A Very Special Relationship

Mohammad Aburumman
Mohammad Aburumman

اضافة اعلان

Many Jordanians know the fact that the late King Hussein bin Talal, is no angel.

He was not beyond err.

However, most Jordanians view him in a distinct light, in terms of his approach to government. Compared to most other Arab leaders, King Hussein was different, to most Jordanians at least.

There is a very special relationship that bonds Jordanians to King Hussein. Many foreigners do not understand it.

The secret behind it is that he loved them selflessly; he dedicated himself tirelessly to their best interest. No barriers stood between the late King and his citizens. He was open to all, and dedicated a lot of his time to internal debates with politicians and officials of many different political colours.

You may hear Islamist leader Abdul Latif Arabyat speak about private meetings he held with the King. Numerous Jordanian opposition leaders and prominent intellectuals have shared with the world stories about their encounters with King Hussein, including Laith Shubeilat, Toujan Feisal and Adnan Abu Odeh, among others.

Even citizens have met with him in some of the most bizarre settings and encounters. Many of the citizens’ stories reflect King Hussein’s light-heartedness.

Fayez Tarawneh, Dr Jawad Anani and Dr Kamel Abu Jaber all shared stories on their interactions with the King during the forum, last Tuesday, held by the Strategic Studies Centre on King Hussein’s Art of Governance, on the memorial day of his passing.

King Hussein was a pioneer statesman and an unrivalled crisis manager, both domestic and regional. He handles pressure and stress like no other.

Beyond that, the late King was an exceptional Arab model of humanitarianism and morality. Former Prime Minister Abdul Rauf Rawabdeh made that concisely clear when he said that King Hussein never sat inappropriately in front of a visitor, regardless their status.

Dr Fayez Tarawneh summarised the humanitarian politician he was, being the last Prime Minister under the reign of late King Hussein. He said, Hussein the man always overcame Hussein the King. By that Tarawneh was referring to the human he was above all aspects of his entirety, as king, politician and ruler.

Despite the rich heritage King Hussein left behind, most of it remains hostage to oral record.

Citizens and statesmen alike rejoice to his memory, but many do not tell their stories in writing, as though King Hussein and his memory is their own personal property. King Hussein is the ruler of our country, a pillar of its culture and history.

Jordan’s national archive is greatly lacking of proper historical record. Most of it is scattered across many institutions. Some would say we have no history or real documents.

Much appreciated, Dr Adnan Bakhit has launched a project, the Hashemite Documents, at the University of Jordan’s Centre for Documents and Manuscripts. Numerous documents are now available on the era of the Emirate and the Founding King Abdullah I.

Other institutions must engage in the effort to document Jordan’s history and national narrative, as it is invaluable to the Jordanian national identity. People who witnessed the miracle of King Hussein should put their accounts in writing or come forward.

The purpose of the documentation effort is not merely academic, but epistemological as well as political; King Hussein’s approach to governance and policymaking is part of the Hashimites’ heritage, and this nation’s history.

It is part of the state itself and in indispensable instrument to understanding the past and future of Jordan. There is much political use to it, mistakes included.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.