In contrast to those Jordanian celebrities whose fame has never spread beyond the country's borders, the current king and queen are known and recognised throughout the whole world. Even before travelling to Jordan, you will undoubtedly have heard of King Abdullah II and his wonderful wife Queen Rania of Jordan.
The earliest celebrated figure in Jordan's history is the famous warrior Saladin. His fame extends beyond national boundaries and he is still widely admired across the whole Arab world today. This ancient, Ayyubid dynasty king was known for his courage and his nobility, and is famous most of all for his great military victories. For example, he successfully managed to reconquer Palestine, fought in Egypt, and drove the Crusaders out of Jordan and Syria. In the 12th century he was successful in uniting Syria and Egypt, which were the two greatest powers in the region at the time.
During your trip to Jordan, you'll also hear mention of King Abdallah I, who was assassinated at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1951. A direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, he became Emir of Transjordan in 1921 then later went on to become the first King of Jordan in 1946.
The artist who has had the greatest impact on Jordan was the poet Mustafa Wahbi al-Tal, better known as "Arar". A man given to singing his compositions, his favourite themes were wine, women, and criticism of the politics of his age. Not exactly conventional then. If you want to get some idea of the kind of work he produced, delve into the collection of his poems titled "Arar, the Poet and Lover of Jordan".
Mona Saudi, who currently resides in Lebanon, is without doubt the most famous Jordanian artist in the world today. A poet by vocation, she chooses to express herself primarily through sculpture. Some of her works can be seen at the British Museum in London.
And finally, the two most famous Jordanians in the world today are the current King Abdullah II and his beautiful wife, Queen Rania of Jordan. In a country strongly marked by tradition, Queen Rania has publicly taken a position against the mandatory wearing of the veil. The royal couple are keen to be seen as resolutely modern in outlook.