Alia Al-Hussein

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Alia Al-Hussein
Queen Alia of Jordan.jpg
Queen consort of Jordan
Tenure24 December 1972 – 9 February 1977
Born(1948-12-25)25 December 1948
Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt
Died9 February 1977(1977-02-09) (aged 28)
Amman, Jordan
Hussein of Jordan (m. 1972)
Issue Princess Haya
Prince Ali
Adopted child:
Abir Muhaisen
Father Sayyid Baha ud-din Toukan
MotherHanan Hashim

Alia Baha ud-din Toukan (Arabic : علياء بھاء الدين طوقان) (25 December 1948 – 9 February 1977) was Queen of Jordan and the third wife of King Hussein from their marriage in 1972 until her death in a helicopter crash in southern Jordan near Tafila.



Queen Alia walking alongside Jordanian Army Chief of Staff Habis Al-Majali, 1960s. Habis Majali walking alongside Queen Alia.jpg
Queen Alia walking alongside Jordanian Army Chief of Staff Habis Al-Majali, 1960s.

She was a daughter of Hanan Hashim and Sayyid Baha Uddin Toukan (or Touqan), former Jordanian ambassador to the Court of St James's (United Kingdom), Italy, Turkey and Egypt. Alia was born in Cairo, Egypt in December 1948. [1] Her father was a Palestinian from Nablus, who had settled in Salt, near Amman. [2] He served King Abdullah I, helped write the Jordanian Constitution, and was Jordan's first Ambassador to the United Nations.

Sayyid honorific title

Sayyid (Arabic: سيد‎ [ˈsæj.jɪd], Persian: [sejˈjed]; meaning "Mister"; plural: Saadat or Sadat Arabic: سادة‎ sādah is an honorific title denoting people accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Imam Husayn ibn Ali, sons of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and Ali.

Baha Uddin Toukan was a Jordanian Ambassador.

Court of St Jamess court for the Sovereign of the United Kingdom

The Court of St James's is the royal court for the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.

She spent most of her childhood years travelling with her parents during her father's career in Jordan's diplomatic corps: she lived in Egypt, Turkey, London, the United States, and Rome. She attended Church School in London with her younger brothers, Alaa and Abdullah. She was educated at the Rome Center of Liberal Arts of Loyola University Chicago. She studied political science with a minor in social psychology, and public relations at Hunter College in New York. She was interested in sports and writing, and she wished to be a diplomat. In 1971, she moved to Jordan, where she worked for Royal Jordanian. She was asked by King Hussein bin Talal to oversee the preparations for the first International Water Skiing Festival held in Aqaba in September 1972.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

John Felice Rome Center

The John Felice Rome Center is a campus of Loyola University Chicago in Rome, Italy. The center was founded as CIVIS in January 1962, hosted on premises built for the Olympic Village of the 1960 Summer Olympics, and leased from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1966 the school relocated to Monte Mario, an upscale area in northwest Rome which is the highest point in the city. After two intermediate relocations, it moved in 1978 to its present location, on Via Massimi, in a residential neighborhood on Monte Mario. In Spring 2009, Loyola University Chicago purchased the building and surrounding property, making Monte Mario the permanent home of the Rome Center.


Alia married the King in a private ceremony on 24 December 1972, and was titled Queen Alia Al-Hussein (Arabic : علياء الحسين).

They had two children:

Haya bint Hussein one of King Hussein I of Jordans daughters

Princess Haya bint Hussein is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan with his third wife, Queen Alia, and the half-sister of King Abdullah II. Princess Haya is a junior wife of the United Arab Emirates' prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, being known internationally as Princess Haya of Jordan. She is a 41st-generation direct descendant of Muhammad since she was born to the Hashemite family.

Prince Ali bin Hussein Jordanian prince

Prince Ali bin Hussein is the third son of King Hussein of Jordan, and the second child of the king by his third wife, Queen Alia. He is also the half brother of King Abdullah II. He is a member of the Hashemite family, which has ruled Jordan since 1921 and claims to be descended from the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

They also adopted Abir, a young Palestinian girl whose mother had been killed by a plane crash at a refugee camp near the Amman airport.

Abir Muhaisen was adopted by King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife, Queen Alia, after Muhaisen's biological mother was killed by a plane crash at a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan in 1976.


Queen Alia (left) with her husband following state dinner with Betty and Gerald Ford on 30 March 1976. King Hussein and Queen Alia with the Fords.jpg
Queen Alia (left) with her husband following state dinner with Betty and Gerald Ford on 30 March 1976.

Queen Alia founded the Office of the Queen of Jordan and gave it an active and public role. The active role she took in Jordan has been emulated by her successors. She financed social development projects, placing particular emphasis on women and children. She often made surprise visits to hospitals and national institutions, aiming to raise service standards and help people to help themselves. In her drive to ensure that children from impoverished backgrounds received their right to education, she fostered close ties with schools such as the Schneller School for Orphans, which took many of the street children that Queen Alia sent there. Her commitment to improving social services continued throughout her lifetime and was still pursued in her name after her death, when King Hussein ensured the continuation of the many educational scholarships given in her honour.

Alia's love of the arts and literature inspired the establishment of libraries throughout the country, including one at the Central Bank of Jordan and another in the King Hussein Medical City. Her interest in the arts led to the founding of the Haya Cultural Centre for Children, the National Folklore Troupe and the Alia Art Gallery. It was also instrumental in conceiving the Jerash Festival for the Arts.

In 1974, Alia called for women to be granted the right to vote and be elected for parliament. On 4 April 1974, a law was promulgated granting women this right; however, the suspension of parliamentary life in Jordan between 1974 and 1989 prevented its implementation.

In 1976, Alia received the Great Star of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria. [3]

Death and Legacy

Alia died in a helicopter crash in Amman, Jordan on 9 February 1977. [1] Amman's principal airport, Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), was built in 1983 and named in her honour. It is located 32 km south of the city and replaced Amman Marka International Airport (now Amman Civil Airport) as the city's main gateway.

Titles, styles and honours

Titles and styles

Honours and decorations

National honours
Foreign honours

Institutions associated with Queen Alia

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  1. 1 2 "Jordan remembers Queen Alia". Jordan Times. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  2. Death of a King; Cautious King Took Risks In Straddling Two Worlds Judith Miller, The New York Times, 8 February 1999
  3. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 458. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Royal Ark
  5. "President's Week in Review: March 1 – March 9, 1976". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015.
  6. Aparchive
  7. Princess Haya
Royal titles
Title last held by
Muna al-Hussein
as princess consort
Queen consort of Jordan
24 December 1972 – 9 February 1977
Title next held by
Noor Al-Hussein