The Death Of King Hussein Essay, Research Paper
The principal geographical feature of Jordan is an arid plateau that thrusts abruptly upward on the eastern shores of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, reaching a height of about 610 to 915 m (about 2000 to 3000 ft), then sloping gently downward toward the Syrian Desert in the extreme east of the country. The Jordan Valley is in the deep depression of the Rift Valley, which is about 213 m (about 700 ft) below sea level in the area of Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) and 395 m (1296 ft) below sea level at the Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point. Deep canyons and high mountain elevations of 1500 m (approximately 4920 ft) and more illustrate the Arabian Plateau in the southern portion of the country.
King Hussein of Jordan?s death will be felt far outside his grieving kingdom. Hussein bin Talal was only a teenager when he assumed the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1952. Having survived war, attempted coups and some 11 assassination attempts, Hussein was seen as a calming oasis in a chaotic region. Thousands of Palestinians fled conflict and settled in Jordan, and the state of Israel was declared on its western border. Challenges to Hussein?s authority by his own Prime ministers, threats from other Arab countries and occasional riots by Arab nationalists complicated the king?s early years. Hussein backed Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and in 1991 refused to condemn Saddam Hussein?s invasion of Kuwait or back Operation Desert Storm. In 1994, he signed a peace treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. After Rabin?s assassination and the election of relative hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu?s election as Israeli Prime Minister, Hussein continued to be an influential and calming force in the peace process.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the cancer from which King Hussein died at age 63, comes in many forms. Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system, which plays a key role in the body’s immune defenses. Doctors have long arbitrarily divided lymphomas into two types: Hodgkin’s disease (named for Thomas Hodgkin of London, who first described it as a new disease in 1832) and a dozen other forms grouped as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hussein’s cancer is believed to be the most common type, known as B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Like many cancers, King Hussein’s initially responded dramatically to large amounts of anti-cancer drugs. In the procedure, he received huge amounts of drugs to kill the cancer cells. But the drugs also killed the king’s own healthy blood cells. King Hussein was riddled with lymphoma. His only hope was a second bone marrow transplant, which failed.
Hussein officially named his successor just hours before rushing back to the United States for the new round of cancer treatment. The king removed his brother Hassan, longtime heir to the throne, in favor of Abdullah, who assumed temporary rule of Jordan in his father?s absence. In an angry letter to Hassan ? Hussein?s anointed successor for 34 years ? the king expressed disappointment with his brother?s performance during his previous absences. Hassan has pledged to support Abdullah, as have the leaders of Jordan?s sometimes-dangerous neighbors.
The life of King Hussein of Jordan was a glorious one. Taking the throne at age 17, and overcoming near impossible tasks, such as war and assassination attempts are just some of the things that made Hussein into a great leader. He was a man who loved his family, his country, and his people. His death is tragic to the current Mideastern community, mildly disturbing the Israeli peace process, and causing uncertainty for many. In all, the changes, hopefully, to will not be drastic and life will go on, but the world has lost a great man.