Thursday, January 19, 2012

Prince Hamza: waiting in the wings?

A well-known expert on Jordan who does not want to be identified sent me this:  "There is something very fishy going on about the recent engagement of Prince Hamza to this Canadian Jordanian of the Al-'Utum tribe from Jerash and the attendance of Queen Nour of the festivities. For Hamza to be back in the public eye at this time and to get engaged to a Jordanian woman (the only precedent for any Hashemite prince or king marrying a Jordanian woman is Prince Muhammad's --brother of King Hussein-- second wife who is of the Majali family from the southern town of Karak and with whom he has no children—his first wife was the Palestinian Princess Firyal whom he divorced). As no Hashemite ever married a tribal Jordanian and Hamza’s planning to do so in the near future (albeit to one born and raised in Canada) is not incidental at this time--especially as he only met her three months ago, which means the Americans cooked this quickly. The Americans are making calculations and want to make sure there is an alternative from within the family. The only step missing is re-designating him as Crown Prince which Abdullah and Rania will not allow, but if Abdullah has to go, the Americans will have do so as the last decision before he abdicates, should it ever come to that. They surely were able to do this with his father, why not with him?  After all, Nour who was behind the removal of crown prince Hassan had hoped Hamza could become King which proved impossible due to the succession rules of the constitution, and which is why Abdullah made him Crown Prince as a condition for Abdullah himself to rule as a king for five years and then abdicate to Hamza. Once the deal was sealed, Abdullah reneged and removed Hamza and later appointed his son Hussein. The Americans are now banking on the idea that after all this the chauvinists among the Jordanian people will not accept Prince Hussein (the current crown prince) to rule, as his mother is a Palestinian Arab Muslim, as opposed to King Abdullah II whose mother is English and Hamza whose mother is half white American and half Syrian American Christian. It seems Jordanian Chauvinists prefer their kings to be half anything except half-Palestinian.  Indeed Hamza is always marketed as the closest in manners and commitments to his father Hussein and that he knows “the ways” of the tribes, speaks Arabic fluently, and is loved by the army. Brace yourselves!"