Haya bint Hussein

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Princess Haya
HRH Princess Haya of Jordan meets with Tracy Edwards MBE (cropped).jpg
Princess Haya in 2017
Born (1974-05-03) 3 May 1974 (age 46)
Amman, Jordan
Spouse
(m. 2004; div. 2019)

IssueSheikha Jalila
Sheikh Zayed
HouseHashemite
FatherHussein of Jordan
MotherAlia Toukan

Princess Haya bint Hussein (Arabic: الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين‎; born 3 May 1974), commonly known as Princess Haya of Jordan, is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife Queen Alia, and the half-sister of King Abdullah II.

She is a graduate of the University of Oxford in England and an accomplished equestrian. She represented Jordan at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and is the two-term President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI). In addition, she engages in a variety of charitable activities.

On 10 April 2004, Princess Haya became the second official wife of the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who, in addition, had a number of “unofficial” wives. Sheikh Mohammed divorced her under Sharia Law on 7 February 2019. On 15 April 2019, Princess Haya left Dubai with the two children of the marriage to reside in the United Kingdom. On 14 May 2019, Sheikh Mohammed commenced proceedings in England before the High Court seeking orders for the children to be returned to the Emirate of Dubai.[1] The case attracted considerable media attention, even though almost all hearings were conducted in private as the case concerned the welfare of children.

Early life and education[edit]

King Hussein and Queen Alia with their children Prince Ali and Princess Haya, 1976

Princess Haya was born in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the daughter of King Hussein and his third wife, Queen Alia. She has a younger brother, Prince Ali bin Hussein born on 23 December 1975, and older sister, Abir Muhaisen (born 1973), the latter of whom was adopted by Haya's parents after her biological mother was killed by a plane crash at their Palestinian refugee camp in Amman. In 1977, when Haya was 3 years old, her mother died in a helicopter crash. Her father died from complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1999, leaving the crown to her half-brother, King Abdullah II.

She was educated in the United Kingdom, where in 1985, she attended Badminton School in Bristol, and later the Bryanston School in Dorset. From 1993 to 1995, she was enrolled at St Hilda's College, Oxford University, from which she graduated with a BA honours degree in philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE).[2][3][4]

Sports career[edit]

Princess Haya began horse riding internationally when she was 13.[5] In 1992, she took the bronze medal in individual Jumping at the seventh Pan Arab Games in Damascus, Syria, and in 1993 was named Jordan's athlete of the year.[5] Princess Haya was the first woman to represent her native Jordan in international equestrian sport and the only woman to win a medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games.[6] Having trained for several years in Ireland and Germany,[5] she qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia representing Jordan in show jumping, where she was also her country's flag bearer.[7]

In 2007, Princess Haya became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in 2010 became an appointee to the IOC's International Relations Committee, and has also served on the IOC Athletes’ and Culture and Olympic Education Commissions.[5]

On 7 June 2008, New Approach, a three-year-old colt owned by Princess Haya, trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning, won the Derby Stakes. On 25 October 2008, her three-year-old colt, Raven's Pass, won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. After being named the European champion 2-year-old in 2007 and winning the 2008 Epsom Derby, New Approach was retired at the end of the 2008 racing season.[8] In 2009, due to her contribution to the equine world, she was made the first Patron of Retraining of Racehorses.[9]

Princess Haya serves as president of the International Jordanian Athletes Cultural Association, which she founded to provide athletes with needed national incentive and support.[5]

International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI)[edit]

Princess Haya (right) congratulating FEI 2012 award winner Courtney King-Dye

Princess Haya participated in the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain,[7] and represented Jordan at the FEI General Assembly on several occasions.[5] She was elected president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) in 2006 for an initial four-year term in the FEI's first contested presidential race.[10] In 2010, she became the first sitting FEI president to be challenged in a re-election bid.[10] She succeeded, however, in winning a second and final four-year term, receiving 75 percent of the vote to soundly defeat her two European rivals.[11] Nonetheless, during the FEI's campaign to eliminate doping and horse abuse in equestrian sport, Princess Haya's husband and stepson were both convicted by the FEI in 2009 for serious doping violations. Princess Haya ceded presidential powers to a senior colleague for the FEI disciplinary processes on the matter. She later complained that the issue would be used to "injure and damage the reputations of myself and my family."[12]

Princess Haya frequently appeared, along with her husband, at Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and other highlights of the English equestrian calendar; both are reported to be friendly with Queen Elizabeth II.[13]

Charity[edit]

Princess Haya is the first Arab and first woman to become Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed her a UN Messenger of Peace in 2007.[14]

She founded Tkiyet Um Ali (TUA), the first Arab NGO dedicated to overcoming local hunger, in her native Jordan, which provides food assistance and employment opportunities to thousands of poor families. In November 2012, Tkiyet Um Ali announced a campaign to quadruple the number of its beneficiaries to reach 20,000 families living under the food poverty line, aiming to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals on hunger by 2015. Tkiyet Um Ali (TUA) is intended to expand to reach all Jordanian families with insufficient income to meet basic food needs. In addition, Dar Abu Abdullah (DAA) and TUA announced a strategic partnership[15] for a parallel jobs creation program to help TUA beneficiaries become more self-sufficient.[16]

Princess Haya chaired Dubai's International Humanitarian City which is the world's largest operational center for the delivery of aid, both in emergencies and for long-term development. Ten UN agencies and nearly 40 non-government organizations are members of the IHC which has supported relief efforts all over the globe, including for Syrian refugees affected by civil war, for East Africans during the last drought[which?], in Pakistan during the 2009 floods, and to Afghanistan and Yemen. The IHC has also hosted UN and NGO staff evacuated during emergencies and civil unrest.

She was an ambassador for the World Food Programme from 2005 to 2007,[17] and then appointed a UN Messenger of Peace in July 2007 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She was a founding member of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum based in Geneva, and writes editorials and articles on hunger, nutrition and the UN Sustainable Development Goals which have appeared in the London Times, Le Figaro, the Globe and Mail, and La Repubblica. In August 2012, she supported the 2012 United Nations' World Humanitarian Day in Dubai.[18] Under her patronage, Dubai twice hosted the Global Meeting of the World Food Programme and is increasingly a center for United Nations and regional meetings on development and humanitarian aid.

Relief and charitable programmes in Jordan also benefitted from the support of the princess's consort, Sheikh Mohammed, specifically the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, the Haya Cultural Centre and the 'Reading Nation' campaign.[19]

Princess Haya and Tracy Edwards meeting in 2017

Princess Haya has followed in her father's footsteps in giving her support to the charitable foundation "Anything is possible", set up in the name of King Hussein to advance education for girls, including the project "The Maiden Factor", established by sailor Tracy Edwards with the relaunch of her yacht Maiden in 2018.[20][non-primary source needed] [21]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[22]

Personal life[edit]

On 10 April 2004, Princess Haya married Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The marriage ceremony was held at al-Baraka Palace in Amman.[23][24]

On 2 December 2007 in Dubai, Princess Haya gave birth to her first child, Sheikha Al Jalila bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.[25] The baby's birth coincided with the United Arab Emirates' 36th celebration of its National Day, on 2 December.[26] On 7 January 2012, she gave birth to her second child, Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.[27]

She resides in a home in Kensington Palace Gardens.[28]

Court proceedings 2019–2020[edit]

On 7 February 2019, her husband divorced Princess Haya under Sharia law, though she was not informed at the time. The date was the twentieth anniversary of the death of her father, King Hussein of Jordan.[29]

On 15 April 2019, Princess Haya left Dubai with her children Sheikha Jalila and Sheikh Zayed to reside in the United Kingdom. The topic attracted immense media coverage all over the world, much of it incorrect.[30] She was reported to have applied for asylum in Germany, and the British newspaper The Times reported that she had been escorted by a German diplomat to Germany. The Times reported that Sheikh Mohammed allegedly posted a poem on Instagram, in Arabic and English, accusing his wife of treachery and betrayal.[30][31][32][33][34]

Wardship and early proceedings[edit]

On 14 May 2019, Sheikh Mohammed commenced proceedings in England and Wales under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court seeking orders for the children to be returned to the Emirate of Dubai.[35][36] On 30 July 2019 at the High Court, Princess Haya issued applications for the children to be made Wards of Court, and for a forced marriage protection order (FMPO) with respect to Jalila, and for a non-molestation order for her own protection.[37][38] As all the orders were granted, it can be assumed that there will be future litigation concerning the welfare of the children as Wards of Court (which is usual in such cases), and possibly, the non-molestation order. Such litigation is normally conducted in private.

Fact-finding judgment[edit]

On 11 December 2019, in the High Court of Justice Family Division, Royal Courts of Justice, London, the Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, handed down a Fact Finding Judgment (FFJ), subject to a four-hour embargo ending at 4 pm on 5 March 2020.

The President said he would "evaluate the risk of either or both of the children being removed from their mother’s care and taken to Dubai against her will."[39]

Assurances and waiver judgment[edit]

On 17 January 2020, the Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane handed down a further judgment, subject to a four-hour embargo ending at 4 pm on 5 March 2020. This judgment focused upon analysing certain matters of international law and domestic law arising from, firstly, assurances given to the court on behalf of the Government of the UAE and the Emirate of Dubai and, secondly, a waiver of immunity made by Sheikh Mohammed, as vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with respect to applications and orders made within the proceedings.[40] The assurances essentially promised that the Sheikh would obey orders of the English court; the waiver of immunity was necessary because of the immunity enjoyed by the Sheikh having regard to his various positions. Both the assurances and the waiver were found inadequate by the High Court.

Publication judgment[edit]

On 5 March 2020, the Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane handed down a further judgment, subject to a four-hour embargo ending at 4 pm on 5 March 2020. This judgment bearing the date of 27 January 2020 focused on the issue of publication of at least one of the substantive judgments of 11 December 2019 and 17 January 2020, including the issue of identification of Princess Haya's children. The High Court found at para. 85 of this judgment that publication was necessary because "it will provide some measure of additional security for the protection of the children so that there is a high degree of clarity with respect to assertions that might be made on the ground by any individual who might attempt to abduct them and remove them from this jurisdiction. Without that clarity there is the potential for an individual to assert diplomatic or other form of immunity if challenged by, for example, the police. It is, therefore, both in the interest of the children and, also, the orderly operation of the security services, for this judgment to be readily available as soon as possible so that, to the extent that it may do, it provides real time protection for the children now, rather than at some stage in the future."[41]

Appeals[edit]

Up to this point, the hearings had been held almost entirely in private. The publication of the High Court judgments was stayed until appeals by Sheikh Mohammed contesting the publication of the judgments had been heard by the Court of Appeal and the UK Supreme Court. His appeal was rejected unanimously by the Court of Appeal.[42]

On 5 March 2020, the UK Supreme Court refused Sheikh Mohammed permission to make an appeal against publication of the High Court judgments of 11 December 2019 and 17 January 2020, saying his case did "not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance".[43]

Findings of the High Court[edit]

On 5 March 2020, the High Court found that Sheikh Mohammed had orchestrated the abductions of two of his other children.[44] Using the standard of evidence in civil cases (balance of probabilities, that is that it is more likely than not to be true) rather than the criminal law standard of beyond all reasonable doubt, the President of the Family Division accepted the following allegations. Firstly, that in August 2000 Sheikh Mohammed ordered and orchestrated the unlawful abduction of his daughter Sheikha Shamsa from the United Kingdom to Dubai. Secondly, that on two occasions in June 2002 and February 2018, Sheikh Mohammed ordered and orchestrated the forcible return of his daughter Sheikha Latifa to the family home in Dubai. In 2002, the return was from the border of Dubai with Oman, and in 2018 it was by an armed commando assault at sea near the coast of India. Sheikha Shamsa and Sheikha Latifa were, following their return to the custody of their father's family, allegedly deprived of their liberty. Thirdly, the High Court accepted that Princess Haya's ex-husband had conducted a campaign, by various means, with the aim of harassing, intimidating or otherwise putting her in great fear both in early 2019 when she was still in Dubai and at all times since her move to England in April 2019.

The President of the Family Division held that the allegations that Sheikh Mohammed ordered and orchestrated the kidnap and rendition to Dubai of his daughters Shamsa and Latifa were of a very high order of seriousness and might well involve findings, albeit on the civil standard, of behaviour which is contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law, international maritime law, and internationally accepted human rights norms.[45]

Towards the beginning of the fact-finding judgment [para. 30, fact-finding judgment], Sir Andrew McFarlane described the sheikh as “a man of international prominence whose position and international standing justify a high level of respect”. An authoritative source commented: "After McFarlane’s explosive conclusions, it is unclear whether his flattering description still holds."[46]

Honors and awards[edit]

National
Foreign

References[edit]

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