AMMAN — Jordan on Tuesday marked the 83rd anniversary of the birth of His Majesty the late King Hussein, who reigned for nearly five decades.
A direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, King Hussein was born on November 14, 1935 as the eldest son of King Talal and Queen Zein Al Sharaf.
Hussein was proclaimed King of Jordan on August 11, 1952 and a Regency Council was appointed until his formal accession to the Throne on May 2, 1953, when he assumed his constitutional powers after reaching the age of 18, according to the Islamic calendar.
The King studied at the Islamic Science College and then enrolled at Victoria College in Alexandria. In 1951, he entered Harrow College in England before receiving his military education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, from where he graduated in 1953.
Throughout his 47-year reign, King Hussein worked hard to enhance his country and raise citizens' living standards. He also focused on building an economic and industrial infrastructure that advanced the quality of life of the Jordanian people.
During his era, primary education became mandatory and schools were established across the Kingdom`s cities, villages and rural areas, allowing Jordan to become among one of the leading countries in the Arab world in terms of literacy.
King Hussein also focused on improving higher education, and dozens of public and private universities and colleges were built under his rule.
He also struggled throughout his reign to promote peace in the Middle East.
After the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, he was instrumental in drafting UN Security Council Resolution 242 which called on Israel to withdraw from all Arab lands occupied in the 1967 War in exchange for peace. The resolution has served as the benchmark for all subsequent peace negotiations.
In 1991, King Hussein played a pivotal role in convening the Madrid Peace Conference, providing an "umbrella" for Palestinians to negotiate their future as part of a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.
The 1994 Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel was a major step towards achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The late King's commitment to democracy, civil liberties and human rights has also helped pave the way for Jordan to become a model state in the region.
At the time of his death on February 7, 1999, King Hussein was the longest serving executive head of state in the world.
His Majesty the late King Hussein had five sons and six daughters.
His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday received several cables from senior officials in the Kingdom marking the anniversary of King Hussein's birthday and praising the late King for his accomplishments.