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Middle East

Jordan's royal family drama sends shudders around the region. Here's what we know

April 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20%. 2 min read.

For a country often seen as a bastion of relative calm in a troubled region, the events that unfolded in Jordan over the weekend were among the most dramatic in decades.

A popular former crown prince, Hamzah bin Al Hussein, publicly slammed Jordan's leadership in a video sent to the media, and was publicly banned from political activities.

Authorities said they had foiled a plot in which Hamzah was working in collusion with unnamed foreign entities to "destabilize" Jordan.

Jordanians' "well-being has been put second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, that its corruption is more important than the lives and dignity and future of the ten million people who live here," said the prince.

An unpopular figure in Jordan because of widespread accusations of corruption levelled against him, Awadallah is also an advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Sunday, deputy prime minister Ayman Safadi made it official -- authorities believed that Hamzah was part of plan hatched by undisclosed foreign entities and opposition figures abroad to "destabilize" Jordan.

Prince Hamzah is the younger half-brother of King Abdullah.

On his death bed in 1999, King Hussein changed the country's succession plan, removing his brother Prince Hassan as the heir apparent and naming Abdullah, his eldest son from his second marriage, as his successor.

Hamzah, who was 17 at the time, was named crown prince.

However, Prince Hamzah, known for his uncanny resemblance to his father, enjoys widespread support from Jordanian tribes.

When Prince Hamzah appeared to publicly take up the mantle of anti-corruption protesters, he may have poured fuel on the fire.

But King Abdullah is also popular -- Jordanian Twitter and the audio-only app Clubhouse were awash with debates that pitted people with avatars of the king against those with images of the prince.

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