HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal has devoted his lifetime to promotion of intercultural dialogue, regional cooperation, peace, and Jordan's social and economic development. Regarded as one of the Arab world's most vigorous thinkers, Prince Hassan was educated at Harrow and Oxford University where he read Semitics. He speaks fluent Arabic, English and French, has studied Hebrew (he took his Hebrew finals during the 1967 six-day war) and understands German and Turkish. It was at Oxford that he met his wife, Princess Sarvath, who comes from a distinguished Indian-Pakistani family. They have four children.
Prince Hassan has for long advocated the concept that the entire area of West Asia should be seen as “a region - from Israel to India - cooperating with each other.” His hope is to see one day the emergence of a common economic area in the region, “not one of oil and steel, but of energy and water".
Prince Hassan has founded a number of Jordanian and international institutes and committees, including the Arab Thought Forum and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. He initiated a series of contacts and meetings that evolved into a systematic interfaith dialogue. He has written and spoken extensively on issues facing Muslim societies and the need for profound reforms. His books include A Study on Jerusalem (1979), Search for Peace (1984) and Christianity in the Arab World (1995).
Prince Hassan's outspoken defense of pluralism and his relentless efforts to promote understanding among different cultures and enhancing dialogue between Jews, Muslims and Christians have been praised around the world and are crucial at a time when perceived differences appear to be overwhelming the many things we have in common, both culturally and religiously.