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H.M. Husein I, King of Jordan

Prince of Asturias Award for Concord 1995

His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal (Amman, Jordania, 1935 - 1999) is a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Born in Amman on 14th November 1935, His Majesty was born in a democratic environment under the supervision of his grandfather, the late King Abdullah; his father, the late King Talal, and his mother, Queen Zein.

The King began his education at the age of five at the National School. He continued his elementary education at the Bishops School and the Islamic Education College in Amman, receiving his secondary education at Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt. In 1951, he attended Harrow School in England. He was proclaimed King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 11th August 1952. As His Majesty was then only seventeen years of age, a Regency Council was appointed until his formal accession to the throne on the 2nd May 1953. During this period, the King attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in England, where he received his military education. His Majesty´s autobiography, Uneasy Lies the Head, was published in English in 1962.

He has always been committed to peace through diplomatic resolution of conflicts rather than the use of armed force. Recently, during the Gulf Crisis of 1990-91, King Hussein repeatedly attempted to mediate a peaceful solution to the conflict.

King Hussein has presided over the transformation of his country from a tribal, nomadic society still under British colonial influence to a fully modern state with a complete internal infrastructure, and literacy and education levels that are among the highest in the developing world. In 1989, Jordan held its first full and free parliamentary elections since 1967. King Hussein played a pivotal role in convening the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991, not only by committing Jordan to the peace process, but also by providing an umbrella for the Palestinian people to negotiate their future as part of a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. The recent signing of the peace with Israel and the new initiatives by the Hashemite King augur a peaceful solution to the problems of the region.

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