Jordan’s royal rift involves an American-born queen

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan will attend a ceremony on Saturday, July 11, 2015, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre at the Potočari Memorial Hall, 150 km northeast of Sarajevo.  Twenty years ago, on July 11, 1995, the Serve army executed about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in a Muslim encampment in eastern Bosnia in Srebrenica. This has been labeled as a genocide by the International Court, and the newly identified victims of the slaughter are still being recontained in Srebrenica.  (AP Photo / Amel Emric)

Queen Noor in 2015. (Amel Emric / Associated Press)

At the age of 27, she married the king. By the age of 47, she became a royal widow sooner than she thought it was possible.

Now, more than 20 years later, Queen Noor of Jordan — a former Princeton-educated Lisa Haraby born in the United States — Palace drama The prince she wanted, surrounding her eldest son, would eventually follow his charismatic father, The late King Hussein, To the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom.

Whether lifted from Shakespeare or next to a video streaming queue, the storyline looks strangely familiar. The traumatic situation of royal death echoes over the years, and family tensions boil quietly for generations, after which they are fully visible.

It adds a series of shake-ups, a complex relationship of former outsiders with an adopted home, long memories of cautious courtiers, and international plots and some complex Middle Eastern politics.

And at the heart of it all is a love story.

Avi Shlaim, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Oxford University and author of the biography of the Jordanian monarch, said:

For those who have spent much of her life publicly, Noor (still elegant at the age of 69) remains a mysterious figure, largely after long widowship in the United States and Britain. You will never get married again.

Jordan's Crown Prince Khamseh and his mother, Queen Noor

At a wedding in Amman in 2004, Prince Hamza of Jordan and his mother, Queen Noor. (Fusein Mara / Associated Press)

As a recent upheaval, she remained almost out of sight: of her son Prince Hamza. Rare skin pluck The area was amazed and culminated on the weekend he described it as a high level of corruption, nepotism, and injustice in Jordan. Gag order Tuesday on media coverage of the palace feud by Jordanian authorities.Hamza is now Sweared allegiance His half-brother Abdullah II, an indirect target of his loud criticism.

Noor limited her official statement to one carefully written tweet. “I hope that truth and justice will overcome all the innocent victims of this evil slander,” she wrote on Sunday. “God blesses them and keeps them safe.”

In 1978, Lisa Harabi was a kind of royal family of wealthy, well-schooled American aristocrats, at her own right, through her grandfather of immigrants in Lebanon and Syria. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy to lead the Federal Aviation Agency at the time and later chaired Pan Am World Airways, but she was emotionally distant and sometimes difficult in her childhood family life. I explained about. Her parents eventually divorced.

From among them, she developed a calm that could sometimes turn like steel. She was a member of a class that enrolled in Princeton in 1969, with women first enrolling. Many female classmates describe a culture in which they often feel like outsiders or are not taken seriously.

“You knew her even if you didn’t know her,” said Princeton’s classmate Marjorie Gengler Smith, an outstanding athlete in his pioneering class. “Everyone noticed.”

Trained in architecture and city planning, she was already an independent and skilled expert by the time she met her 16-year-old senior, a widow who married three times, Hussein.And the king was still mourning the death of his beloved third wife, Queen Aria. 1977 helicopter crash..

“I can’t deny that the idea of ​​becoming his fourth wife, or someone’s fourth wife, bothered me,” Noor wrote in his 2003 autobiography, The Leap of Faith.

But what followed, all explained, was a particularly egalitarian partnership, especially by regional and royal standards. And the union lasted until his death — longer than the king’s previous three marriages combined.

Many Jordanians initially suspected this foreign-born woman whose Christians had converted to Islam. She decided to beat her new compatriot. Named Noor Alhussein (“Hussein’s Light”), she completed the Arabic language and learned the traditions and gestures of Jordan’s conservative culture.

At the same time, she pursued progressive reforms such as the economic empowerment of Bedouin women, using messy hair behind Hussein’s motorcycle to raise eyebrows among some Jordanians.

But when it was important, she stuck closely to tradition. At her husband’s funeral in 1999, she avoided her usual make-up, dressed in pure white clothes, and repeatedly turned her head to the mourner in line with Jordanian customs, the comforter rather than the comforter.

Outside Jordan, mysteries like Queen Jackie Kennedy helped raise Jordan’s profile, sometimes rattling diplomatic corps where most of the kingdom was somnolent. Her personal brand, Soft State Craft, helped shape Jordan’s international image as a relatively stable and modest island and establish itself as an important ally of the United States.

But the ability of four adult children to navigate the different worlds of Noor was given to Jordan’s Foreign Minister Aiman ​​Saffadi that Hamza worked with unnamed foreign elements to destabilize the country. May have helped fuel the accusations leveled by. Several allies, including the United States, strongly support Abdullah.

Despite Noor’s companion describing it as the ability to calmly and systematically track analytical qualities and goals, she in a sense means the king’s last illness crisis and that it means royal succession. You may not have noticed.

Suffering from lymphoma, Hussein recovered for some time, but his fatal exacerbation was rapid. He dismissed his brother Hassan as crown prince on the last day of his life, instead anointing his eldest son, Abdullah, who was born to the king’s second daughter, Princess Muna.

Among those widely believed to be the last gift to Noor, he nominated Hamza, then 18 years old, as the successor to the throne after Abdullah. The monarch was only allowed to appoint his brother or eldest son as his successor, so a constitutional amendment would have been necessary to make Hamza a complete heir.

“If Hussein had died a week ago, Hassan was said to have been king,” said biographer Schlime. “And if he died a week later, it could have been Hamza.”

There is no doubt that Noor took care of him as a potential monarch by raising Hamza. Educated in the West, he attended school in classical Arabic, but Abdullah had a hard time speaking English with his English-born mother and calling something like an eloquence later in his speech.

Now 41-year-old Hamza appears even in that part and has a much stronger similarity to the late king than the round-faced Abdullah who supports his mother.

Five years after Hussein’s death, Abdullah removed Hamza from the crown prince and replaced him with his eldest son.

Some long-time observers in the region believe that Noor may not have been able to predict how popular and effective Abdullah would be in the early days of his reign. But in recent years, financial malaise and dissatisfaction with the social stress of accepting millions of refugees from Iraq and Syria, Pandemic..

After Hussein’s death, Noor was disappointed, said Aaron Miller, a longtime Middle Eastern envoy who worked with her in the Seeds of Peace, a New York-based educational group in the early 2000s. Stated. She became a patron for one of many causes, including peace advocacy, art, and the environment, and began and continued during Hussein’s reign.

The widowed queen tends to lose her position, but Noor fought to maintain her influence, including a quiet fight with Abdullah’s wife, Queen Rania, and maintained her own throne.

“She is a survivor. With elegance, style, and courage,” Miller said.

This story was originally Los Angeles Times..