bank in the 1980s (and for what)?
The most renowned newspaper of Germany (the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) published Thursday a long article (“Ich bin kein Engel”: I am not an angel) on Chalabi (obviously a rather shady person) highlighting among many other things Chalabi’s friendship with P. Hassan (still existing) and their political co-operation (still recently in Iraq, in conjunction with the Neo-cons in the USA), showing the Jordanian prince in a rather unfavorably light (and it has nothing to do with Jordan’s succession question of 1999). The article’s author (W. Köhler) is a ME expert among German political journalists and has been living in the region for many years.
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  #199  
Old 09-04-2004, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veram98
Why did P. Hassan accept a “credit” of 30 millions of US Dollars by Ahmad Chalabi’s then existing Petra bank in the 1980s (and for what)?
The most renowned newspaper of Germany (the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) published Thursday a long article (“Ich bin kein Engel”: I am not an angel) on Chalabi (obviously a rather shady person) highlighting among many other things Chalabi’s friendship with P. Hassan (still existing) and their political co-operation (still recently in Iraq, in conjunction with the Neo-cons in the USA), showing the Jordanian prince in a rather unfavorably light (and it has nothing to do with Jordan’s succession question of 1999). The article’s author (W. Köhler) is a ME expert among German political journalists and has been living in the region for many years.
This is Mr. Chalabi's version of events, and as everyone has some doubt on the veracity of most things Chalabi says, why do they chose to believe this item of information from his sources. I have read, and will try and find again, a explanation in the press of this point from Prince Hassan in which he clearly said that he did indeed take a loan of 4 million JD over a period of 9 years at a time when there was a shortage of liquidity in the Jordanian Royal Court fianaces, and this loan was taken with the late King's knowledge, to fund certain official projetcs. ( the late King himself also was obliged to take loans from from banks as well during this period). The loan was paid back in full . Prince Hassan was not alone in taking a loan, openly , from a recognised registered bank. Prince Raad bin Zeid was also was in a similar position as were other members of the royal family. Just for the record, in case you are not aware of the fact, P. Hassan was in no way responsible for Chalabi's leaving Jordan. He was driven out in the boot of the car of a woman called Tamara Sadoun who subsequently spent time in jail in Amman for her part in the whole procedure. Much calumny has been heaped on P. Hassan recently but none of it has stuck and not least any accusation of financial wrongdoing at any point. And for someone who was for years deeply involved in the financial matters of his country, and had many opportunities to feather his nest, that in itself is quite an achievement, especially in the Middle East.

Ragarding the writer of the article's remark about P. Hassan's friendship with Chalabi. I have no doubt that when Chalabi was living in Jordan that they could have been friends. Chalabi;s financial peccadillos had not surfaced, and he was well recieved by many people in Jordan. His family has for generations been closely linked with the Royal Family in Iraq, and were a well educated and cultured . Chalabi himself was a MIT graduate and I believe has siblings who went to Oxbridge. In this he was similar to many of the expatriate ancien regime Iraqis who are to be found in Amman, London and Paris. What united all of these people was total and utter dislike for Saddam Hussein from day one of his regime, even when there were those in the West who thought that he might be an effective counter-balance to the Mullahs in Iran. . In this, many of them found a kindred spirit in P. Hassan who never hid his dislike and distrust of the Iraqi dictator. K. Hussein on the other hand did not share this view in its totality, and went to the extent of developing personal relations a familial level with Saddam and his family, something which was looked at askance by many of the Iraqis. P. Hassan was perhaps too rigid by some lights, in that he firmly believed in keeping business and pleasure separate, and so it was that his wife and daughters never ever met Mr. and Mrs. Saddam, Mr and Mrs Arafat, Mr and Mrs Hafez Assad, or their families. I have to say that I rather respect this attitude.
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  #200  
Old 09-04-2004, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
In keeping with with you say here, I feel I have to put forward something that has been discussed by people I know who are interested in what finally precipitated the change, and often end up discussing it, as for them the whole business is one of life's mysteries. The late king was brave, dashing, charismatic, generous, intelligent, wily, street wise, sometimes rash and certainly a risk taker. So there were good and not so good facets to his character, which meant he was human, not a demigod. And so, is it not possible, that underneath his undoubted love and pride in a brother whom for years and years he regarded as the light of his life , his other half etc ( phrases he actually never used about a wife ) there could have also been a teensy weensy bit of pure old sibing jealousy ? Here was a younger brother who had done better educationally ( to be fair, it was Q. Zein who was responsible for this. And she was the wife of choice of K. Talal who believed in education, and was herself educated at a French run convent, unusual for an Arab woman of her time - Hussein had the perhaps questionable privilege of having his educational pattern mapped out by a reactionary grandfather. The minute K. Abdullah I died, Hussein was sent to school in England, but perhaps too late to really benefit). Hassan had a stable marriage, and 'Alhamdulliah' as the Arabs would say, he had a small, cohesive family, and succesful, non problem children who got on with their lives, all graduates, who made good, normal marriages etc. He was a better sportsman ( the late king enjoyed a lot a machine linked sports - fast cars and motor bikes and go carts, water skiing, but not ones where he himself would have to perform). And although P. Hassan always kept himself out of the limelight, the late king knew almost better than anyone else how much of the sheer grunt work of creating modern Jordan had in fact been achieved through Hassan's efforts ( although no-one should underestimate the wisdom and initital self confidence of the elder brother in recognising the potential of the younger one, and allowing him the freedom and space to do what he did ). So as Liz Taylor once said, 'I never broke up a happy marriage', maybe there was a little chink there that was perhaps was the opening that various interested parties could build on and benefit from. For there is no doubt that had Hassan become king, his many talents would be more generally known, and obviously he would have had a freer hand to build on what he had already achieved the in areas of economy, health, education, and general infra- structure of the country, and peace- building. Combined with his other skills and talents, dare I say it, he might have even better king and role model for a modern country than his predecessor. If Hassan had indeed not had the ability and personality that he has clearly has , there is no way that he would still command the respect and affection he does, and be in such demand world wide, as pure and simple Prince Hassan , not His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I don't see any other royal family member doing the same. Imagine if those skills were being put to use as a head of state in the made, bad world we live in ? I realise I am saying something very controversial...but then, we are occasionally controversial here in TRF, are we not ? At least, it is food for thought. :) And I think I am on topic !

Oh yes, we definitely get controversial on here.
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