Jordan’s Monarch Leaves Hospital, Promises to Take It Easy
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ King Hussein returned home Thursday after being treated for a heart ailment, but doctors said he should avoid work for awhile.
Smiling broadly, the 55-year-old monarch emerged from the Hussein Medical City accompanied by his wife, American-born Queen Noor, to the cheers of thousands of Jordanians.
Women cried out of joy. Men shouted ″Long live Hussein 3/8″
Hussein’s doctor, Yousef Qsous, said the king was in ″perfect health condition and the rate of his majesty’s heartbeat is normal now. But his majesty must be kept away from work and any type of exhaustion.″
Qsous, a cardiac surgeon, said Hussein has suffered from atrial fibrillation for a decade. The ailment is a rapid, uncoordinated series of contractions of the heart muscle that cause an irregular heartbeat and some ineffectual pumping of blood.
It is the same condition that afflicted President Bush in May.
Jordanians had kept a vigil outside the hospital since the popular monarch was admitted Monday with an irregular heartbeat.
Hussein said he was moved by their concern. He assured them he would follow the doctors’ instructions.
″But I would like to emphasize that the country should not depend on any one man,″ he added.
Hussein said he would spend ″some peaceful and quiet days this week away from work as I have promised my doctors.″
The monarch then climbed into the front seat of his car next to the queen, who drove the metallic-gray Mercedes-Benz to the royal palace.
Hussein’s popularity soared during the Persian Gulf crisis, when he allowed Jordanians to rally publicly in support of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who promised a solution to the Palestinian problem.
Roughly half of Jordan’s 3.4 million people come from Palestinian families who fled or were driven off their land during the creation of Israel and wars during which the Jewish state seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hussein is a friend of the Iraqi president. The two leaders and their families often exchanged private visits before the gulf crisis began last August.
Jordan was harshly criticized by other countries for sympathizing with Iraq during the crisis and the gulf war, and Hussein since has distanced himself from Saddam.