Last night I finished reading “Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace”. I found it a
Lion of Jordan
fascinating biography of a great Arab leader of the twentieth century. I use the word “great” in the sense that he pursued peace in the latter years of his life at the risk to his regin and his nation’s status.
Hussein’s neighborhood was not easy to manuever. Jordan was a small, poor country with little natural resources to build on. Throughout his regin he had to rely on the charity of Great Britain, the United States, and other Arab countries to keep the country solvent. Jordan’s existence is a minor miralcle in itself.
You find that Hussein and the Hashemite Dynasty is more of a moderate force within the volatile Arab world. More than any other Arab state, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has sought to weave a moderate path toward the elusive goal of peace. Hussein, like his grandfather, King Abdullah I, realized Israel of was reality that must be accepted. Hussein’s back channel talks with Israeli leaders over the years helped the King negotiate the treacherous waters of Arab politics.
Jordan may yet play a critical role in the process of peace within the Middle East. When it does it will build on the foundation of this man.