WikiLeaks documents reveal how the former minister and head of the royal court in Jordan, Bassem Awadallah, transformed a young man with a promising future, who is being prepared for prime minister, into a burden on the political and royal establishment due to the controversy surrounding his person and his policies.
A document dated March 2007 stated that Awadallah was among the Palestinian figures who had a major role in Jordanian politics and the administration of the country, which angered the political forces opposing the influence of those of Palestinian origin.
The document described the name of Awadallah as being the subject of a major attack by “anti-Palestinians and anti-reformists.”
She said that the attack on Awadallah “has become targeting his person more than his policies.”
The MP at the time, Nariman Al-Rousin, accused Awadallah openly of being involved with the “Dawood and Partners” company owned by one of his relatives.
The company was accused of human trafficking, as it was convicted of bringing Nepalese workers to work in Jordan, and then smuggling them to Iraq to work at the US forces’ Ain al-Assad base.
Al-Rusan called on the government to open an investigation into the matter and reveal the facts.
Fortune in the name of Awad Allah
Questions arose about the source of Awadallah’s wealth, which at that time amounted to 11 million Jordanian dinars, while he began his work as an employee in the prime minister’s salary with a salary of 600 dinars.
However, the American ambassador to Jordan Beecroft stated in the document that Awadallah made it clear to him that all his investments are outside Jordan, and that he sold his stake in a company owned by his brother in 1998.
It was not the only crisis that surrounded Allah’s Awad at that time.
“Document of Understanding”
The document revealed a rumor that he had signed a “document of understanding” with the late Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, which was not necessarily in the interest of Jordan.
But the Jordanian Foreign Minister at the time, Salah Al-Bashir, denied the existence of such a document, and said that the Palestinian issue would not be resolved at Jordan’s expense.
A subsequent document from Ambassador Beecroft revealed, in March 2009, that King Abdullah “was not satisfied” with the attack against Awadallah that led to his resignation.
She stated that Awadallah was preparing to return to political work after the campaign against him subsided.
In the words of the Prime Minister at the time, Abdul Karim al-Kabariti, she stated that Awad Allah should be considered “as the son of the king, not just a security cover.”
He severely beat his wife!
But a fact far from politics ended Awadallah’s political future in Jordan.
Awadallah was accused in August 2009 of severely beating his wife, which led to her being hospitalized.
The couple later separated in September of the same year after a marriage that lasted only four months.
This was not the first marriage to Awad Allah.
He tied the knot in March 2008 with Rima Siyam, a Palestinian of Palestinian origin who worked for Saudi Aramco. But the marriage was not successful.
The WikiLeaks document, issued by the US ambassador to Beecroft on September 2, 2009, stated that this incident of beating and separation undermined Awadallah’s opportunity to return to political work and his candidacy for the post of prime minister, and its influence extends to the reformist movement to which Awad Allah belongs as a whole.
Awadallah has always presented himself as the face of political and economic reform in Jordan, and he held positions opposed to the Islamic trend, and against Iran’s interference and its attempt to extend its influence in the region, especially over the Gulf states.
He believed that the Islamic currents and Iran were exploiting the Palestinian cause for political gain.
Perhaps Awadallah realized at that time that his hopes for direct political action in Jordan had dimmed, so he moved to Dubai, where he was appointed as a member of the Dubai School of Government Board of Directors in 2008.
He also established in Dubai his company, “Tomoh”, which he heads until now.
Awadallah’s network of relationships helped create new opportunities for him in the world of business and economics. He was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of Al Baraka Banking Group in Bahrain in 2010.
It is also a partner of a number of Saudi investors in the Arab National Bank. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Bank in Jordan, according to the BBC
He also held a number of honorary positions, including the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Visiting Fellowship seat at the Center for Islamic Studies at Oxford University in 2010.
As well as Secretary General of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in the same year.
The following year, 2011, he became a member of the Board of Trustees for the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Then a member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Quds University in 2014.
Adviser to the Saudi Crown Prince
Reports indicate that Awadallah worked as an advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in recent years, and that he was the mastermind behind plans to privatize Aramco recently.
These links were behind speculation about a role for Saudi Arabia in the recent crisis, and that Awadallah holds a Saudi passport.
Media reports stated that the Saudi delegation, which visited Amman on April 6, requested the Jordanian authorities to release Awadallah, to return with the delegation on the same plane to Saudi Arabia.
However, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, denied the reports.
Bin Farhan said that the delegation carried a message of support to King Abdullah II, and the talks did not address any other demands.