In memory of the late King Hussein’s birthday

Submitted by munir on Tue, 12/07/2021 - 13:28

In current times, haste increases, leaving many to underappreciate the time we are given, and in such times pictures and images are becoming more and more popular; they are stories told in silence, capable to leave an eternal mark in the hearts and the souls.  


To the world of journalism, pictures are considered to be more reliable than words; isn’t it not the moto of the photojournalist “A picture is worth a thousand words?”


In this regard, and in memory of His Majesty late King Hussein’s 83 birthday which was on November 14, I decided to share on my social media channels a special photo not commonly used and a little unfamiliar. Thus, I contacted my friend Zohrab, King Hussein’s photographer, and asked for a special photo for the special occasion.


Usually, Zohrab, who has a wealth of photos of the different occasions related to King Hussein (may his soul rest in peace) sends me two or more photos every time, and gives me the freedom to choose from.


This year, he sent only one photo. I waited to receive more – relying on Zohrab’s habit, but nothing came. I thought maybe he is mistaken since obviously the only photo he sent reflects a private family moment: Two people are clearly visible in the photo, the late King Hussein- smiling, and a young child, a girl, with her head tilted to the back, wearing a weary smile on her face and looking at someone dressed in Mikey Mouse character carrying a birthday cake coming from behind. From the background, the window exposes rooftops of houses indicating that the moment was taken abroad.


Realizing there’s always a deeper meaning that lay under the simple photo, and a profound picture behind the real one which reaches beyond what the eyes are seeing, I asked for clarifications.


It turned out that the photo was taken on the third of May 1977, in Disney World,  Florida. It was Princess Haya's birthday, turning 3. His Majesty wanted to make a special birthday for the child who had lost her mother only three months before (Queen Alia tragically died in a helicopter crash in Amman on February 9, 1977.) A tragic and sad times indeed!


Zohrab told me that it is not about the tragedy, as sad as it was, but more about the kind-hearted person King Hussein was, to both his children and people.


“Rula, this is a very unusual historical picture reflecting painful memories we want to forget, but mostly tells the story of a-kind-hearted King and father; our beloved late King Hussein. Just look into his eyes you will understand!” said Zohrab.


It’s true what they say that photos make history, and in many times rewrite it. The late King, a grieving husband himself, wanted to bring joy and happiness to the young princess’s heart; a king who was never too busy to care for his children, and tend to their feelings as well as their needs.


Life teaches us numerous lessons if we stand and observe, mostly that love in action is a lasting love. In a couple of months, I will be in touch with my friend Yousef Allan, His Majesty King Abdullah’s photographer, to choose a special photo for our King's 60th birthday.

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Rula Samain