Joyous Jordanians gather to greet Prince Hussein wedding convoy

Pupils and students on hand in Amman, while others merely want to enjoy the day off

Jordanians celebrate the royal wedding

Jordanians celebrate the royal wedding
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Ihab Mahmoud is one of hundreds of government high school pupils chosen to stand at roundabouts where the wedding convoy of Crown Prince Hussein will pass on Thursday.

The crown prince will marry his Saudi fiancee Rajwa Al Saif at a palace a few hundred metres from where Ihab is standing in west Amman, the affluent part of the city of four million.

Major figures in the Middle East will be among the guests, as authorities seek to solidify Jordan's image for stability under the Hashemite monarchy.

The pupils are wearing white T-shirts. On their shoulders are red-and-white scarves called shemagh. The traditional head dress is worn in Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula, particularly among the tribes.


"Usually on days off I play soccer but it is not every day that I get to wear a shemagh," says Ihab, as music in a van blasts Bedouin songs.

The authorities are portraying the event as a patriotic occasion, highlighting continuity among the Hashemites who have ruled Jordan since it was founded as a British protectorate in 1921. Thursday has been declared a national holiday.

Students from the University of Jordan were taken by bus into another area on the road, where a makeshift theatre was set up by a company partly owned by the state.

Alaa, a Chinese language student, says he likes the Crown Prince because "he is close to our generation".

The wedding car will be accompanied through the streets of the capital by red 1980s Land Rovers with sawn-off tops and air-cooled red BMW motorcycles.

The vintage machines belong to the Royal Convoy Units, part of a special military formation known as the Royal Guards that will be involved in the pomp and ceremony.

Not all people will be watching because of government encouragement.

Lina, a cancer hospital volunteer, was watching live coverage on state TV from her family home.

"We can't wait to see what Sheikha Moza will be wearing," she says, referring to the mother of Sheikh Tamim, emir of Qatar.

She says her two teenage children went to the streets on their own to wait for the convoy. Lina has also been receiving via WhatsApp non-stop video footage taken by a friend.

"My friend is very interested in royal marriages," she says. "A lot of people I know are."

But others merely want to relax on the day off.

"I closed today," said the owner of an Amman pharmacy. "I might turn on the TV to watch a news summary".

Updated: June 01, 2023, 4:33 PM