National Geographic : 1965 Aug
Citadel of the Crusaders, the Syrian village of Apamea overlooks the Ghab Valley. By rechanneling the flood-prone Orontes River, engineers converted 135 square miles soldiers of the Jordan Arab Army-all fled like quail before the car carrying the flag of the Hashemite Kingdom. Guards presented rifles, a gate opened, we screeched to a stop. We tumbled out of the car-and almost bumped into the King and his English-born wife, Princess Muna, waiting on the steps of the royal residence. I started to apologize, but Helen beat me to it: "I think we drove as fast as they say you do, Your Majesty." King Hussein laughed. "Oh, I don't race any more, except in go-carts. My ministers say it's too dangerous." But Jordan's amiable 29-year-old King has little time even for go-carting now. He is too busy inaugurating new roads, factories, schools, and irrigation projects. His 12-year 268 reign has tripled the country's gross national product and doubled its per capita income.* While the King bounced Prince Abdullah on his knee and Princess Muna sat casually on a hassock nearby, we chatted about plans for Jordan (page 272). Time for the prince's nap was our signal to leave. Helicopter Offers a Glimpse of Galilee "You should see the East Ghor Canal," suggested the King as he accompanied us to the car. "It's our biggest hope. And it runs right through the Great Rift Valley. My heli copter will take you there." We circled north of 'Amman, over rugged *His Majesty King Hussein described Jordan's mid century progress in "Holy Land, My Country," NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, December, 1964.