Hussein of Jordan | illness, death and funeral

Illness, death and funeral

In May 1998 Hussein, a heavy smoker, was admitted to the Mayo Clinic, but doctors were unable to diagnose his ailment.[69] Hussein returned to the clinic in July after suffering severe fevers; doctors then diagnosed him with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[69] He stayed in the clinic until the end of 1998, his brother Hassan, who had been crown prince since 1965, acted as regent.[69] He was given six courses of chemotherapy for his lymph gland cancer over a five-month period.[69] Hussein gained the respect of the Mayo Clinic staff for his warmth and kindness; on one occasion, a janitor cried uncontrollably after Hussein prepared a birthday party for her in his suite.[70]

In October 1998 Bill Clinton invited Hussein, during his stay at the clinic for chemotherapy treatment, to attend the Wye Plantation talks after a stalemate was reached between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations.[71] Hussein, who looked bald and weakened, arrived and urged both Arafat and Netanyahu to overcome the obstacles.[71] Encouraged by his presence, the two leaders agreed to resolve their difficulties.[71] Hussein received a standing ovation at the ceremony and praise from Clinton for interrupting his treatment and coming over.[71]

At home, 1998 was a difficult year for Jordanians: GDP growth had slowed considerably and could not keep pace with an accelerating population growth.[70] Other incidents included a government scandal involving contamination of the country's water supply.[70] Samih Batikhi, the director of the General Intelligence Directorate (mukhabarat), visited Hussein during his stay at the Mayo Clinic to keep him updated.[70] Batikhi discredited the King's brother Hassan, and often voiced his support for Hussein's eldest son Abdullah as successor.[70] Abdullah, who was 36 years old at the time, enjoyed great support from the army.[70] He was crown prince when he was born in 1962, but Hussein transferred the title to his brother Hassan in 1965 due to political uncertainty back then.[70] On his way back to Jordan in January 1999, Hussein stopped in London.[72] Doctors advised him to rest and stay in England for a few weeks, as he was still too fragile to travel.[72] According to Jordanian government sources, Hussein stated that:

I need very much to feel the warmth of my people around me, there is work to be done and I will get the strength from my people to finish the business.[73]

Upon his arrival in Jordan, after a six-month medical absence from the country, he announced he was "completely cured".[74] Hussein returned and publicly criticized his brother Hassan's management of Jordanian internal affairs. He also accused him of abusing his powers as regent and crown prince.[74] On 24 January 1999, Hussein replaced Hassan with his son Abdullah as heir apparent.[74] Hassan gracefully accepted the King's decision on television, and congratulated his nephew Abdullah on his designation as crown prince.[75]

On 25 January, the day after he proclaimed Abdullah as crown prince, Hussein returned abruptly to the United States, after experiencing fevers – a sign of recurrent lymphoma.[76] On 4 February it was reported that Hussein had suffered internal organ failure, and was in critical condition.[76] The next day, and at his request, he was flown to Jordan where he arrived in a coma after a second bone marrow transplant failed.[76] Fighter jets from several countries flew with his plane as it passed over its territory, including the United States, Britain, and Israel.[76] Hussein arrived at the King Hussein Medical Center in Amman where it was raining heavily, yet thousands flocked from all over Jordan and gathered at the main entrance.[77] The crowds chanted his name, some weeping, others holding his pictures.[77] At 11:43 on 7 February, Hussein was pronounced dead.[77]

King Hussein's funeral was held on 8 February, the day after his death, attended by statesmen from 75 countries and an estimated 800,000 Jordanians.[78] The UN General Assembly held an Emergency Special Session in "Tribute to the Memory of His Majesty the King of Jordan" on the same day.[79] The funeral was the largest gathering of foreign leaders since 1995, and it was the first time that Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad was in the same room with Israeli statesmen.[78] Khaled Mashal was also in the same room as the Mossad leaders who had tried to assassinate him just two years earlier.[78] Four American presidents were present: Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford.[78] Hussein was succeeded as king by his eldest son, Abdullah II.[78]

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: ملک حسین
Bân-lâm-gú: Hussein (Iok-tàn)
беларуская: Хусейн бен Талал
čeština: Husajn I.
فارسی: ملک حسین
한국어: 후세인 1세
Bahasa Indonesia: Hussein dari Yordania
لۊری شومالی: ملک ھوسئین
Bahasa Melayu: Hussein dari Jordan
日本語: フセイン1世
Runa Simi: Hussein I
slovenčina: Husajn bin Talál
српски / srpski: Хусеин од Јордана
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hussein I od Jordana
українська: Хусейн бін Талал
Tiếng Việt: Hussein của Jordan