Bin Shakir, Zayd (Zeid Ben Shaker; 1934–)

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BIN SHAKIR, ZAYD (Zeid Ben Shaker; 1934–)

Jordanian military figure, a distant cousin and childhood friend of King Hussein of Jordan. Born in September 1934, Zayd bin Shakir earned degrees from Sandhurst Military Academy (England) and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was named commander of the Jordanian 6th Armored Brigade in 1966. He participated in the Arab-Israel War of 1967, then, a year later, in the battle of al-Karameh, where he helped the Fedayeen against the Israelis. He was called back to Jordan from London by King Hussein in the autumn of 1968 to help the government in dealing with the deteriorating situation within the kingdom. In September 1970, bin Shakir directed operations against Palestinian groups who were trying to take power ("Black September"). In 1972 he was named army chief of staff, then in 1976 commander-in-chief of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

Promoted to marshal in 1987, bin Shakir resigned from the army and, the following year, became head of the royal court and counselor to King Hussein for military affairs. In 1989 he was named prime minister and defense minister. During his mandate, legislative elections took place in Jordan for the first time in twenty-two years. He resigned his post in 1990, but assumed it again in November 1991, remaining prime minister until May 1993. On 5 January 1995 he was named head of the Jordanian government for the third time, before being replaced by Abdul Karim Kabariti in February 1996. On bin Shakir's retirement, King Hussein awarded him the title of prince. Since the accession in 1999 of King Abdullah II ibn Hussein, who served under him in the army, bin Shakir has been an informal advisor to the king.

SEE ALSO Abdullah II ibn Hussein; Hussein ibn Talal.