May 24, 2017

The University of Jordan’s (UJ) Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) on Wednesday launched the King Hussein Bin Talal Academic Chair, which will conduct research to highlight the late Monarch’s legacy.
 
Through the academic chair, the CSS will conduct studies on various political, social and economic issues during the late King Hussein’s reign, which extended from 1952 to 1999, to highlight the late King’s ideology and the foundation process of the Jordanian state, according to CSS Director Musa Shteiwi.
 
To this end, the centre will host Jordanian and international academics and experts in international relations and Middle Eastern affairs to work on a research project or a book that serves the purpose of the newly-established academic chair, he told reporters at the launch.
 
In addition, the centre will start a research project that highlights cornerstones of the late King’s rule, and another project to document the oral history of the late King Hussein that was not documented, Shteiwi said.
 
All of the documents and academic studies produced will be made available in a special library to be established by the project, the director noted, adding that the CSS will hold conferences and lectures to tackle certain topics or eras of the late King Hussein’s reign.
 
He added that this national project, which is funded by the His Majesty King Abdullah, will reread the contemporary Jordanian history and will underline the Jordanian model in building the modern state, which King Abdullah has carried on with and instilled during his reign, and has reiterated in his seven Royal Discussion Papers.
 
UJ President Azmi Mahafzah said the CSS will now start with the academic chair’s activities, as administrative work regarding the establishment has finished.
 
The launch, which is part of the country’s 71st Independence Day celebrations, was attended by veteran politicians, statesmen and experts who have worked closely with His Majesty the late King Hussein.
 
Former Royal Court chief and veteran politician and analyst Adnan Abu Odeh said the initiative is an “important opportunity” to learn from past experiences on how to deal with future challenges.
 
He added that the late King’s leadership, patience, moderation and openness to dialogue have encouraged his consultants and those around him to serve him, not to please him.
 
The late King Hussein was an intelligent and dignified ruler in very difficult political conditions in the region, he said, explaining that the King’s policy of allying with the capitalist West and changing regional allies based on the changes of the political outlook has saved Jordan and served it best. 
 
Kamel Abu Jaber, a former foreign minister and former director of the Royal Institute of Interfaith Studies, agreed, adding that the 1950s witnessed an “explosion” of ideologies across the spectrum in Jordan and the region, yet, the King was able to maintain his balance.
 
He added that the late King Hussein inherited his leadership, calculation and bravery from his grandfather Sharif Hussein Bin Ali (1852-1931).
 
Former foreign minister Abdul Illah Khatib said the late King Hussein was much respected internationally and exceptionally capable of understanding political complexities and its influence on the region and on Jordan in particular, and was able to act accordingly.
 
On a different note, Daoud Hanania, a pioneering physician who performed the first heart transplant in the Arab world at the King Hussein Medical Centre in 1985, and the first kidney transplant in the Middle East in 1973, said the late King was a loyal supporter to the advancement of the Kingdom’s medical sector.
 
He noted that the late King’s support to the sector and to all medical fields has established Jordan’s current leading status in medical tourism.
 
Jordan Times: May 25, 2017.