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Speeches
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
On the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Jordan's Independence
Amman, Jordan
25 May 2006

(Translated from Arabic)
In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good evening to you all; I wish you and the homeland a happy and good year.

This is a blessed day, dear to the heart of every Jordanian, man and woman, the descendants of the founding generation who sacrificed immensely for the independence of the nation and the liberation of the Jordanian individual's will.

On this day, it is our right and our duty to remember, with pride and appreciation, the founding fathers, all of the pioneers, who contributed to the building of this homeland. They did so in the face of many challenges over the past sixty years and persevered in spite of a scarcity of resources and material capabilities, and of the tragedies and wars to which this region was subjected. The gallant children of this one Jordanian family, men and women, under the leadership of the builder, the late Al Hussein, may God bless his soul, realised great achievements through determination, resolve, belonging, confidence in the future and in each Jordanian's capabilities to give and achieve.

On this precious occasion, I would like to extend my congratulations and felicitations, and to express my appreciation and feelings of pride, to every citizen, male and female, in this country - in the Badia, villages, camps and cities. I would like also to extend special greetings to the gallant Jordanians, male and female, in the armed forces and the security institutions, who have sworn their blood and souls to defend this homeland and safeguard its independence and achievements.

Independence, brothers, is not just an occasion to be celebrated once a year; rather, it is a continual state of giving, building and self-reliance to enhance independence and build a future fit for the free people of Jordan, those with resolve and strong will.

This future is not the responsibility of one person or group of citizens of this homeland. It is the responsibility of all of us: the labourer and the farmer, the civil servant and the student, the soldier and the mother who raises her children on love and a sense of belonging to the homeland.

Youth bear the greatest responsibility, because they are more able to affect change and to realise achievements.

In return, we have a responsibility towards youth, and they are entitled to education and training that equips them to face any challenge and build the future we seek; the future with which youth were entrusted.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Every one of us knows, and is proud of, the fact that this homeland was established on the principles borne in the message of the Great Arab Revolt, led by Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali, to liberate and unify the nation. Hence, Jordan will remain, with God's grace, the Arab Muslim country that belongs to the Arab and Islamic nation, keen to shoulder its religious and national duty towards all Arab and Islamic causes. Under no circumstances will we permit Jordan's relationship with any country to be at the expense of our relations with our Arab or Islamic nation. The homeland's affiliation with the Arab revolt and the affiliation of its leadership with the honourable House of the Prophet (PBUH), obligate us to be first in defending Islam, Arabs and Muslims.

When we say Jordan First, we mean that we should complete the building of a Jordan that is strong and invincible, able to provide support and assist the Arab brethren, whether in Palestine, or Iraq, or any other Arab country. It does not mean deserting our duty towards our nation or its just causes, as some short-sighted people believe. Jordan was, and will always be, a sanctuary for all free Arabs; therefore we say: Jordan First, Jordan always, and Jordan under all circumstances and conditions.

Jordan's basic pillar of strength is preserving national unity, integrity and steadfastness among the sons of the one Jordanian family, and the achievement of comprehensive development which enhances Jordan's strength, and enables Jordan to support the Arab brethren and Arab causes, primary among them the Palestinian cause and that of the Iraqi people.

Jordan, brothers, cannot forget the union of blood, goals and destiny with the Palestinian brethren; it is also impossible for Jordan to forget the blood of our martyrs on the walls of Jerusalem and in the yards of the Holy Aqsa Mosque. We will not, on any day, under any circumstances, fail to support and assist the Palestinians, until they attain their rights, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian soil.

Dear Brothers,

Since the day I was entrusted with my responsibilities, I have always felt and understood the suffering and concerns of every citizen - male and female - in this country. I know that the reasons for this suffering are difficult economic conditions, rising prices and other problems which we need to overcome as soon as possible. As you all see, we are working day and night, travelling from one country to the other in order to benefit from our relations with the world around us and employ these relations in the service of our country. I follow up personally on all matters, so that we can overcome these problems, and elevate the citizen's standard of living.

Praise be to God, we have achieved a lot throughout the past seven years, be it in the field of economic and social development, or in the field of political development and the enhancement of our democratic march. But honestly, there is still a long way to go. We should all work together, in the spirit of the one team that belongs to the homeland; the one team that is sure of itself and of a bright future, God willing.

We should rely on ourselves, brothers, and if we do not help each other, and work as one hand and one heart [towards] one goal, no body will help us, and we will not be able to overcome our problems. Hence, brothers, we need patience and sacrifice. Bearing the hardships ourselves is easier and more dignified than expecting others to do so for us. We need no favours from anyone.

As for those rumours doubting the soundness of our march and the ability of this homeland to meet the challenges of national and international circumstances, those who do not love the homeland and do not wish it well are the source of such talk. Jordan is stronger than all challenges, and stronger than all circumstances, and with your will and resolve it will always be Jordan first, Jordan always, and Jordan the role model.

Please allow me, on this occasion, to present to my brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces, the security institutions and the civil service, and the retirees, a simple Independence Day gift.

Again, brothers, I send my greetings with pride and appreciation to every citizen in this country - male and female - and wish you and dear Jordan many happy returns of the day.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.

 
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