The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

Go Back   The Royal Forums > Reigning Houses > Royal House of Jordan

Join The Royal Forums Today
View Poll Results: Do You Think King Hussein Made the "Right" Succession Decision?
Yes 45 100.00%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
  #261  
Old 03-27-2005, 06:52 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
I do not know whether P. Hassan and P. Sarvath are pompous boors but somehow that does not seem to fit in with people who between them have done much to improve the educational and cultural scene in Jordan and continue to do so.
I don't think they are pompous boors. They are well liked and still socially active within Jordan.

Quote:
P. Sarvath was never in the public eye; and so it is easy to do a character assination on someone no one really knows much about and only heard about a few short years ago.

By this I was referring to the fact that actually no one much outside certain circles had heard of Princess Sarvath, until she got this really bad press at the time of the succession crisis. It is easy to malign someone whom there is not hard and fast image of, and who has by and large, never been in the public eye.
I think this is exactly what happened. Reasons had to be offered for the sudden change in succession, so the powers that be chose to malign her, since she wasn't a known entity. Just makes me wonder, though, what the real reasons were. Why couldn't KH have just said he wanted the line kept in his branch of the family tree?!
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #262  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:00 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
All of these various incidents can provide more than enough material for a journalist to conclude that Q. Noor's relationship with her in laws was less that ideal.
This is fairly widely known within Jordan.

Quote:
I have not yet read Q. Noor's book but so many Jordanians have told me that it is frustrating experience as there are so many inconsistencies and inaccuracies.
I have read it and found it interesting, if only because it gives some insight into her thinking. I didn't find it terribly useful as a historical document, though. It seemed clear to me she wrote it with the idea of legacy building.

Quote:
And perhaps she found that she was more interested in public matters than her family. I believe she has admitted as much in her book, saying that she did not find herself a naturally maternal person, leaving much of the childrearing to nannies etc. In an interview I read many years ago she said that the king actually told her not to use any models or turn to anyone for advice, but to do things her own way. If this was the case, he did her a disservice as many of the misunderstandings etc. might have been avoided if another policy had been followed.
She criticized her own parenting skills in a Vanity Fair article that was published in 1999, after KH's death. And I think she also mentioned in the same article that KH gave her complete freedom in how she went about her role. I, too, think she needed some guidance.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #263  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:03 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~Humera~*~
the late King Hussein should've made his eldest son (ie Abdullah) Crown Prince to begin with, with the understanding that the throne would pass down to his eldest son and so forth. Thats how things are done in most monarchies around the world.
This would've prevented a lot of misunderstanding and heartache.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #264  
Old 03-27-2005, 08:23 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
Do any of you think that Hassan would have tried to make the monarchy more constitutional and thus less power for the monarchy?
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #265  
Old 03-27-2005, 08:25 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandria
Bumping up this thread for Shelley who inquired about it.
Thanks, Shelley and Alexandria. I started this thread long ago. . .this is one of my favorite topics. :)
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #266  
Old 03-27-2005, 10:08 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reina
Do any of you think that Hassan would have tried to make the monarchy more constitutional and thus less power for the monarchy?
It's impossible to know. After all, it's not in the interests of the JRF to give up any of their power.

But I do think P. Hassan, even when he was still C.P., saw that the world was marching in the direction of democracy and was aware that, if the JRF wanted to hang onto any power at all, they would have to reform. So I am optimistic he would've begun the process in substantive ways, and I think people there would be happier with his rule six years out from KH's death than they are right now under KA's. (But then I am an admirer of P. Hassan. . .although this sort of thing is exactly why I admire him.)

By comparison, I hear KA talk an awful lot about reform and democracy, but substantively, not much has changed. If anything, he seems to be clamping down on any moves toward press freedoms and freedom of speech and other liberties that some of us who live in democracies take for granted. For example, the press is still controlled by KA, and he continues to prosecute people who allegedly speak out about his rule. So I'm worried that, although he says most of the right things, he just doesn't "get" it.

I was working in Jordan in 2003 and again in 2004. The second time, I could really sense dissatisfaction in the country with the way things are going. More people spoke out about it to me and in harsher terms than the first time. I think KA needs to give people more freedom to alleviate some of the pressure that is building up, but recognize this is a touchy situation for him, because if he grants, say, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, then people might actually exercise them and take to the streets. Similarly, if he grants press freedom, journalists there might want to investigate some of the workings of government, which I sincerely doubt could withstand the light of day. So he's in a box. . .it'll be interesting to see how events play out.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #267  
Old 03-28-2005, 11:19 AM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
Talk is correct. I am so tired of the way he, QR, and others give these speeches about the call for change, or that they stress democracy, etc. I think it is so foolish how being political correct allows these ppl to says these things, but does not get on them for not practicing what they preach.
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #268  
Old 03-28-2005, 05:17 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reina
Talk is correct. I am so tired of the way he, QR, and others give these speeches about the call for change, or that they stress democracy, etc. I think it is so foolish how being political correct allows these ppl to says these things, but does not get on them for not practicing what they preach.
But at least some people are beginning to take note that there isn't much behind the talk. :(

Source of article

Jordan Must Democratize to be Spared U.S. Wrath
By Rana Sabbagh-Gargour
Monday, March 28, 2005

Jordan must today make a clear choice to initiate bold political reform, or lose face at home and invite interference from abroad. For now it has managed to deflect close foreign scrutiny of its teetering political reform efforts, mostly on the strength of its backing for Washington's policies, the war on terror, and its diplomatic ties with Israel. However, these issues remain deeply unpopular in a country where the majority of the population is anti-American.

But time is no longer on the Jordanian government's side. A breeze of democracy is blowing across the Middle East, whether in Palestine and Iraq, both of which remain under foreign occupation, in autocratic Egypt and Saudi Arabia, or in Lebanon. Jordan realizes it has to move fast, now that U.S. President George W. Bush is waging a fierce battle to spread democracy and economic reform throughout the region. Hesitant policies during the past decade, which have turned Jordan into a "liberalized autocracy" overseeing a corporate economy rather than a constitutional monarchy with elected governments, do not work any longer.

This shady strategy has raised concern among the Jordanian business and political elite alike: soon the kingdom may no longer be the darling of the West. Other emerging pro-Western democracies could surpass Jordan
as a genuine political model. Those in the elite feel that it is inevitable that the U.S. will eventually turn its attention to Amman, and will not tolerate further clampdowns by the intelligence services on activists and opposition groups, while keeping a tight grip on the country as in other states in the Middle East.

A case at point is the recent arrest of a union activist, Ali Hattar, and what appears to be an imminent crackdown against the country's influential professional associations, long-time bastions of opposition to the regime's policies. Bush was surprised by a question about Hattar's arrest during a news conference in January. Hattar, who hails from Jordan's Christian minority, was briefly detained several times in the past and faces a two-year prison term for slandering the government. Bush said he was unaware of the case, but urged Jordan's King Abdullah II "to make sure that democracy continues to advance in Jordan." The message was again reiterated during talks between the U.S. president and the king in Washington last Tuesday.

Abusive behavior by the Jordanian authorities will continue to come under scrutiny in Washington. The kingdom's faltering political reforms and lack of democracy may eventually embarrass the U.S. and test Bush's credibility in a region where many accuse his administration of promoting democracy only among enemies, while turning a blind eye to abuses by allies. Many fear that Washington really only seeks to block accession to power of anti-American and anti-Israeli forces.

In the eyes of many Jordanians, King Abdullah has wholeheartedly adopted the rules of economic globalization since he took over the throne in 1999, turning Jordan into a model for the region. But they also believe he has shown less enthusiasm for consolidating Jordan's march toward democracy, a process which his father launched in 1989, when most Arab countries were opposed to this idea. Democratic half-measures, often shaped by external political considerations and domestic challenges, have reduced Jordan's competitive advantage as a model for emerging democracy.

There are more limits on political activity now than there were a decade ago.
The reversal began shortly before the peace treaty with Israel was signed. Liberalization moves received a death knell when the regime used the war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks to justify a crackdown against the Islamist-led opposition at home. All laws dealing with the media, public gatherings and parliamentary elections were tightened, more so during the past three years. Civil society has remained weak and ineffective, as have the 33 political parties operating since a ban was lifted in 1990. Mosque preachers are selected by the government, and their sermons for Friday noon prayers are censored.

All the media, including independent newspapers, are forced to toe the official line and to carry photos of the king's daily functions on their front pages. They take their cue from palace, government and security officials. The government is also pushing a law in Parliament that would dilute Islamic power, at the expense of strengthening the tribes that are normally loyal to the monarchy. Human rights watchdog organizations say the draft law violates free speech.

At the same time, nepotism, favoritism, a weak system of checks and balances, all problems that the king once sought to curb after he took over power, are making a strong comeback. And so are those traditional old-guard politicians who still enjoy the perks and cash handouts that have long been used to buy loyalty.
More specifically, charges of corruption and of conflicts of interest have become a cause of widespread concern after a series of multi-million dollar contracts were awarded recently, without competitive bids, to a local businessman with strong links to the circles of power.

Despite this bleak outlook, Jordan's salvation can only come from implementation of new structural democratic reforms promoted by the king - reforms that must not remain ink on paper. Two royal commissions have been formed over the past month or so to lay down a plan of action for reforms. One of the two is drafting a national agenda, a road map for Jordan during the next 10 years. The other is looking into government decentralization, by creating three regional councils. However, the scope of power and prerogatives of these councils have yet to be determined.

Their agendas, which are being supervised by Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher, an icon for political liberalism, will have a specified time framework to ensure full implementation, with target policies reflected in budget allocations. The process could help generate a badly-needed national consensus on building a new and modern Jordanian system based on equality, merit, the rule of law and good governance.

Such a system could engage the entire Jordanian population and give King Abdullah a chance to name a new reformist government, with a clear mission to forge ahead with reforms allowing the kingdom to escape Washington's wrath.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #269  
Old 03-31-2005, 04:35 AM
Veram98's Avatar
Courtier
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: at different places, Germany
Posts: 676
I just finished a book on the history of Jordan by Philip Robins, who is University Lecturer in Politics with special references to the Middle East in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (with more than 20 years of working on Jordan). I highly recommend the book to people who are not only interested in speculations about the relationship between different members of Jordan's royal family but in the country itself. Because I think, that the author describes the precarious situation for PHassan during all his time as crown prince rather well, I will add here the chapter of the book on the succession question to complete Shelley's posts on this subject.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #270  
Old 03-31-2005, 04:39 AM
Veram98's Avatar
Courtier
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: at different places, Germany
Posts: 676
A messy succession

(Philip Robins A History of Jordan, Cambridge University Press 2004, pp. 193-97)

With 12 years between them, Hussein and Hasan had never been close. Temperamentally, they were very different: while Hussein was the four times married, dare-devil, bon viveur, Hasan was the quiet, stable, studious family man. Hussein had initially made Abdullah, his son by his second and British wife, Toni Gardiner, crown prince upon his birth in 1962, in accordance with the 1952 constitution. In view of the unstable times in the 1960s, the 'dark atmosphere', as Hussein would later refer to it, the king had changed the order of succession when Hasan reached the age of 18, Article 28 of the constitution being amended to allow the king's brother to succeed.
Like Britain's Prince Charles, for Hasan the role of crown prince was a frustrating one. On occasion, such as during the approaching civil war with the PLO, he was brought into the centre of decision-making by his eldest brother. Most of the time, however, he was kept to the margins. It did not help that Hasan was ill at ease in the crucial contexts of power in Jordan, especially in army uniform or in attending set-piece tribal occasions. Instead, Hasan played to his strengths. Domestically, he carved out a role for himself as a thinker, establishing a clutch of innovative institutions from the Royal Scientific Society to the Arab Thought Forum. He developed an interest in economy, overseeing the launch of Jordan's 1986-90 five-year plan, and patronising a range of businessmen's activities. He also emerged as a sponsor of the education sector. Internationally, Hasan became one of the youngest members of the club of the great and the good, establishing personal relations with a number of UN bodies, and being a tireless participant in inter-faith dialogue. When they worked together, such as over peace negotiations with Israel, Hasan and Hussein were the perfect foils for one another: Hasan the tireless man with an eye for detail and Hussein the gregarious big-picture man. In general, though, King Hussein was happy to see Hasan busying himself in marginal ways, as he did not want Hasan to build a solid power base for himself within Jordan.
In spite of his political marginalisation at home and growing reputation for being dour and verbose, Hasan's position as heir seemed unassailable until the consequences of Hussein`s rather messy private life began to become manifest. Having divorced his first and second wives, Hussein married a Palestinian, Alia Touqan, a match seemingly made in heaven, at a time when the king was manoeuvring vigorously in order to re-establish his authority over the West Bank. After Queen Alia's death in a helicopter crash, in 1978 Hussein married for the fourth time, to a 26-year-old Arab-American, Lisa Halaby, who took the name Noor. As part of the succession settlement at the time of his final marriage, Hussein instructed Hasan in writing that he in turn should be succeeded by Prince Ali, the single son of his union with Alia.
The revelation of the king's cancer in 1992 once again drew attention to the issue of succession. By this time, Prince Ali and his sister Princess Haya, adrift in the unforgiving atmosphere of the royal court, were regarded as going off the rails; Prince Abdullah and his younger brother Faisal were carving out promising careers in the military, the army and air force respectively; the sons of Prince Muhammad, notably Prince Talal, had come of age and was regarded seriously; Hussein now had four children by Noor, including two boys, the eldest of whom was Prince Hamzeh; while Hasan and his Pakistan born wife (Footnote by the author: Though herself a patrician, being the younger daughter of the country's first foreign minister, there is no doubt that in the hierarchical society of Jordan her origins were a disadvantage to her husband), Sarvath, also had four children, including one son, Prince Rashid. Ominously, at best King Hussein's attitude towards a Hasan succession appeared to be lukewarm.
Yet, with the looming proximity of the issue after 1992, King Hussein seemed to answer the succession question in favour of Hasan. Significantly, Hussein brought Hasan into the centre of policymaking during the negotiation of the peace treaty with Israel. In April 1995, King Hussein referred to Hasan as 'my right arm', following one of his regular cancer check-ups. In the mid-1990s, the two men seemed closer than they had ever been. It was in this context that the king pronounced anew on the issue of the succession. While Crown Prince Hasan would succeed him, the decision on the subsequent succession would be for Hasan with 'a great role' for a family council. Prince Ali was now out, and the future decidedly more open.
Yet, just as Hasan's future seemed more secure, the king's equivocation re-emerged. King Hussein froze Hasan out of his attempts to calm the south following the August 1996 riots, and refused to sack his prime minister, Abdul Karim al-Kabiriti, when his working relationship with Hasan broke down. Then came the first real sign that a Hasan succession might be in trouble, the eighteenth birthday of Prince Hamzeh in September 1997. During very public celebrations, the king sent an open letter to Hamzeh stating that he felt the prince was destined for 'great achievements', and pointing out that he himself had been 18 years of age when he had acceded to the throne. This less than subtle attempt to advance the fortunes of his favourite son seemed both to reveal Hussein's true wishes, and the growing influence behind the scenes of Queen Noor, Hamzeh's mother, especially with the recurrence of illness. Queen Noor would hardly leave the king's side during his coming hospitalisation. With long-standing tensions between Noor and Sarvath now exacerbated by the endgame of the succession, palace politics was increasingly to take on a Shakespearean atmosphere over the months ahead.
The first that Amman knew of Hussein's manoeuvre to change the succession came in January 1999, a month of high drama for the kingdom. The king returned home on the nineteenth of the month, looking awful, but supposedly in improving health. As it became clear that his rally was simply a prelude to relapse, King Hussein had to move quickly. On Monday 25 January, he declared that the succession would return to Prince Abdullah, in compliance with the original principle of primogeniture in the constitution. The one condition for such a change was that Prince Hamzeh become the new heir apparent upon Abdullah's succession; it seemed that Abdullah was the compromise candidate for the monarch who feared that rushing the succession to his favourite would be a step to far. In order to justify his actions, and to ward off factionalism, he sent a long and rambling letter to Prince Hasan explaining his actions on the same day.
With the king's sentiments now out in public, the hangers-on quickly distanced themselves from Hasan. Apart from some of his old technocratic colleagues he was left quite alone, and was certainly ill-placed to make a stand. Wisely, he chose a demeanour of quiet dignity as a mask for his deep sense of loss. With many foreign observers perennially doubting that Hasan had what it took to be a successful king, only the Israelis, with whom Hasan had struck up a close relationship since 1994, seemed to mourn his political demise. For the new-elevated Crown Prince Abdullah, the change of fortunes was breathtaking. Up to this point his best hopes had been to emulate Sharif Zaid bin Shaker, as the country's most senior soldier under a Hasan succession.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #271  
Old 03-31-2005, 11:34 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 278
Thank you, Veram. That was informative and for me at least, new . I do not think it is my Prince Hassan bias that is talking when I sense an underlying appreciation of Prince Hassan's strengths and achivements. There were nay sayers in 1999, but I think now with six years having passed since the succession crisis I think it is generally accepted in Jordan and the Arab world, that Prince Hassan was far more popular than people might have realised, and has a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts that should be used for the benefit of Jordan and the region. It is a pity that the present King does not seem to have the self confidence and wisdom to do this. Prince Hassan has in fact gone from strength to strength in the past six years, with his personal prestige enormously enhanced . I think there are many who now have cause to regret that he is not in a postion of being a real mover and shaker in Arab politics, but there are also those who feel his moral authority is all the stronger because of his independence from some of the requirements of being a Head of State in the world of today.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #272  
Old 03-31-2005, 06:47 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veram98
(Philip Robins A History of Jordan, Cambridge University Press 2004, pp. 193-97)
Overall, this seems like a fairly balanced account to me, one that gives P. Hassan his due and also explains how KH's complicated marital and family life impacted the succession change.

Quote:
In general, though, King Hussein was happy to see Hasan busying himself in marginal ways, as he did not want Hasan to build a solid power base for himself within Jordan.
Some of us have speculated on the role sibling rivalry might have played in the succession change. I believe that the differences in the brothers were apparent enough for KH to conceivably have some concerns about how his legacy would stack up against a King Hassan's, given the differences in their preparation for the role of king, their education, their intelligence, etc. The above sentence seems to support my theory.

Quote:
By this time, Prince Ali and his sister Princess Haya, adrift in the unforgiving atmosphere of the royal court, were regarded as going off the rails;
These two still seem to have their issues. :(

Quote:
while Hasan and his Pakistan born wife (Footnote by the author: Though herself a patrician, being the younger daughter of the country's first foreign minister, there is no doubt that in the hierarchical society of Jordan her origins were a disadvantage to her husband), Sarvath
Upon first reading this, I interpreted it as a comment on P. Sarvath's "origins" in the geographic sense. In fact, she is not Pakistan born, but Calcutta born. But as I parse the words, it seems to refer to her "origins" in the hierarchical sense, meaning (I guess) that she was not royal born. Is that how others interpret this sentence?

I'm a little confused about this, since it seems to me that some Jordanians have a bit of difficulty accepting people from outside their own country. For example, not only is P. Sarvath always referred to as Pakistani, QN is referred to as American, and these references always seem to imply some lack of acceptance, some unworthiness. I come from an immigrant nation, so I find it unfair to hold such a thing against these women.

Quote:
In order to justify his actions, and to ward off factionalism, he sent a long and rambling letter to Prince Hasan explaining his actions on the same day.
The use of the word "justify" is interesting here. . .not notify, not announce, but justify. I think this is the letter in which all the nasty allegations were made about spreading rumors about QN, redecorating the palace, etc. Hmmm.

Quote:
Wisely, he chose a demeanour of quiet dignity as a mask for his deep sense of loss.
I'm glad Robins noted this. It speaks volumes about P. Hassan's character.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #273  
Old 04-01-2005, 07:12 AM
Veram98's Avatar
Courtier
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: at different places, Germany
Posts: 676
You are (all) welcome. I really appreciated Robins' book as a balanced analysis of Jordan's development and wanted to share at least this especially interesting part of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papillon
I'm a little confused about this, since it seems to me that some Jordanians have a bit of difficulty accepting people from outside their own country. For example, not only is P. Sarvath always referred to as Pakistani, QN is referred to as American, and these references always seem to imply some lack of acceptance, some unworthiness. I come from an immigrant nation, so I find it unfair to hold such a thing against these women.
It seems that at least a big part of the (Trans)Jordanian elite and upper middles classes don't really like a foreign queen, may she be British, American or Pakistani (or a Palestinian 'refugee'). I think they do not accept that the Hashemites obviously prefer foreign commoners as consorts to their own daughters.
But I met also people in Jordan who actually would prefer a converted Western to a Muslim born Pakistani queen, and was told by a journalist living in the country that this opinion is shared by more people I would imagine and has a lot to do with the fact that Jordanians are used to Pakistanis as foreign workers for low status jobs and house maids, at the bottom of the hierarchical society of Jordan, while Westerners enjoy a much higher standing.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #274  
Old 04-01-2005, 07:40 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 278
Veram, I think that you have hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, some Jordanians are obsessed with the west in the most ridiculous ways ( hence for instance, the desperate desire amongst many Jordanian girls to have blonde hair ). I had started typing an answer which covers some of the same points so I will post it as it was:

From Philip Robins book:



“Hasan and his Pakistan born wife (Footnote by the author: Though herself a patrician, being the younger daughter of the country's first foreign minister, there is no doubt that in the hierarchical society of Jordan her origins were a disadvantage to her husband)”



and Papillion’s comment:



“Upon first reading this, I interpreted it as a comment on P. Sarvath's "origins" in the geographic sense. In fact, she is not Pakistan born, but Calcutta born. But as I parse the words, it seems to refer to her "origins" in the hierarchical sense, meaning (I guess) that she was not royal born. Is that how others interpret this sentence?

I'm a little confused about this, since it seems to me that some Jordanians have a bit of difficulty accepting people from outside their own country. For example, not only is P. Sarvath always referred to as Pakistani, QN is referred to as American, and these references always seem to imply some lack of acceptance, some unworthiness. I come from an immigrant nation, so I find it unfair to hold such a thing against these women.”






To try to understand both these remarks I think you have to try and understand the makeup of Jordanian society itself. Unlike Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco, Saudi Arabia (if you consider the pre Saudi Hijaz,) Jordan is a young, new, raw country, without a tradition of old, educated, certainly moneyed if not truly aristocratic families. Their values and norms are unfortunately very ‘nouveau riche’. Jordan was a little backwater ( not much water !) without any beautiful old homes, universities, libraries, mosques, a traditional and sophisticated handicrafts. There was no electricity in the country as late as the late 1920’s. The first university was founded in the 1960’s. It is rare to find East Bank Jordanians ( as opposed to Jordanians of Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian etc origin) who would come from families in which tertiary education for men ( never mind women) would have been an accepted fact three generations ago. Mr. Robin’s describes Princess Sarvath as being “ patrician”. Something I have heard said about her more than once. The definition of “ Patrician ” according to Chambers’ Dictionary, is someone who is an “aristocrat; of noble birth”. Princess Sarvath came from both an old aristocratic family and one which was also successful in contemporary terms: her parents, grandparents, uncles, other family members etc etc were well regarded and held important government posts in their own countries. Prince Sarvath grew up surrounded by the trappings of old wealth and modern success. She was difficult to fathom for your average Jordanian whose only contact with the sub-continent were unfortunately the migrant workers who were thronging the Arab world in search of employment. This was largely because the Jordanians were by and large unaware of what the Indian subcontinental culture was or stood for. So then the Jordanians had this “Pakistani” who didn’t fit into any mould they could understand. Wife of the Crown prince, she could have built the biggest, smartest villa, but they chose to live in a charming but old and not very large house. She could have dressed in couture clothes, but alternated between ready to wear western casual clothes or exotic saris, and drove the same car for years and years. ( Big flashy villas, big flashy latest model cars, big flashy jewelry are all the recognizable benchmarks of success in Jordan ) A European lady who worked for years with the late Queen Mother, told a friend of mine in Jordan, that Queen Zein always commented favourably on the fact that Princess Sarvath had been the only one of her daughters in law ( other than Queen Dina, who was a member of the family but had other problems, basically I think a husband who was too young) who came with her own possessions : ie her own jewelry, her own silver, her own antiques and paintings, her own staff and her own contacts. The others all had to be set up from scratch. This lady ( I think she was Dutch) said that Princess Sarvath’s mother was the only ‘in law’ whom Queen Zein used to see socially, and Prince Hassan’s home the only one of her sons’ home she would visit regularly, even to the extent of going to the children’s birthday parties. Queen Zein herself had found the transition to a limited Jordanian society difficult, coming herself from a very cultured Turkish/Egyptian Hashemite background. Maybe that is why she related to Princess Sarvath. I believe Queen Zein was quite a difficult lady. The fact that she had accepted, many years ago, that Princess Sarvath’s family was a suitable one for her young son to mix with, says a lot about how she regarded them. However, these very attributes would make Princess Sarvath difficult to deal with for many Jordanians, particularly, I would think court officials, whom from what one reads from courts worldwide, like to have people they can mold or bully into their own ways. As I write this, it occurs to me , that it says something for Princess Sarvath’s strength of character that despite everything, she kept her marriage and her health intact ( unlike many other ladies we hear of in similar positions, Princess Diana, the Duchess of York, Crown Princess of Japan and so on). But I can see that it would not make her universally popular.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #275  
Old 04-01-2005, 08:23 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veram98
You are (all) welcome. I really appreciated Robins' book as a balanced analysis of Jordan's development and wanted to share at least this especially interesting part of it.



It seems that at least a big part of the (Trans)Jordanian elite and upper middles classes don't really like a foreign queen, may she be British, American or Pakistani (or a Palestinian 'refugee'). I think they do not accept that the Hashemites obviously prefer foreign commoners as consorts to their own daughters.
But I met also people in Jordan who actually would prefer a converted Western to a Muslim born Pakistani queen, and was told by a journalist living in the country that this opinion is shared by more people I would imagine and has a lot to do with the fact that Jordanians are used to Pakistanis as foreign workers for low status jobs and house maids, at the bottom of the hierarchical society of Jordan, while Westerners enjoy a much higher standing.
Poofh. On re-reading this,I realise that Jordanian siciety is even more confused and more shallow than I had first realised :( . They are willing to kill to go to a school run by a foreigner ( actually why did a foreigner have to take the bull by the horns and kick start the Jordanian educational system ?) What were all those wonderful "(Trans)Jordanian elite and upper middles classes " doing when the Jordanian schools suffered over the board and the rich just turned their backs on the problem and send their kids out of the country ? I do hope for their sakes that when these same Jordanians find themselves in the tender care of a doctor from the sub-continent at Mayo or MD Anderson or the like they do not suffer a set back, or perhaps I hope they do Sorry, not nice, but I think there is something fundamentally sick in Jordanian society, ( I am sorry, Jordanians ) and sometimes I think they deserve what will surely be coming to them unless they buck up their ideas.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #276  
Old 04-01-2005, 08:40 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
Sorry, not nice, but I think there is something fundamentally sick in Jordanian society, ( I am sorry, Jordanians ) and sometimes I think they deserve what will surely be coming to them unless they buck up their ideas.
Certainly not nice of me, and for that I apologise, to all the thousands of nice, good Jordanians, but I do think that the 'elite' (by the way, what constitutes 'elite' in Jordan ? Money ?) Have to rethink many of their attitudes, not least the manner in which they treat those poor despised domestics and sweat shop workers from Sri Lanka, the Phillipines and the Sub-continent. I am told that there are some terrible human rights violations going on in day to day life in so called 'normal' elitest homes in Jordan.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #277  
Old 04-01-2005, 12:33 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 278
I have already posted this in another thread but thought I would post this excerpt here as it touches on Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath:

Copyright Washington Times Library Apr 19, 1999
"Though King Abdullah swiftly reshuffled the Jordanian government in favor of some liberal politicians and technocrats and reaffirmed his commitment to his deceased father's policies, the political ramifications of the sudden change of succession to the throne of Washington's strategic ally remain an open question. Stunned by King Hussein's unexpected dismissal of his brother Hassan, trained as crown prince and successor for 34 years and well regarded in the Arab world, some Arabs see the last-minute switch as an American-inspired ploy originally designed to propel Queen Noor's son Hamzeh, 18, subsequently elevated to crown prince, directly onto the throne. Jordanians were equally shocked by the trumped-up charges against Hassan, whose wife Princess Sarvath was allegedly redecorating the palace when a kitchen was renovated for the visit of Germany's President Roman Herzog traveling with his native cook......"
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #278  
Old 04-01-2005, 04:25 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Another Petra Exhibition; another time:

Copyright Washington Times Library Dec 11, 1998
Gridlock on local roadways can stop even a princess in her tracks, but gridlock in succession to a throne is another matter altogether.

Asked her impression of Washington, Jordan's Crown Princess Sarvath El Hassan bin Talal, a petite, personable Cambridge University graduate here on a speaking tour, answered without hesitation: "Actually, traffic. And the unusually warm weather."

The car taking her to Wednesday's reception at the National Geographic Society to celebrate this month's cover story on Petra was stopped by commotion from the ceremony to light the White House Christmas tree.

"So I got out of the car and walked."

An unusual royal. But unusual, too, is the situation regarding who will rule Jordan in future generations, with many possible successors to the throne. King Hussein, 63, has been under treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., since July and will be returning home soon, having been assured he is cured. His younger brother, Crown Prince Hassan bin Talal, husband of Princess Sarvath, has been groomed to rule should the unexpected occur. The talk is about who rightfully claims the crown after him.

"Given its importance in the Middle East today, Jordan is one of few places in the world - Saudi Arabia is another - where such a medieval drama could play out and where a royal succession would count," remarked a guest who asked not to be identified.

Jordanian Ambassador Marwan Jamil Muasher naturally was reluctant to address the subject, as was Najeeb Halaby, father of Jordan's Queen Noor, who British newspapers have said is maneuvering subtly to have her young son take over one day instead of her in-laws' children.

"It's not right to discuss talk about such things at this time," Mr. Muasher said, shifting conversation to the importance of 2,000- year-old Petra as a tourist site attracting "1,500 people a day. We are limiting the number. Most people come taking a tour to different cities." Israelis (who once risked death to gaze upon the fabled site), may now visit as well, he noted.

In one corner of the gallery, two women dressed in Bedouin clothing were making pita bread over an upturned wok that simulated heated stones over a dessert campfire; across the room, a duo played sonorous tunes on the oud and tabla. Adventurous souls reclined on colorful carpets and cushions inside a giant Bedouin tent, beneath a spotlighted portrait of King Hussein. The smell of cardamom hung in the air throughout the exhibit "Petra: Jordan's City in the Rock," which was enclosed by replicas of red sandstone walls and the famous columns that distinguish one of the world's most dramatic historic sites.

Several Jordanians described the popular guest of honor as "a princess on the go." After a visit with Jordanian-Americans in Detroit to help at a school fund-raiser, she had spoken at both Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and the American Enterprise Institute "about the women of Islam." And what does a princess - the mother of four children and the grandmother of four - do in her spare time?

"I work out. I do needlepoint. I cook." She also has started a teacher-training college, among other projects. "We have a 100 percent literacy rate for children, 92 percent for women - one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East," she noted.

She did not see her brother-in-law on this trip. "I was going to, but he is in the last phase of treatment and couldn't talk to visitors," she said.

"The two brothers are very close," volunteered former Protocol Chief Selwa W. "Lucky" Roosevelt, pointing out that "unlike in Europe, royal succession in the Arab world is not necessarily from son to son. They have their own way, and usually it works out for the best."

Jordanian-born Samia Farouki discounted gossip about a rivalry between the princess and Queen Noor: "Both women are intelligent and have been following different interests. They both want to make a difference and will think of the future of the country. . . . I'm sure {Queen Noor} will create her own role. It depends on how clever she is. After all, she has the future of her four children to think about."
What I find interesting about this article is that in it P. Sarvath is described as "personable" and "popular," and, less than two months later, I guess she lost her charm and charisma in some sudden total character reversal and became the Crown Princess from hell. Something stinks to high heaven. :(
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #279  
Old 04-01-2005, 05:20 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
Unfortunately, some Jordanians are obsessed with the west in the most ridiculous ways ( hence for instance, the desperate desire amongst many Jordanian girls to have blonde hair ).
This is apparent to any remotely perceptive Western visitor to Jordan. Sometimes the effect is even unwittingly comical, albeit verging on sad. During my first visit to Jordan, within a couple days of my arrival, I was unexpectedly invited to attend the closing ceremony of the Arab Children's Congress at the Royal Cultural Centre. Come to think of it, probably the only reason I was invited is because I am a Westerner, obvious from my appearance. Anyway, for those who may not know, this is usually QN's event, but she had a recital to attend that same night, so she deputized P. Alia (Faisal). Almost more fascinating to me than the closing ceremony itself was the people watching. I was one of very few Westerners in attendance, but many of the other women there were certainly trying to look Western. . .lots of bleach in the hair, some cropped noses, stylish but slightly-off-the-mark Western clothing, heavy accessorizing, very theatrical makeup. To my eyes, there was something slightly drag queenish about the overall effect, but it made me a little sad, too. Most of these women were quite attractive underneath all that and would probably look much more beautiful if they just worked with their natural assets.

Quote:
To try to understand both these remarks I think you have to try and understand the makeup of Jordanian society itself.
I'm trying, Shelley, I'm trying. :o

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #280  
Old 04-01-2005, 05:35 PM
papillon's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
On rereading this, it makes me realise that Jordanian 'society'is even more shallow and topsy turvy than I realised. I wonder why so many of these
" Jordanian elite and upper middles classes " are willing to entrust their education to a school run by a foreigner. Actually, why did it take a foreigner to kick start education in Jordan ? The same Jordanians werefor years satisfied with a substandard local education and the very rich just sent their kids out of the country. I just hope that those same so called elite don't have a setback when find themselves in Mayo or some other top clinic in the States where they have gone in search of better healthcare than is available at home, and they find themselves being treated by Gasp ! Yee Gads ! and Gadzooks !! someone form the subcontinent.
I'm trying not to be too judgmental, but this view really offends my sensibilities, especially if it is coming from the upper middle and elite classes of society which, one would think, should be better educated and more informed and possibly better traveled. Wherever on the "outsider" continuum one might land--whether it's alongside P. Sarvath or in the direction of the Westerners--it's an uncomfortable situation. Who wants to be either loathed or liked on the basis of country of origin, skin color, or some other factor over which one has no control?! No one I know. :( Hopefully, these views will evolve in the right direction, soon I hope.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Monaco's succession issues Julia Princely Family of Monaco 552 07-02-2014 02:50 PM
Succession Issues ladybelline Imperial Family of Japan 918 11-02-2013 12:14 PM
Members of the Royal Family and Line of Succession - Broadest Sense hrhcp Royal House of Denmark 85 07-11-2012 10:20 PM
Address to the royal family in Jordan Princess Luna Royal House of Jordan 18 10-18-2005 06:15 PM




Additional Links
Popular Tags
birth bourbon-parma charlene chris o'neill crown prince felipe crown prince haakon crown princess letizia crown princess mary current events danish royals duchess of cambridge fashion dutch royal history engagement fashion grand duchess maria teresa grand duke henri infanta cristina infanta elena infanta leonor infanta sofia king abdullah ii king carl xvi gustav king felipe king felipe vi king harald king juan carlos king philippe king willem-alexander olympics ottoman palace poland pom prince albert prince albert ii prince carl philip prince constantijn prince felipe prince maurits princess princess alexia (2005 -) princess anita princess ariane princess beatrix princess catharina-amalia princess charlene princess laurentien princess letizia princess mabel princess madeleine princess marie princess marilene princess mary princess of asturias queen elizabeth ii queen letizia queen mathilde queen maxima queen rania queen silvia queen sofia royal russia sofia hellqvist spain state visit visit wedding william winter olympics 2014


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:46 PM.

Social Knowledge Networks

eXTReMe Tracker
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014
Jelsoft Enterprises

Royal News Delivered to your Email!

You can get the latest Royal News right in your inbox.

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]