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Citadel News Service
11 Nov 2011

Jordanian general discusses the new Middle East

Greater Issues brings back '81 grad

Photo
In 1975 Jordan’s King Hussein gave a Greater Issues address, paving the way for Hussein al-Majali, the son of former Jordanian Prime Minister Hazza’ al-Majali, to attend the Military College of South Carolina.  Al-Majali arrived on a hot August day in 1977 wearing a velvet suit with a wide floral tie.  His hair was long and he sported a heavy mustache.

He could not have appeared more different than his peers.

Last night, al-Majali returned to The Citadel.  Now a lieutenant general and the director general of public security for Jordan, the 1981 graduate returned to Charleston to give a Greater Issues address himself and to celebrate his 30-year class reunion.  

Al-Majali spoke to cadets about the state of affairs in the Middle East.  He spoke of the turmoil, which has been caused by economic problems and social injustice. 

“Many nations,” he said, “took the dignity out of their people.... They treated the people as servants.”

Al-Majali spoke specifically of Libya and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“The region is sick of wars.  The region is sick of terror,” he said.

Al-Majali, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science, received a commission as a lieutenant in 1982, marking the beginning of an illustrious career in the Jordanian army.  Under the late King Hussein, he served as commandant of the Royal Guards.  In 2005 he was appointed Jordan’s ambassador to Bahrain, and in 2010, he was commissioned the director general of public security for Jordan. He has a master’s degree in military science, and in addition to Arabic, he speaks both French and English.

While he may not have looked like his peers when he arrived, al-Majali told cadets he was never treated differently.

“I never felt like an outsider,” he said.  “This place shaped me.  This place made me the man I am....  And it taught me a very important thing—it taught me humility.... If it was not for this institution, I would not have succeeded.”

The Greater Issues Series was founded in 1954 to engage cadets’ interest and knowledge in important topics of the day.  Since it was established, the series has brought presidents, heads of state, scholars, diplomats, journalists and distinguished business and military leaders to Charleston and The Citadel.  The Greater Issues Series is made possible by a grant from The Mills B. Lane Memorial Foundation.

 

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