May 25 is Jordan Independence Day. It’s the “most important event in the history of the country”. The date marks Jordan’s independence from the British government in 1946, and the country gaining “full autonomy” in 1948.
Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein
Jordan gained sovereignty during the reign of the Emir, King Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein, who established a Jordanian state – Emirate of Transjordan – in 1921. Under Abdullah’s leadership, Jordan became fully independent and was formally recognized as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
After 1918 at the end of World War I, the “Hashemite Army of the Great Arab Revolt took over the rule of present-day Jordan”. A revolt against the Ottoman Empire was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali of Mecca – Emir and King of the Arabs. The effort was supported by WWI Allies, including Britain and France.
“In 1922, the Council of the League of Nations recognized Transjordan as a state under the terms of the Transjordan Memorandum. Transjordan remained under British mandate until 1946. Two years later after the signing of a treaty with Britain, Jordan achieved full sovereignty.” National Today
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Emir Abdullāh negotiated Jordan’s independence and a formal treaty with the British signed in 1946. Within two years, Jordan became “fully independent,” after signing a subsequent treaty with Britain removing all restrictions on sovereignty and freedom.
Parliament, United Nations, Arab League
In 1952, Jordan established an autonomous constitutional monarchy with its own Parliament and a political system based on the separation of legislative, executive, and judiciary powers. In 1955, Jordan joined the United Nations and also became a full member of The Arab League.
Independence Day Festivities Amman
Jordan’s Independence Day holiday is marked with official ceremonies attended by members of the House of Hashem and civil and military officials. Celebrations include award presentations, political speeches, and diplomatic visits. There are military parades, and the Jordanian Armed Forces perform the Presentation of Colours Ceremony and a 21-gun salute. Public events include fireworks, concerts, air shows, and special religious services.
History and Hashemites
During the 400 years prior to gaining independence, Jordan was ruled by the Ottoman Empire and later placed under the protection of Britain. In the late 1940s, the British government announced its intention to withdraw from the region. Recognizing Britain’s withdrawal as an opportunity to “establish an autonomous nation and gain independence,” Jordanians led by King Abdullah I, “began the journey toward self-rule“.
“On 25 May 1946, the Jordanian Parliament unanimously ratified a new constitution, establishing Jordan as an autonomous constitutional monarchy. The UK officially recognized the country’s independence on 22 May 1947.”
Since the Great Arab Revolt of 1921, the Hashemites have ruled Jordan. I’m educating myself and gaining a better understanding of interesting Jordanian political and geographical history – it’s complicated. The royal Hashemite lineage is as follows:
- Al Shareef Hussein bin Ali – Emir of Mecca, King of the Hijaz, and King of the Arabs
- His Majesty King Abdullah I – Emir of Transjordan 1921-1946, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1946-1951
- His Majesty King Talal – King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1951-1952
- His Majesty King Al Hussein – King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1952-1999
- His Majesty King Abdullah II – King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1999 to present
“On Friday, July 20, 1951, King Abdullah I was murdered by a lone assailant, as he entered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with his young grandson, Prince Hussein. The killer also fired a shot at the Prince, but the bullet ricocheted off a medal on his chest. In his autobiography, Uneasy Lies the Head, King Hussein wrote about the experience.”
Fireworks and Sand Storms
A quiet day in Amman will be followed by several boisterous evenings of lively Independence Day celebrations. On this festive occasion, I’m looking forward to watching the night sky explode with fireworks. Weather has been warm, with a sandy desert haze hanging in the air.
Khamaseen winds brought hot days and dust storms to Amman. A weather depression centered between the Palestinian coast and northern Egypt is said to be causing the disturbance. Air quality is terrible, ferocious winds come and go, and atmospheric conditions – reminiscent of a mix of fog and volcanic ash – are creating low visibility on the roads.