"Hashem'' was the name of the great-grandfather of the prophet Mohammad, whose family first came to the holy city of Mecca during the second century A.D. The "Hashemites" are thus the direct descendants of the prophet through his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali, who was also the prophet's paternal first cousin and the fourth caliph of Islam. The direct descendants of their eldest son Hassan are known as "Sharifs" (nobles).
King Abdullah II is the head of the Sharifian branch of the Hashemite lineage, and he represents the forty-third generation of the direct male descent of the prophet Mohammad.
His Majesty King Abdullah II was born in Amman on January 30, 1962. His Majesty is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and has four brothers and six sisters.
King Abdullah began his education at the Islamic Educational College and continued his education at St. Edmund's School in Surrey, England, followed by Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States of America. In 1980, King Abdullah entered the Royal Military Academy Sand Hurst in the United Kingdom, where he received his military education.
King Abdullah attended Oxford University in 1984, undergoing a one-year Special Studies Course in International Politics and World Affairs. King Abdullah attended the School of the Foreign Services at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and was resident as a Mid-Career Fellow.
He undertook Advanced Study and Research in International Affairs, under the auspices of the Master of Science in Foreign Services Program.
During his career in the army, His Majesty achieved the rank of Major General and had regularly traveled with the late King Hussein.
In addition to his career as an army officer, he served his country many times on the official capacity of Regent in the absence of His Majesty King Hussein.
From the beginning, when King Abdullah assumed his constitutional powers as King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on February 7, 1999, His Majesty has tried to govern according to the precepts and ideals of democratic liberalism, and has recently achieved remarkable success in the diplomatic relations between Jordan and the Arab countries like Syria, Kuwait and other Gulf States.
In less than six months, His Majesty traveled to European countries and the United States of America, strengthening relations with these countries, thus proving the commitment of Jordan to be part of the modern world, and demonstrating once again the need to work toward a just and comprehensive regional peace. King Abdullah is committed to building on the legacy left by the late King Hussein to further Jordan's democratic institutionalization and political pluralism.
King Abdullah has a wide range of skills and interests. He is a qualified frogman, pilot, and a free-fall parachutist. Other diversions include car racing, water sports, scuba diving and collecting ancient weapons and armaments.
King Abdullah married Rania Al-Yasin on June 19, 1993. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah was born in Kuwait on August 31, 1970 to a notable family of Palestinian origin. Upon her graduation from university, Queen Rania returned to Jordan and pursued a successful career in private sector banking, followed by a brief career in the field of information technology.
His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen have four children,
Prince Hussein, born on June 28,1994, Princess Iman, born on September 27, 1996, and Princess Salma , born on September 26, 2000,and Prince Hashem born in 2005.
After marriage to His Majesty, and stemming from her keen motivation to participate in the development efforts in Jordan, Queen Rania channeled her energies into substantive projects that aim to improve the living conditions of several underprivileged groups in Jordanian society. These include protecting the children of Jordan from abuse and encouraging their early development, while raising awareness on various health issues.
In 1995, Her Majesty established the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), a non-profit, non-governmental institution encompassing several projects with the overall objective of assisting vulnerable segments of Jordan's population in improving their prospects in a realistic and sustainable fashion. The Foundation oversees several well-known projects in the Kingdom that include Jordan River Designs, Wadi Rayan and Bani Hamida. These projects empower women to become skilled contributors to the Jordanian economy, while raising additional sources of income to support their families.
Working closely with the various international agencies, the Ministry of Social Development and the Jordan River Foundation, Her Majesty oversaw the launching of the Child Abuse Prevention Project that is the first of its kind in the Arab region.
Furthermore, Queen Rania is the President of the Jordan Society for Organ Donation. Queen Rania also heads the Jordan Blood Disease Society, which conducts awareness campaigns on the dangers of blood diseases, their causes, and the necessary precautions needed to avoid them.
In addition to her permanent affiliation with the aforementioned organizations, Queen Rania sponsors numerous events that promote economic growth as well as the educational, artistic and cultural diversity in the Kingdom.
Queen Rania enjoys reading, water skiing, running, cycling and cooking.
The king's official site www.kingabdullah.jo
The Queen's official site www.queenrania.jo