Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Transjordan 1: The many faces of King Abdullah

(Or: זקנה ביום דין ובחרות ביום קרב)

On the way back from Qatar, we hung out in Jordan. It didn't take long to notice that King Abdullah's picture was everywhere. But then we started to realize that he had a different appearance for each occasion. Collect the whole set!

Suit and tie:

Be all that you can be (or, "Central American dictator"):

King Abdullah and family wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year:

I started taking these pictures late in the game, so I didn't get one of King Abdullah in a kaffiyeh, or in military officer uniform (the kind with all the medals, not to be confused with the camouflage one above). And oddly enough, this picture was nowhere to be seen.

Also, King Hussein was fairly ubiquitous as well, even though he has been dead for 9 years, which seems to depart from standard monarchical practice of ignoring all but the current monarch ("The king is dead! Long live the king!"). But since Hussein and Abdullah appear together, this makes sense from a PR perspective, like Augustus linking himself publicly to Julius Caesar, or every Republican presidential candidate claiming the mantle of Reagan.

Comparison of currencies in the three Middle Eastern countries we've visited this year:

Turkey: Same dude on every denomination. Not only that, but the same exact picture of him.

Jordan: Different king on each denomination, covering all the kings in the Hashemite Kingdom's short history.

Qatar: No human images on the money, perhaps reflecting Wahhabi stringencies.

1 comment:

  1. whoa, i think that one actually does say "merry christmas"!