Biographical encyclopedia of the modern Middle East and by Michael R. Fischbach

By Michael R. Fischbach

V. 1. A-K -- v. 2. L-Z

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Abdullah was catapulted from his quiet family life into the full glare of national and international attention virtually overnight when his dying father suddenly redesignated him crown prince on 25 January 1999, thereby demoting Prince Hassan, who had served as crown prince since 1965. The move startled the Jordanian public, and allegedly was the result of a dispute between the two brothers over the future line of royal succession. Abdullah accordingly took the place of his uncle, a man who had been groomed for the throne for thirty-four years, and became king with comparatively much weaker preparation when King Hussein died shortly thereafter on 7 February.

In 1961 he enrolled and spent four years in the Institute of ArabIslamic Studies in Abu Tilmit. He grew up in a family that appreciated poetry, and he began composing verse at an early age. He admits having been influenced by two Mauritanian poets in his youth, Ghilan dhi alRummah and Muhammad An-Anah ben al-Ma’li. He worked in the field of journalism and teaching before joining Mauritania’s National Center for Scientific Research in Nouakchott in 1975. His research at the Center focused on the study of manuscripts and oral traditions.

Bush also quickly invited Abbas to a summit meeting with Israeli prime minister ARIEL SHARON and Jordanian king ABDULLAH II BIN HUSSEIN in Aqaba, Jordan, in June 2003, and to a meeting with him at the White House the following month. In the run-up to the January 2005 PA presidential elections, Abbas called on Palestinians to end the violence of the second Intifada. However, the violence continued. Abbas’s efforts were hampered both by anti-Israeli attacks mounted by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, among others, and by Israeli attacks and Israel’s ongoing construction of a ‘‘security barrier’’ within Palestinian territory, inside the internationally recognized border between Israel and the Occupied Territories.

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