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Was King Abdullah II’s Ascension to the Throne Key to the Success of USAID in Jordan?

The 1990s were a decade marked with intensive peace negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Although many efforts stalled, there was one exception: in 1994, Jordan’s King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a treaty that ended the state of war between both countries. After years of fighting, Hussein’s life-long dream became […]

Construction Equipment in the Middle of the Jordan River—Blacklisting Threats, an Ultimatum, and Diplomatic Activity after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War

As a first-tour USAID loan officer in Amman, Jordan, Anthony Schwarzwalder observed first-hand the economic aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Following Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem, a U.S. contractor’s construction equipment, valued at $1 million, sat stranded and in limbo at the Jerusalem airport. Recovering the equipment would require a creative effort, as the […]

The Politics of Water in the Middle East: U.S. “Good Offices” Mediation Between Jordan and Israel

For countries in the Jordan River Basin, water is a life-or-death matter. Disagreements and even armed skirmishes over water issues between Israel and Arab states played an important role in the lead-up to the 1967 Six Day War.  A decade later, USAID Foreign Service Officer Selig Taubenblatt found himself mediating long-standing water disagreements between Israel […]

Jordan’s King Abdullah I, The Man Who Would Be Peacemaker

Abdullah I bin al-Hussein  fought along side Lawrence of Arabia against the Ottoman Empire and became Emir of Transjordan and later, Jordan’s first King. He is the great-grandfather of the current King, Abdullah II. As a child, Abdullah I supported his father, a political leader, and maintained cordial relationships with British leaders. He joined the […]