Jordan’s crown prince weds scion of Saudi family in ceremony packed with stars and symbolism

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. scion / ˈsaɪ ən / (n.) – a young member of a wealthy and important family

    That boy is the scion of the richest family in our country.

  2. continuity / ˌkɒn tnˈu ɪ ti / (n.) – a state, quality, or situation in which something happens or exists for a long time without stopping or changing

    The company has been managed by several generations of their family, providing continuity of the business.

  3. shriek / ʃrik / (v.) – to make a loud, high-pitched sound because of excitement, surprise, or fear

    Thousands of fans shrieked when their idol appeared on stage.

  4. dole out / doʊl aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to give something to people such as money, food, etc.

    Our company doles out money to victims of calamities.

  5. festoon / fɛˈstun / (v.) – to decorate something with flowers, colored paper, etc., for a celebration

    The organizers festooned the wedding venue with the bride’s favorite flower.


Read the text below.

Jordan’s crown prince married the scion of a prominent Saudi family on June 1 in a palace ceremony attended by royals and other VIPs from around the world, as massive crowds gathered across the kingdom to celebrate the region’s newest power couple.

The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein, 28, and Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif, 29, drew a star-studded guest list including Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, as well as U.S. First Lady Jill Biden.

The celebrations hold deep significance for the region, emphasizing continuity in an Arab state prized for its longstanding stability and refreshing the monarchy’s image after a palace feud. It even could help resource-poor Jordan forge a strategic bond with its oil-rich neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

The families and their guests gathered in an open-air gazebo decked with flowers and surrounded by landscaped gardens for a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony known as “katb al-ketab.” The crowd erupted in applause after the signing of the marriage contract. Al Saif will henceforth be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Rajwa Al Hussein, according to a royal decree.

Several miles away, a jolt went through a packed ancient Roman amphitheater as viewers watched the couple seal their vows and exchange rings on a wide screen. After several minutes of stillness, the crowd of some 18,000 people were on their feet, waving flags and shrieking with excitement at one of several viewing parties held across the nation.

“It’s not just a marriage, it’s the presentation of the future king of Jordan,” said political analyst Amer Sabaileh. “The issue of the crown prince has been closed.”

Experts consider the marriage an advantageous alliance for the Hashemites, historic rivals of the Al Saud family to the east. Jordan has recently sought closer ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab petro-states, which once doled out billions of dollars to the aid-dependent country but since have reined in their spending.

Osama, a 25-year-old bookseller, was thrilled about the occasion and festooned his car and shop windows with portraits of the royal family. But he also knew reality would return quickly.

“Of course, it’s joyful,” he said. “But in a couple days, we’ll just go back to our problems.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Given the chance, would you like to witness a royal wedding in person? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how can important weddings or alliances affect a monarchy or country’s reputation and stability? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • A 25-year-old bookseller Osama said that the wedding celebration is joyful, but in a couple of days, they’ll just go back to their problems. Why do you think he said this? Discuss.
  • Do you think royal weddings should be adjusted according to the economic condition of the country? Why or why not? Discuss.