Leader: King Abdullah II
Native Language: English/French
Official Language: Arabic
King Abdullah II of Jordan faces ongoing criticisms of his rule, much of which is not helped by his difficulties with Arabic. As the son of the deceased King Hussein and his British wife, Muna al-Hussein, he grew up speaking both Arabic and English. However, due to political instability in Jordan, his father sent him away for schooling in England. In his autobiography, he says that Arabic was his first language, and that experiences in England and with a Swiss nanny gave him a British accent (and some knowledge of French). However, opposition websites cite instances when he has delegated away his need to speak Arabic as a means to covering his inability to speak it. As Jordan weathered its own Arab Spring protests, some saw his difficulties with the language as proof that he is an "outsider."