In January 1999, a newswire shocked Jordan. King Hussein announced that it was not his brother Hassan that would succeed him but his son Abdullah. Less than a week later, King Hussein was dead.
During his forty-six-year reign, the Hashemite king preserved his kingdom against rising Islamism and maintained its neutrality in the face of the conflicting interests of neighbouring countries. Hussein left his son a stable kingdom, allied to the West. Today, King Abdullah is following in his father’s footsteps, positioning himself as peace broker alongside the United States in the hopes of ending the sixty-year Middle East conflict.
Award-winning journalist Randa Habib draws on twenty-five years of unparalleled access to the former king to share unique insights into Hussein’s relations with Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad and Itzhak Rabin. A lively chronicle of the end of an era, this is also a fascinating account of twenty-first century Jordan, the Jordan of King Abdullah and Queen Rania.
About the Author
Randa Habib, a French journalist of Lebanese origin, has spent twenty-five years covering war, politics and economic development in the Middle East. Director of the Amman bureau of Agence France Presse since 1987, she has reported extensively from Iraq and other areas of conflict and interviewed royalty and leaders throughout the region. Habib was the first to interview King Abdullah when he ascended the throne. She also broke the story that it would be Abdullah, King Hussein’s son, who would succeed him, and not Hussein’s brother, Crown Prince Hassan.
She was awarded the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite’ in 2001 by President Jacques Chirac and the ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ in 2008 by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
‘A highly informative source on the recent history of Jordan, Habib’s eye for detail and keen sense of drama combine to make Hussein and Abdullah not just a useful record but also a fascinating book to read.’
Avi Shlaim, author of Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace
‘Randa Habib is courageous, considered and influential. By being there to write the stories of Jordan and the region, she has shaped history as much as she has revealed it. In her profession, Randa Habib is a star.’
Paul McGeough, author of Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas
‘Precise and concise ... Habib was a privileged witness to much confidential information.’
‘A compelling inside story of war, peace and king-making in the Middle East.’
Martin Bell, UNICEF Ambassador and former BBC foreign affairs correspondent