Crown Prince speaks to Jordan Television in interview
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II sat for an interview with Jordan Television, on the anniversary of the Arabisation of army leadership.
In the interview, broadcast on Friday, Crown Prince Al Hussein spoke about the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, expressing the pride of His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Supreme Commander of the JAF, in his brothers in arms.
His Royal Highness highlighted the major role of His Majesty the late King Hussein bin Talal in taking the historic decision to Arabise army leadership, noting his great legacy.
The Crown Prince also touched on a number of topics, including the state centennial and the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis.
Following is the English translation of the interview, conducted by Jordan Television’s Anas Majali:
Jordan Television: In this conversation with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, we will discuss a number of occasions—the anniversary of the Arabisation of army leadership, the centennial of the state, and a number of other topics.
Welcome, Your Royal Highness.
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Thank you for having me. Allow me first to send my greetings to all Jordan Television viewers and to pay tribute to all those working to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. May the souls of those who passed away from our families rest in peace, and may God protect everyone. “God is best at guarding, and He is the Most Merciful of merciful ones.”
Jordan Television: Your Royal Highness, our meeting coincides with a dear occasion to us all, the anniversary of the Arabisation of army leadership. The Armed Forces, as we all know, have a major and prominent role in safeguarding our nation. And as Crown Prince, Sir, you have a special relationship with the Armed Forces. Can we talk more about it?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: First, Sir, in the army, I’m not a Crown Prince, I’m a First Lieutenant like any other army officer. The Armed Forces teach us commitment, sacrifice, and discipline. Frankly, the camaraderie I have experienced in the army is something I have not seen anywhere else.
And as you mentioned, we are celebrating a historic day in the state’s journey. It is an achievement by my grandfather, Al Hussein, may his soul rest in peace, from whom we have inherited the love of and dedication to the army.
And as you know, my father, His Majesty King Abdullah II, is a military man first and foremost, and he has served for a long time in the Arab Army, rising through the ranks to become Special Operations Commander with the rank of Major General.
And to this day, when I accompany His Majesty, I see how he reacts when he meets with those who have served with him, and I feel how happy he is to reminisce about his time with them.
Jordan Television: Honestly, Your Royal Highness, this is a wonderful legacy, and the relationship between the Hashemite family and the Armed Forces is distinctive throughout history. Just recently, we witnessed the launch of the “Brothers in Arms” programme. If anything, this indicates the deep faith in the Armed Forces, including active and retired personnel, doesn’t it, Your Royal Highness?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: I cannot begin to describe how happy I was when this project was launched, because it touches the lives of our brothers who have served in the Armed Forces.
This programme is a priority for His Majesty, who knows how much [veterans and retired servicemen] have given to this nation, out of his close relationship with them. I hope this programme would meet the aspirations of retired servicemen.
Jordan Television: Your Royal Highness, at the start of this conversation, you mentioned the late King Al Hussein, may his soul rest in peace. You carry his name, and many see a resemblance between you and him. Can we speak further about this?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: It is an honour for me, but the issue is not about physical resemblance, what is more important is to carry forward his principles. My grandfather Al Hussein had a unique personality, and from him we learned to have our own independent approach and way of thinking, within the steadfast principles we grew up believing in. May his soul rest in peace, he was an inspiring leader and close to the people, and since I carry his name, this gives me a sense of responsibility and a deep connection to him.
To this day, when I see my pictures with him, I remember my childhood and the attention he used to give me, and it touches me deeply.
When people remember my grandfather Al Hussein, they remember his speeches and positions, but when I see how Jordan continues to stand tall against all odds, I say that this is the legacy that my grandfather left behind, may his soul rest in peace.
Jordan Television: This is a great legacy, Your Royal Highness. We also always see you by His Majesty King Abdullah II’s side. This closeness must have an impact on your daily experience, doesn’t it?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: These meetings are schools unto themselves, and I am very lucky to be able to learn from him. I always see how His Majesty is firm in tough situations and compassionate in humanitarian situations. He always keeps calm and takes the necessary decisions at the right time.
There is no doubt that the responsibilities on His Majesty’s shoulders are indescribable. Those who have simple commitments may not be able to sleep at night, so imagine what it would be like for someone responsible for an entire country. May God bless him and enable us to meet his expectations and serve the nation as he taught us to.
Jordan Television: Your Royal Highness, let us turn to the COVID-19 crisis and its implications. It has been a year since this pandemic started, which has changed much in the world. Your Royal Highness, do you think we will witness any breakthroughs?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Of course, Sir, this is a new issue for the whole world, and no one knew what sort of enemy we are facing. Unfortunately, many families have lost loved ones, and the lockdowns and infections have impacted livelihoods and the economy. However, God willing, with the vaccine now available, we will be able to gradually recover from the impact of the crisis.
Jordan Television: Your Royal Highness, God willing, and with the determination of all, we will be able to recover soon.
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Jordan was among the first countries to acquire the vaccine in the region, but the delay in the vaccinations is due to delays from the manufacturing companies. Jordan is working to secure a large supply of vaccines, God willing. It is imperative that everyone take the precautions and register to receive the vaccine. Patience is needed, and “with hardship comes ease”.
Jordan Television: Sir, we must also speak about the economic situation. My question, Your Royal Highness, is how can we bolster our economy in light of the challenges facing us?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Our core challenge is the economy. Jordan has gone through a series of crises, from the Iraq war, to the cut in gas supplies, to the Syrian crisis, and now the COVID-19 crisis. All these crises have impacted economic reform.
Like other countries, there have been mistakes that we must review and learn from, and there must be a clear goal and institutionalised work, as well as bold decision-making in the state’s approach to various economic issues. Policies must not change with the faces, and this must not delay projects.
Most importantly, we must see the results on the ground, and the only concern for any official must be citizens’ interest. Frankly, we do not have time nor patience for any other concerns.
Jordan Television: So, Your Royal Highness, this is a strong call for hard work. The Jordanian society is usually described as a youthful society. Sir, we always see you around youth. How can we enhance young Jordanians’ opportunities and qualifications to join the labour market?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Our youths are up to the task, and I always meet with them. They all have the energy, but they need the opportunity, so we must focus on honing their skills.
For example, the Crown Prince Foundation is one of the institutions seeking to reach young people in all areas and to contribute to technical education, through several initiatives, such as Al Hussein Technical University. These skills will contribute to qualifying young people to join the labour market.
Jordan Television: Of course, Your Royal Highness, especially since the future lies in technical education, and many local studies indicate there are certain specialties that have become saturated. Your Royal Highness, since we are talking about young people, do you follow their comments on social media?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Sometimes, when I get the chance. Social media platforms are very important, and it is difficult to disregard them, but they do not always reflect reality. This is why I always try to reach out to people directly.
And sometimes, unfortunately, social media platforms spread negative and false news, so we must always verify the news. Sometimes, I check social media on my phone and suddenly find myself “engaged” or “married”, and there are many false stories that we come across. This happens to most people.
Jordan Television: Sir, Your Royal Highness, you studied international history, and you are aware of the domestic and international scenes; how has Jordan been able to safeguard its interests while maintaining its steadfast positions?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Everyone knows that Jordan, historically, has gone through much more difficult times than the ones we are living through today. Jordan’s resilience is a lesson to be taught, and this year, we celebrate the centennial of the state, a state that has stood firm and prospered in a turbulent region. This is all due to the strong faith of our people and leadership in this nation.
Jordan’s vision is clear—safeguarding its strategic interests, while our positions remain steadfast towards Arab causes, especially the Palestinian cause, our central cause.
And Sir, Jerusalem is a personal cause for the Hashemites, and a red line for every Jordanian.
Jordan Television: Absolutely, Sir, Jerusalem and its holy sites are in all our hearts. To conclude, Sir, what are your aspirations for Jordan’s future?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: If you want to answer this question, I think it is necessary for us as Jordanians to ask ourselves what is the future that we want? What is the role of each official and citizen in building a community rooted in productivity, justice, and efficiency?
Jordan Television: Absolutely, Your Royal Highness, this could be a message to all—we must work towards such a future?
Crown Prince Al Hussein: Our country’s human resources are full of potential; it is a museum from north to south, and we have immense innovative energy.
We have all the key ingredients for progress; we need only to roll up our sleeves and work together as one, because teamwork is key.
And this is who we are as Jordanians. We are all one, God willing, and we are unwavering in the face of all circumstances. I view the future with a sense of optimism, and I pray that God protect everyone and safeguard this nation.
Thank you, Sir, and God bless your efforts
Jordan Television: Amen. Thank you, Your Royal Highness.