Wijdan Ali

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Princess Wijdan Ali (Arabic: وجدان علي‎) (born August 29, 1939 in Baghdad, Iraq) is a Jordanian artist, educator and diplomat.[1] She is the ex-wife of Prince 'Ali bin Naif of Jordan. She is best known for her efforts to revive the traditions of Islamic art and her abstract paintings and for her work as an art historian.

Education and career[edit]

Wijdan Ali received her B.A. in history from Beirut University College (now Lebanese American University) in 1961, while studying art privately. She received a Ph.D. in Islamic art from the University of London in 1993.[1] She also received some of her arts training from Muhanna Al-Dura and Armando Bruno. [2]

In her art, she develops the traditions of Arabic calligraphy in a modern format and forms part of the contemporary school of Arabic calligraphic painting.[3] Her work, which has won awards in Belgium and France, is found in museums and private collections internationally, including the collections of the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, the American National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Art Gallery, Pakistan.[4] She has participated in the cross cultural cooperation " the Dance of Visions" in Gothenburg Sweden, invited by the Swedish artist Ragnhild Lundén.

Princess Wijdan Ali is founder of the Royal Society of Fine Arts and of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. She is also founder and dean of the newly established Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan.[4]

She was the first woman to enter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jordan (1962) and also the first woman delegate to represent Jordan at United Nations meetings[5] and the first woman diplomat at the United Nations General Assembly.

Princess Wijdan Bint Fawwaz Muhana took the oath of office as Jordan's new ambassador to Italy before King Abdullah II on October 3, 2006.[6]

She is the author of Contemporary Art from the Islamic World (1989) and Modern Islamic Art: Development and Continuity (1997).[3], works which helped to establish her as an art historian. [7] Her best known art works are a series of shimmering desert-scapes made during the 1980s. [8]

Family and marriage[edit]

She is the daughter of Sharif Fawwaz Muhana, an architect, and Sharifa Nafi'a bint Jamil Ali,. In 1966, she married Prince 'Ali bin Naif of Jordan.[5]


Princess Na'afa bint 'Ali. b. 27 December 1966. Mngr. Al-Kutaifa Estate.

Princess Rajwa bint 'Ali. b. at Amman, 29 June 1968. Artist and sculptor. Hon. Presdt. Balqa Plastic Arts Soc. Mbr. Brd. of Trustees National Gallery of Fine Arts.

Major Princess Basma Fatima bint 'Ali. b. 24 March 1970, educ. RMA Sandhurst, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., Massachusetts, USA. cmsnd. 2nd-Lieut. Jordan Arab Army, prom. Maj., head of the Human Resources Dvsn. Chair. Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Soc. (JREDS) since 1993, National Environment and Wildlife Soc. (NEWS) since 1996, Royal Soc. for the Conservation of Marine Environment, Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development,. and the Red Crescent Soc. Hon. Presdt. Fertile Crescent Soc. of the Middle East, and the Planetary Coral Reef Foundn. (California, USA); Founder and President of the Pilot Phase Assessment Cttee. of Jordan for the Global Environmental Facility. Mbr. Soc. for the Preservation of Jordanian Heritage, RAC of Jordan, and of the Brd. of Dirs. Halfway House for Juvenile Delinquents (Boston, USA). Rcvd: Order of Merit from the Jordanian Armed Forces (1998), the King Hussein Gold Medal for Excellence, and the Medal of Administrative Competence (1995). m. 2004, Amjad Farrah, Jordanian International Rally Champion and FIA Middle East Championship for Drivers 2004.

Prince Mohammed al-Abbas bin 'Ali. born on 17 February 1973. married to Princess Sima Abbas (Ghanem) who has a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from McGill University, Montreal, Canada (B.Com. 1998). She is now one of the owners of The Linen Closet. Both Prince Abbas and Princess Sima have two sons and two daughters:

  • Prince Hamzah al-Abbas. born in Amman, 16 April 2007.
  • Princess Rania al-Abbas. born in Amman, 22 March 2004.
  • Princess Karma al-Abbas. born in Amman, 26 August 2002.
  • Prince Haidar al-Abbas. born in Amman, 12 July 2013.


  1. ^ a b "Ali, Wijdan, Princess". The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. 2009. p. 53. ISBN 019530991X. 
  2. ^ Hashem Talham, G., Historical Dictionary of Women in the Middle East and North Africa, Rowman & Littlefield, 2013 p. 24
  3. ^ a b Talhami, Ghada Hashem (2013). Historical Dictionary of Women in the Middle East and North Africa. p. 24. ISBN 081086858X. 
  4. ^ a b "HRH Princess Wijdan bint Fawaz Al-Hashemi". SOAS, University of London. 
  5. ^ a b Who's Who in the Arab World 2007-2008. Walter de Gruyter. 2007. p. 88. ISBN 3110930048. 
  6. ^ "H.R.H Princess Wijdan Ali: Ambassador to Italy". UJCOnnect. University of Jordan. 
  7. ^ Who's Who in the Arab World 2007-2008, Publitec Publications, pp 88-89
  8. ^ Teller, M., Jordan, Rough Guides, 2002, p. 425

External links[edit]