Abdullah II has been the king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since February 1999. He succeeded his father, King Hussein, after unexpectedly being named Crown Prince just two weeks before King Hussein’s death.
Though a constitutional monarch, he retains wide executive and legislative powers as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.
Abdullah ibn Hussein II, named after his great-grandfather, Abdullah I, the founder of modern Jordan, is the firstborn son of King Hussein and his British-born second wife, Muna al-Hussein.
Abdullah II was educated in Jordan, England, and the United States. He did his military education in the United Kingdom and began his military career upon returning home. He steadily moved up, regularly taking prestigious international training courses, until he became commander of the Jordanian Special Forces shortly before becoming king.
Abdullah married Rania Al-Yassin, a Kuwaiti-raised Palestinian, on June 10, 1993, and they have two sons and two daughters. Queen Rania is very active in humanitarian and educational causes and makes extensive use of social media. As of January 2020, she had 10.4 million Twitter followers!
King Abdullah II is considered to be one of the most influential Muslims in the world. He believes he is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, and he is the head of the Hashemite Dynasty, the oldest ruling dynasty in the Muslim world.
In a region full of instability and discord, Jordan stands as a beacon of stability and reasonableness, largely due to the sensible policies of King Abdullah and his father before him. King Abdullah is deeply respected and admired within Jordan.
King Abdullah once said, “To me, the call to love is a call to concrete action. Our world needs to confront challenges to our shared humanity and values. They are the very ground of the coexistence and harmony our future depends on.”
He is a champion of moderate traditional Sunni Islam and maintains good relations with most countries, both local and international, including Israel. He permits Christian denominations to function and allows them to use church law for family matters rather than Sharia law, which governs every other aspect of Jordanians’ lives.