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Royal wedding of Jordan: meeting with Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Arabia Rajwa Alseif

The Middle East is buzzing with media coverage as Jordan prepares for the lavish royal wedding of his heir to the throne and his bride, a Saudi architect.

Crown Prince Hussein, 28 – the son of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania – will marry Saudi aristocrat and New York-qualified architect Rajwa Alseif, 29, following a tradition of cementing ties between the two kingdoms.

The couple are often compared in the press to Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales – who flew into Amman to attend Thursday’s nuptials among other royals and world dignitaries. First lady Jill Bidena friend of Queen Rania, will also be at the glamorous event before traveling to Egypt and Morocco.

Wedding fever has gripped the streets of the capital, Amman: Buildings are adorned with flags and beaming images of the royal couple, as throngs of people prepare to watch the wedding of the year broadcast live on large public screens. Jordanians were given two days of vacation, with free public concerts and fireworks to celebrate the occasion.

“Anyone walking the streets or browsing social media can witness an unprecedented level of celebration,” said Mohammad Asfour, who lives in Amman and is a sustainability expert. “For many, marriage symbolizes not just a sacred bond between two people in love, but a bond between two nations that share a long border and a longer history – for them, it symbolizes the future of Jordan.”

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However, despite this sparkling affair, Jordan, like other countries in the Middle East, is weathering a difficult economic climate. Unlike some of its neighbours, the country is largely devoid of natural resources and dependent on tourism and foreign aid. It is suffering from rising unemployment, debt, inflation and soaring food and energy prices which have led to protests. It also faces a large refugee population.

Here’s what to know about the lavish celebration taking place on Thursday.

Who is Crown Prince Hussein?

Hussein graduated from Georgetown University in international history and trained at Britain’s prestigious Sandhurst military academy, following in the footsteps of other members of the global royal family.

He’s a modern-day royal, with more than 4 million followers on Instagram, where he shares behind-the-scenes posts of his mum cooking, a state visit to Japan and a FaceTime with his baby sister. . In a post dedicated to his bride-to-be’s birthday, he gloats how he “looks forward to a life of love, compassion and commitment with you.”

Hussein was confirmed as crown prince at the age of 15. But in 2021, palace intrigue escalated when the government accused Abdullah’s half-brother, former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, and his associates of sedition, claiming he was cooperating with foreign entities. to pursue a plot to destabilize the kingdom.

Abdullah has ruled the country since 1999 and has strong military and political ties with several US administrations that view Jordan as a stable ally in the region.

Who is the bride, Rajwa Alseif?

Alseif, meanwhile, has inspired a media frenzy in the Middle East, with her appearances and clothing often dissected and analyzed online. She graduated in architecture from Syracuse University in New York in 2017. Video shows her graduating to cheers from the audience as she walks across the stage in shiny silver sneakers.

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She also studied at a fashion institute in Los Angeles, is fluent in English, Arabic and French, and would have liked art and horseback riding.

At a henna bridal party earlier this week, Rania called Alseif “the sweetest and most beautiful bride-to-be” and said she was the answer to her prayers for her son.

“To all our Jordanian family: our joy is the same,” she told the nation of 11 million. “Hussein is your son as much as he is mine – you are his family, and this is your party.”

Where is Jordan’s royal wedding?

The couple will wed at the historic Zahran Palace in Amman, where the prince’s parents were also married, according to the Royal Hashemite Court. After which, they will take part in a procession accompanied by a royal motorcade to Husseiniya Palace for a banquet.

What can we expect on Jordan’s royal wedding day?

The buzzing wedding day will be filled with pomp and ceremony and will have its own official logo and the online hashtag, #CelebratingAlHussein. “The land of the Hashemites shines with joy”, writing an excited online commentator.

US climate envoy John F. Kerry is also present. Other guests include royals from Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands, among other foreign dignitaries.

No details of how the couple first met have been made public, but they got engaged in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, last August, according to the Associated Press, in a ceremony attended by both families.

This is the second royal wedding in Jordan this year. In March, the prince’s younger sister, Princess Iman, married Venezuelan financier Jameel Alexander Thermiotis in a ceremony that also drew public attention.

Sarah Dadouch contributed to this report.


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