King Attends Great Arab Revolt Centennial Military Parade, Leads Flag Ceremony

June 2, 2016

AMMAN -- His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces - Arab Army (JAF), on Thursday, attended a grand military parade in which 1,000 military personnel participated at the newly-built Al Rayah parade ground, located at the Royal Hashemite Court.
The parade, which was the culmination of the Kingdom’s celebrations of the Great Arab Revolt Centennial and the Arab Awakening anniversary, was held in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Royal Family members, senior officials and 5,000 guests.
Among the audience were families of some of those who participated in the Great Arab Revolt and families of JAF martyrs.
The parade coincides with the anniversary of the passing away of the Great Arab Revolt leader, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, who fired its first shot on 10 June 1916. The Revolt not only ended four centuries of regression, it also ushered in a restoration of the Arab Nation’s spirit, identity and sovereignty.
The parade began with a march setting off from the JAF Musical Band command by a division of horse and camel cavalries, crossing some three kilometres through Al Aqsa Street in Amman, which leads to Al Rayah parade ground, accompanied by infantry units and a JAF Band.
His Majesty King Abdullah II drove, in the Royal Red Motorcade, through the same march route, which was lined with cheering crowds of Jordanian men and women.
Arriving to the parade ground, flanked by cavalry units, His Majesty King Abdullah II reached the Royal dais. On a nearby hill, an artillery unit fired a 42-Gun Salute in honour of the King and the Great Arab Revolt Centennial.
His Majesty was received by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, the King’s Military Adviser and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff General Mashal Al Zaben and the military parade commander Brigadier General Fakher Khleifat.
As the JAF Band played the Jordanian National Anthem, a formation of three helicopters carrying the Great Arab Revolt banner, the Kingdom’s flag and the JAF flag flew over the parade ground.
His Majesty then inspected the military columns and units participating in the parade, which were all orderly queued, led by the flag-bearers.
In front of the Royal dais, which the band passed before taking its position at the centre of the square, columns from the Arab Army’s battalions, representing its oldest battalion — the Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II First Royal Mechanised Battalion, known as ‘The Mother Unit’ — stood to attention. Battalion members, dressed in a historical uniform known as the ‘Jerusalem Attire,’ were a reminder of the heroism of the Arab Army in defence of the city and its holy sites.
Troops from the Second Royal Armoured Battalion, where His Majesty King Abdullah II started military service as an armour officer, before assuming its command, were also present, in addition to the Khaled bin Al Waleed 15th Special Missions Battalion as well as the Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib, the Master of Martyrs Special Royal Guards Brigade.
Some 300 musicians from the accomplished JAF Band performed 42 pieces throughout the parade. Spectators were treated to a number of beloved national music compositions, especially the Great Arab Revolt Anthem, whose lyrics were penned by the well-known Arab poet Bechara El Khoury (Al Akhtal Al Saghir).
In a symbolic re-enactment of the arrival of the vanguard of the Great Arab Revolt forces and the liberation of Arab land, ‘The Mother Unit’ received the Great Arab Revolt banner from King Abdullah II. Adding to the historical symbolism, camel cavalry troops carried the banner to the parade ground, in a scene reminiscent of its arrival to Jordanian land a hundred years ago.
‘The Mother Unit’ battalion will have the honour of carrying the banner for one year, after which it will be presented next year to another battalion, in what will become an annual tradition of the Flag Ceremony, in order to ingrain the values and significance of the Arab Revolt in the national consciousness.
The units, participating in the parade, started its confident, disciplined military step from the Royal dais in a slow and then regular march to the rousing sound of military heritage and national songs.
Highlighting their importance during the Great Arab Revolt, the horse and camel cavalry units also performed a joint display.
The parade then took to the skies of Amman in an impressive air show performed by various formations of Royal Jordanian Air Force aircrafts, including helicopters, modern and old fighter jets, symbolising their historical role and continual development.
The parade concluded with the participating units saluting His Majesty before marching off.
The event was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, the Senate President, the Chief of The Royal Hashemite Court, His Majesty’s advisers, the Director of the Office of His Majesty, Cabinet ministers, the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti, directors of security agencies, senior officials and officers, ambassadors, representatives of professional unions and civil society as well as youth organisations, Arab and international media.
June 02, 2016
Watch the military parade video on YouTube
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