Bedouin songs greeted Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah as he arrived for a large dinner in Jordan's capital Amman to celebrate his coming wedding.

The all-male event at the grounds of Raghadan Palace was hosted by his father, King Abdullah II, on Wednesday and attended by several thousands.

Click here for full coverage

The wedding will be another stepping stone in the grooming of Prince Hussein, 29, who became first in the line of succession in 2009 and could one day inherit the position of king from his father.

“We are joyous because of Hussein, our son, and yours,” King Abdullah told the guests.

They gathered under covering modelled after Bedouin tribal tents called madareb.

Raghadan is the oldest palace in Jordan. It was built by the Hashemites, who have ruled the country since its inception as a British protectorate in 1921.

Among the invitees were many members of different tribes that form the bedrock of the political system in Jordan. Some dressed in brown robes and wore red and white headgear.

The king holds significant power in Jordan and uses it to balance different parts of society. The government and security forces are mainly staffed by members of the tribes while other Jordanians hold a more urban outlook, such as those employed in the private sector or looking to advance their education.

However, all classes in Jordan have been influenced by Arab incomers who have made the country home.

In the late 19th century, Circassians who fled a Russian onslaught on their homes in the Caucasus became the first inhabitants of Amman, which had been abandoned hundreds of years earlier.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, residents of merchant cities in Palestine and Syria moved to Jordan, forming the nucleus of the business class and education system. They were followed by Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

The Hashemites came from Hijaz, in what is now modern-day Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince's mother, Queen Rania, is of Palestinian descent while his paternal grandmother is British.

The setting and entertainment on Wednesday gave the cosmopolitan dinner a Bedouin flavour.

A Jordanian army band played the bagpipe, an instrument brought to the kingdom by the British.

The Bedouin dabka, a type of dance where men stomp their feet, was performed, but it is an art heavily influenced by the traditions of Mount Lebanon. A more precise Circassian dance was performed by men in black.

Dinner was mansaf, a meal comprising a type of dry cheese called jameed that is liquefied and poured over a bed of rice and lamb on the bone.

Although it is regarded in Jordan as the national dish, mansaf is common in Syria's outlying areas and across the Arabian peninsula. The meal used to be made with bulgar, or dried wheat, before trade made rice cheaper.

Dessert was kunafah, from a Jordanian sweet shop called Aghati, named after the Turkish word for master.

“This is the biggest event I have been to in Jordan outside a stadium,” said a former Jordanian minister as he stomped his foot to the music.

2023-06-01T04:59:57Z dg43tfdfdgfd