Jordan / Politics /
hussaynu bni talāli hāshim
(1935-1999) King of Jordan (1952) 1953-1999.
Photo from 1993.
Photo from 1978.
Photo from 1953.
Hussein's reign was marked by the differences introduced by the new Palestinian refugees and the original population of Jordan. His own politics at times met with strong criticism in Jordan, and strong political control was essential to his survival through nearly 50 years of reign.
His period was one of moderate, yet steady, economic growth. In the international arena, he was regarded as one of the USA's more reliable allies in the Middle East, though he did not join the USA in their condemnation of Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990.
Hussein had 12 children: Alia, Abdullah, Faisal, Zein, Aisha, Haya, Ali, Abeer, Hamzah, Hashim, Iman, and Raiyah. He also had a large number of grandchildren.
1935 November 14: Born in Amman as son of the crown prince of Transjordan, Talali bni Abdullah and Zeini sh-Sharaf bin Jamil.
Hussein is educated at colleges in Egypt and Britain, and receives military training in Britain.
1951 July 20: Hussein's grandfather, Abdullah, is murdered by a Palestinian, and the father of Hussein becomes the new king in Jordan.
1952 August: After the deposing of his mentally ill father, Hussein is named new king. But, since he is only 17, the power continues to rest with a regency council.
1953 May: Hussein becomes king, with power defined by the new constitution of 1952, which makes him the constitutional head of state.
1955: Despite strong opposition in Jordan, Hussein decides to join the Baghdad Pact.
1956 March: Hussein sacks the general of the Jordanian army, John Glubb, as a result of strong political pressure in Jordan.
October: Free elections are held, resulting in the presence of Arab nationalists and communists in the cabinet.
1957 April: Military coup, led by the chief of staff, is defeated.
Hussein dissolves the parliament, and introduces martial law.
1958 February: Hussein becomes the deputy head of a federation between Jordan and Iraq.
July: With a coup in Iraq, the federation between Jordan and Iraq is dissolved.
1965: Hussein appoints his brother, Hassan, as crown prince.
1967 June: Hussein joins Syria and Egypt in their defence pact, and participates in the Six-Day War on the Arab side. The war results in Jordan loosing the West Bank to Israel.
1970 September: Civil war between Palestinian troops and the Jordanian army, resulting in the victory of the latter.
1971: The Palestinian forces are expelled from Jordan.
1973 October: Hussein does not participate in the Arab war against Israel, partly because of advice from the USA.
1978 June 15: Marries Lisa Najeeb Halaby, who takes the name Queen Noor.
September: Hussein does not join the peace process between Israel and Egypt. At the same period, his relationship with the Soviet Union are strengthened at the cost of his affiliation with the USA.
1985: Hussein reaches an agreement with the PLO about a future confederation between a Palestinian state and Jordan.
1988 July: Hussein cedes to the PLO all Jordanian claims to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
1989 November: Free elections are held, in which the Islamists get 32 out of 80 seats in the Parliament.
1990: With the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, Hussein works hard to find a solution to the crisis, without going to war against Iraq.
1993 November: Elections are held, leaving the Islamists with fewer seats than 4 years earlier.
1994 October 26: Hussein signs a peace agreement with Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, at the border between the two countries.
1996 January: In conjunction with the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Hussein makes his first official visit to Israel.
October: Hussein visits Yassir Arafat in Jericho.
1997 November: Elections are met by a boycott from the Islamists, resulting in a low turnout.
1999 January: Hussein appoints his oldest son, Abdullah, as crown prince, and dismisses his brother, Hassan. This occurs at the same time as he is put under intense medical care for cancer.
February 5: King Hussein is declared clinically dead, but is kept alive artificially. His son Abdullah is sworn in as the new ruler.
February 7: King Hussein dies, and is followed by his oldest son, Abdullah.