The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has escaped much of the political turmoil that has rocked other capitals in the Middle East over the past decade.
But it has witnessed pro-democracy protest movements, has been economically affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and is struggling to host more than a million refugees displaced by the war in neighboring Syria.
What you need to know about Jordan:
Who is the Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II?
King Abdullah II, 59, has been leading Jordan since 1999. His family, the Hashemites, trace their lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad.
Abdullah is the eldest son of the late Jordanian King Al-Husseini and his second wife, Princess Mina. Abdullah is the half-brother of Hamza, who was arrested as part of the alleged coup attempt at the palace.
Abdullah was educated abroad, including in England and the United States. He also served in the Jordanian Armed Forces. He has four children from his wife, Queen Rania, of Palestinian origin.
Abdullah sought to portray Jordan as a moderate and stable regional power, and sought to portray himself as the modern face of the country’s constitutional monarchy. But criticizing the king is a crime in Jordan, while many other political rights and freedom of expression are restricted.
In recent years, Abdullah has faced several waves of protests over economic issues, as well as calls for more political freedoms. So far, he has avoided these threats by reshuffling his government and making some political concessions.
What is the history of modern Jordan?
Jordan formally declared its independence from British colonial rule in 1946. Shortly thereafter, Jordan joined the war against the newly established Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. At the end of the war, Jordan took control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and was home to many refugees Palestinians. Then Jordan lost control of these lands to Israel in the 1967 war.
By some estimates, about half of Jordanians today are from Palestinian of origin. However, the political system has historically favored the country’s traditional tribes and rural dwellers, sometimes called East Bankers, to distinguish them from the original West Bank Palestinians. (Some Palestinians in Jordan today hold citizenship, and others do not.) Jordanians from tribal and rural backgrounds also dominated public sector jobs, while Palestinians played a major role in developing the country’s private sector.
However, this temporary balance has over the years been threatened by factors such as cuts in the public sector that have eroded the traditional power base of the royal family.
Why is Jordan an ally of the United States?
Jordan has established close ties with a series of American presidents. It has also sought to maintain stable relations with its neighbors, including Israel. A peace treaty with Israel was signed in 1994.
During the Iraq War, Jordan was a major land conduit for Iraq. It has also hosted an influx of Iraqi refugees and has formed a base for many international NGOs. Most recently, Jordan has been a major partner in the US-led campaign against ISIS and has assisted US forces in security operations around the world.
As a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, Jordan has traditionally allied with other countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and against Iran.
The Hashemite Kingdom is also keen to maintain its role as custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Who is Prince Hamzah bin Hussein?
Hamza is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and Queen Noor, his fourth wife, born in America. As of Saturday, he was reportedly in his palace in Amman amid an investigation into an alleged plot to oust his older half-brother.
in a His statement to the BBC By his attorney, the former crown prince denied the allegations and said he was being targeted for speaking out against corruption.
“I am not the one responsible for the governance breakdown, corruption, and inefficiency that has prevailed in our governing structure over the past fifteen to twenty years, and which has been getting worse by the year,” Hamzah said. Statement.
Hamza served four years as crown prince before the appointment was transferred to Abdullah’s eldest son, Hussein, in 2004. Hamza is a well-known figure in the royal family. He held other positions within the monarchy and holds the rank of brigadier general in the Jordanian army.