The Other Palestine: Jordan 1921-2021 Lecture

Ref: C2345845

An overview will be given of the history of Jordan starting with the origins and history of the Hashem clan, particularly the activities of the Sharif Hussein and his ambitious sons during World War One. There will be a closer focus on the establishment of Abdullah as Emir of Transjordan, before considering the reigns of Abdullah I (1921 – 1951), Hussein (1951 – 1999) and Abdullah II (1999 onwards). Topics include: The 1924/25 Hashemite-Saudi War; the 1948/49 Palestine War; the 1956 expulsion of British officers and the turn to the USA; the 1967 Six Day War; the 1970 ‘Black September’ war against the PLO and Syria; the 1988 revocation of claims to the ‘West Bank’; the 1994 treaty with Israel; the 2005 Amman bombing by al-Qaeda; Jordan’s policy towards the Syrian Civil War; plus ongoing domestic political issues and economic development.

Course aim

To explain the origins and survival of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan over the course of one hundred years against all expectations in the politically unstable ‘Middle East’ region.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • Here is some useful background reading: Asher Susser, ‘Still Standing, but Shaky: Jordan at 100’, FATHOM, May 2021: Middle East Forum articles about Jordan:

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Appreciate the prestige of the Hashem clan, as descendants of the family of Mohammed the Prophet of Islam and rulers of the holy city of Mecca until 1925, plus the ongoing role of the King of Jordan as custodian of the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem.
  • Explain the motives and results of the World War One alliance between Britain and the Hashem clan led by the Sharif Hussein and his ambitious sons.
  • Describe how Hashemite rule in the Hejaz, Syria and Iraq failed, while Transjordan endured.
  • Understand the development of the Emirate of Transjordan into the Kingdom of Transjordan and then the Kingdom of Jordan including the importance of the ‘West Bank’.
  • Compare the relations between Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, neighbouring Arab states, the paradoxical relationship with Israel and the importance of support from Britain and then the USA.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need an internet connection, e-mail address, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use Zoom video conferencing and our Canvas video learning platform. For information about Zoom and Canvas please visit:

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Other Palestine: Jordan 1921-2021 Lecture


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
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