Queen Alia of Jordan

  (Redirected from Alia Al-Hussein)

Alia Al-Hussein (Arabic: علياء الحسين‎, born Alia Bahauddin Toukan (علياء بهاء 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 Tafilah.

Alia Al-Hussein
Queen Alia of Jordan.jpg
Alia in 1976
Queen consort of Jordan
Tenure24 December 1972 – 9 February 1977
BornAlia Bahauddin Toukan
(1948-12-25)25 December 1948
Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt
Died9 February 1977(1977-02-09) (aged 28)
Amman, Kingdom of Jordan
(m. 1972)
IssuePrincess Haya
Prince Ali
Abir Muhaisen (adopted)
FatherSayyid Bahauddin Toukan
MotherHanan Hashim


Queen Alia walking alongside Jordanian Army Chief of Staff Habis Majali.

Alia was born in Cairo, Egypt on 25 December 1948 to Hanan Hashim (niece of Ibrahim Hashim Pasha) and Baha Toukan. Her father Toukan was Jordanian ambassador to the Court of St James's (United Kingdom), Italy, Turkey and Egypt when Alia was born.[1][2] Toukan served King Abdullah I, helped write the Jordanian Constitution in 1952, and was Jordan's first Ambassador to the United Nations.

Alia spent most of her childhood years traveling 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 Airlines. She was asked by King Hussein, grandson of Abdullah I, to oversee the preparations for the first International Water Skiing Festival held in the coastal city of Aqaba in September 1972.


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

They had two children:

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.


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 legacyEdit

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 (20 miles) south of the city and replaced Amman Marka International Airport (now Amman Civil Airport) as the city's main gateway.

Honours and decorationsEdit


Institutions associated with Queen AliaEdit


  1. ^ a b "Jordan remembers Queen Alia". Jordan Times. Retrieved 2 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "President's Week in Review: March 1 – March 9, 1976". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.
  5. ^ Aparchive
  6. ^ 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