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Jordan remembers Queen Zein

By JT - Apr 25,2015 - Last updated at Apr 25,2015

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday commemorates the life of Her Majesty Queen Zein Al Sharaf, the late Queen Mother, who passed away 21 years ago.

Queen Zein was born on August 2, 1916, the daughter of Sharif Jamil Bin Nasser, governor of Huran and nephew of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali of Mecca, and Wijdan Hanim, daughter of Shakir Pasha, governor of Cyprus.

In 1934, she married His Majesty King Talal Bin Abdullah, and together they had three sons, His Majesty the late King Hussein, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mohammad and Prince Hassan, and one daughter, HRH Princess Basma.

Queen Zein was a highly respected, much loved figure in Jordan who represented strength, wisdom and courage throughout many years, challenging times and pivotal events in the country’s history.

A pioneer of the women’s movement, Queen Zein’s own leadership qualities, combined with her strong Islamic values, made her an example for Arab and Muslim women everywhere.

In 1944, she created the first women’s union in Jordan, and in 1948 she was instrumental in establishing the women’s branch of the Red Crescent Society.

She also led national humanitarian relief efforts for thousands of Palestinian refugees who came to Jordan following the war of 1948.

Queen Zein is widely acknowledged to have played an important role in the political development of the Kingdom in the 1950s, also contributing to the drafting of the 1952 Constitution that gave full rights to women.

She was committed to helping young orphans, establishing the Mabarrat Um Al Hussein Orphanage in Amman, which still bears her name, and to which she remained dedicated until the end of her life.

Over the years, Queen Zein’s steadfast commitment to her country and her relationship with its people earned her the title “Um al Urduneen” — “Mother of Jordanians”.

Her passing away on April 26, 1994 marked the closing of an important chapter in the history of Jordan, but her memory remains a source of pride, close to the nation’s heart.

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