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World - Middle East

Prince Abdullah: The chosen ruler

Hussein & Abdullah Rania
Prince Abdullah: A King in waiting    Wife Rania greets well-wishers   

February 6, 1999
Web posted at: 2:25 a.m. EST (0725 GMT)

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- The Hashemite crown is passing to a new generation.

King Hussein
  • A photo gallery of Jordan's final farewell to its king
  • Key dates in King Hussein's Life
  • Crown Prince Abdullah: Heir to the throne
  • Jordan: Facts and figures
  • A look at King Hussein's reign

  • CNN's Garrick Utley reports King Abdullah will be among the monarchs who hold political power
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  • Scenes from the funeral
    Windows Media 28K 80K

  • For more video on King Hussein, click here
  • As the long-ruling Jordanian monarch struggles for life in a hospital outside Amman, 37-year-old Abdullah Bin Hussein prepares to take up the reins of the small but strategic kingdom of Jordan.

    Abdullah was until lately a political unknown, but he was catapulted into the limelight when his father, King Hussein, last month pushed aside Abdullah's uncle Hassan, who had been crown prince for thirty four years, to select him as successor.

    The son of King Hussein's second wife, the British Princess Mona, Abdullah led Jordan's special forces, a critical position in a country where the army is one of the throne's important pillars.

    Rania, Abdullah's Palestinian wife, is seen as a bridge between the royal family and Jordan's large population of Palestinians.

    Educated in Britain and the United States, Abdullah also straddles the gap between traditional Arab values and the surging westernization of Jordan's young.

    While all this argues in his favor, diplomats based in Jordan worry that Abdullah lacks the experience so crucial for survival in one of the world's roughest neighborhoods.

    With Jordan's economy in the doldrums and the Arab-Israeli peace process effectively stalled, Abdullah is now under pressure to establish his credentials at home and abroad to retain his country's much envied stability.

    By CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman in Amman.

    Hussein's Queen of hearts: the woman who married a King
    February 6, 1999
    Jordanians: King's grave condition like 'the world falling apart'
    February 5, 1999
    King Hussein returning to Jordan after cancer treatment fails
    February 4, 1999
    Palestinians closely watch Jordan's power shift
    January 31, 1999
    Despite changes, Jordan an oasis of stability
    January 30, 1999
    Jordan's new crown prince meets with Arafat
    January 30, 1999
    Hussein's cancer relapse prompts 10 more days of chemotherapy
    January 28, 1999
    Jordan's King Hussein resumes cancer treatment
    January 27, 1999

    The Office of King Hussein I of Jordan
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