Five things to know about Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein after his engagement

The 28-year-old prince's wife-to-be is Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif

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Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein's engagement to architect Rajwa Al Saif, first revealed on Wednesday, has been confirmed by the Royal Hashemite Court.

Ms Al Saif, 28, is a Saudi citizen born to businessman Khalid Al Saif and his wife Azza Al Sudairi.

The engagement took place at the home of Ms Al Saif's father in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Who is Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein?

Prince Hussein, also 28, identifies himself with young people who make up the overwhelming majority of the population in the kingdom, and the wider Arab Middle East.

The prince is the eldest son of King Abdullah and is being groomed for eventual succession to the Hashemite throne, established with British support in what was known as Transjordan 100 years ago.

He is named after his grandfather, King Hussein, who became king at the age of 16 and ruled Jordan for almost five decades until his death in 1999.

Under King Hussein, Jordan emerged as a bastion of stability in a volatile region, an image King Abdullah has sought to preserve amid political and economic challenges in the past decade.

What is he best known for?

In the past five years, Prince Hussein has been appearing increasingly on the international stage and serving as regent when the king is away.

His major debut was in 2017 at the United Nations General Assembly, where he gave a speech criticising the focus on militarisation in the Middle East instead of resources for development.

“The message to the youth of Jordan and our region is loud and clear: there is no shortage of money for fighting evil. But the appetite for rewarding virtue is nearly non-existent,” he said.

“The voice of those who defend and build is drowned out by those who attack and destroy.”

He said he belongs to the “largest generation of young people in history” who live in an area “too often deafened by division and extremism.”

He heads the Crown Prince Foundation in Amman, which promotes education, with a focus on technical training for the young.

Where was he educated?

Like many of the male members of Jordan’s royal family, including his father and grandfather, Prince Hussein attended an officer's training course at Britain’s Sandhurst military academy. He has a degree in international history from Georgetown University in Washington.

What about his family?

The prince has three siblings: Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem.

His 60-year-old father King Abdullah succeeded King Hussein in 1999, becoming at the time one of the youngest rulers in the region. He focused on economic development, while the pillar of the country’s foreign policy remained a close alliance with the US.

Prince Hussein with his father and mother and two of his younger siblings on September 26, 2000. He is the eldest son of King Abdullah. Photo: Royal Court

In July last year, Prince Hussein accompanied King Abdullah on an official visit to Washington, where the king became the first Arab leader to meet President Joe Biden since he took office in January 2021.

Prince Hussein sat alongside his father in the White House with Mr Biden. The meeting was important because Jordan was somewhat sidelined during the Donald Trump administration and its regional weight lessened as Washington concentrated on promoting Arab normalisation with Israel.

King Abdullah told Mr Biden that he “had the privilege of knowing you with my father decades ago,” a scenario he repeated with the prince.

Who is Rajwa Al Saif, his Saudi fiancée?

Al Saif was born in Riyadh on April 28, 1994, according to Roya News in Jordan.

She is the youngest of four siblings and her parents are businessman Khalid Al Saif and Azza Al Sudairi.

Her secondary education took place in Saudi Arabia before she moved to New York in the US to complete her higher education at Syracuse University's College of Architecture.

Updated: August 19, 2022, 9:42 AM
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