KING ABDULLAH Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


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His Majesty King Abdullah II is the 43rd generation direct descendant of the           
Prophet Muhammad. King Abdullah assumed his constitutional powers as King of the       
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on February 7,1999, the day his father, the late           
King Hussein, passed away.                                                             
Born in Amman on January 30, 1962, His Majesty is the eldest son of the late           
King Hussein and has four brothers and six sisters. King Abdullah began his             
education at the Islamic Educational College and received his secondary                 
education at St. Edmund?s School in Surrey, England, Eaglebrook School in               
Massachusetts, then at Deerfield Academy in the United States of America. In           
1980, King Abdullah entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United         
Kingdom, where he received his military education.                                     
King Abdullah attended Oxford University in 1984, undergoing a one-year Special         
Studies course in International Politics and World Affairs. Upon returning home,       
His Majesty continued his military path, gaining experience and working his way         
to the rank of Captain and the Commander of a Tank Company in the 91st Armored         
Brigade. From 1986-1987, also as Captain, His Majesty was attached to the Royal         
Jordanian Air Force?s Helicopter Anti-Tank Wing as a Tactics Instructor, where         
he received qualification as a Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot.                           
In 1987, King Abdullah attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown             
University in Washington, D.C., and was in residence as a Mid-Career Fellow. He         
undertook Advanced Study and Research in International Affairs under the               
auspices of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program.                           
Upon returning home, His Majesty was assigned to the 17th Tank Battalion, 2nd           
Royal Guards Brigade and in the summer of 1989, he became Battalion 2nd-in-Command,     
with the rank of Major. In 1991, King Abdullah was the Armor Representative in         
the Office of the Inspector General. He was promoted to Lt. Colonel at the end         
of the year and assumed command of the 2nd Armored Car Regiment in the 40th             
Upon handing over the battalion in January 1993, King Abdullah was promoted to         
full Colonel and assigned as deputy commander of the Jordanian Special Forces.         
In June 1994 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and assumed             
command of the Royal Jordanian Special Forces, after having served as Deputy           
Commander for six months. His Majesty was appointed Commander of the Special           
Operations Command on October 1997, and in May 1998, he was promoted to the rank       
of Major General.                                                                       
In addition to his career as an army officer, King Abdullah has served his             
country many times in the official capacity of Regent in the absence of His             
Majesty King Hussein, and he regularly traveled with the late King Hussein.             
Before his accession to the throne, King Abdullah represented Jordan and his           
late father on visits to many countries throughout the world, and developed             
close relationships with leaders and officials of a number of Arab countries           
during the course of his career.                                                       
King Abdullah is committed to building on the legacy left by the late King             
Hussein to further Jordan?s democratic institutionalization and political               
pluralism, while working for a just and comprehensive peace. Following in his           
late father?s footsteps, King Abdullah has placed great emphasis on improving           
Jordan?s economy and streamlining the government which will lay the foundations         
to allow Jordan to enter the next century with confidence.                             
King Abdullah married Queen Rania on June 10, 1993. Their Majesties have one son,       
Prince al-Hussein, born June 28, 1994, and one daughter, Princess Iman, born           
September 27, 1996.                                                                     
King Abdullah is a qualified frogman, pilot and a free-fall parachutist. His           
other interests include car racing (he is a former Jordanian National Rally             
Racing Champion), water sports, scuba diving and collecting ancient weapons and