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Queen Alia Baha ad-Din Touqan

Arabic: علياء بھاء الدين طوقان‎ (25 December 1948 – 9 February 1977), was the Queen consort of Jordan and the third spouse of King Hussein of Jordan from her marriage in 1972 until her death in a helicopter crash in 1977. The international airport in Amman is named after her. A daughter of Bahauddin Toukan, former Jordanian ambassador to the Court of St. James's, she was born in Cairo, Egypt. The Touqan family is a prominent Palestinian family of Nablus. Alia spent most of her childhood years traveling with her parents during her father’s career in Jordan’s diplomatic corps: she lived in Egypt, Turkey, London, USA and Rome. She attended ChurchSchool in London with her younger brother Abdullah. She studied at the Rome Centre of the Loyola University of Chicago. She studied political science with a minor in social psychology, and public relations at Hunter College in New York. She was interested in sports, writing and wished to be a diplomat. In 1971, she moved to Jordan were she worked for the Royal Jordanian Airlines. She was asked by King Hussein Bin Talal to oversee the preparations for the first International Water Skiing Festival held in Aqaba during September 1972. She married the king in a private ceremony on 24 December 1972, and was titled Queen Alia al Hussein (Arabic: علياء الحسين‎). They had two children: * Princess Haya, born 3 May 1974 * Prince Ali, born 23 December 1975 They also adopted Abir, a 5-year-old Palestinian girl whose mother had been killed by a plane crash at a refugee camp near the Amman airport Queen Alia developed the role of consort to King Hussein, and founded the office of the Queen of Jordan as an active and public role. The active role of a queen she founded in Jordan has been followed by her successors in that position. She financed social development projects, placing particular emphasis on women and children. She made surprise visits to hospitals and national institutions, aiming to raise standards and help people to help themselves. In her drive to ensure that children from impoverished backgrounds received their right in education, she fostered close ties with schools such as the Schneller School for orphans, which took many street children that Queen Alia sent there: this was a commitment that continued throughout her lifetime and beyond, when King Hussein ensured the continuation of the many educational scholarships given in her name. Alia's love of the arts and literature inspired the establishment of libraries throughout the country, including one at the Central Bank of Jordan and another in the King Hussein Medical City. Her interest in the arts led to the founding of the Haya Cultural Centre for Children, the National Folklore Troupe and the Alia Art Gallery. It was also instrumental in conceiving the Jerash Festival for the Arts. In 1974, Alia called for women to be granted the right to elect and be elected for parliament. On 4 April 1974, a law was promulgated granting women this right; however the suspension of parliamentary life in Jordan between 1974 and 1989 prevented its implementation. Alia died in a helicopter crash in Amman, Jordan, and Amman airport was subsequently renamed Queen Alia International Airport

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