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January 24, 2000

Jordan's Ambassador to the U.S. to Speak on His Country's Future

Princeton, NJ -- Ambassador Marwan Muasher, Jordan's ambassador to the United States, will speak on "Jordan's Political and Economic Challenges for the Millennium" at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on Tuesday, February 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Robertson Hall, Bowl 1.

Ambassador Muasher, who holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering from Purdue University, was named Jordan's ambassador to the U.S. in 1997. He had previously served as Jordan's minister of information, ambassador to Israel, and as a spokesman and member of the Jordanian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Talks. He had also been director of the Jordan Information Bureau in the United States, press adviser to the prime minister, and a political columnist for the Jordan Times.

Bounded by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel and the West Bank, Jordan gained its independence from the United Kingdom as a hereditary constitutional monarchy in 1946. King Hussein ibn Talal ruled Jordan from 1953 until shortly before his death in 1999. (His widow, Queen Noor, is the former Lisa Halaby, a member of Princeton's Class of 1973.) King Hussein maintained Jordan's traditional policy of friendship with the West despite strong local and international anti-Western pressures and various regional crises. Palestinians comprise more than 60 percent of Jordan's population, most of whom arrived as displaced persons following the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967 and the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

Jordan has had to depend on outside economic assistance for most of its history, with much of it provided by the United States and other Western countries, as well as by Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School and the Arab Society of Princeton, a student organization.