The Royal Hashemite Court announced that 25-year-old Princess Iman, daughter of King Abdullah II, is engaged to Caracas-born Greek businessman Jameel Alexander Thermiotis, 27, creating quite a stir in the Arab world.
Social media was brimming with posts congratulating the couple, but others criticized Princess Iman’s engagement to a Christian.
Bashar Jarrar, a Jordanian-American speaker and consultant with the Public Diplomacy Program at the U.S. State Department, told ALL ARAB NEWS that Jordanian Hashemites indeed celebrate mixed marriages because diversity is a core ethic in Islam.
“Unfortunately, hateful remarks were made by some extremists who expressed their anger about the background of Princess Iman’s fiancé, but the laws in Jordan consider marriage a personal issue for the royals,” Jarrar said.
According to United Arab Emirates-based Jordanian network EremNews, Thermiotis was born to a Christian family and was called “Jamie” prior to the relationship.
EremNews speculates that changing his name to “Jameel” could be an indication that he converted to Islam. Nevertheless, neither the Hashemite royals nor the Thermiotis family referred to Jameel’s religious status.
“Predictions about the religion of the fiancé or his conversion to Islam can’t be confirmed, as the Royal Hashemite Court emphasized that it’s the only trusted source of news about the royal family,” Jarrar told ALL ARAB NEWS.
Marriage is an extremely private and personal matter for the Jordanian royal family, he added.
Jarrar noted that most Jordanians love the royal family and have followed their personal and public lives even before social media and the digital age.
The royal court’s congratulatory announcement of the engagement was shared on social media: “The Royal Hashemite Court congratulates Her Royal Highness Princess Iman bint Abdullah II and Mr. Thermiotis on this occasion and wishes them a lifetime of happiness.”
Princess Iman was born in 1996 in Amman, when her grandfather, King Hussein bin Talal, was on the throne and her father was the crown prince.
Princess Iman studied at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and later transferred to Parsons School of Design in New York, the city where Thermiotis works as a financier and managing partner of a venture capital firm.
Iman is the eldest daughter and the second child of the Jordanian king. She has two brothers – Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, 28, and Prince Hashem, 17 – and one sister, Princess Salma, 21. Iman is the first of her four siblings to become engaged.
The crown prince shared a photo of himself with the couple, captioned, “Warmest congratulations to my dear sister Iman and to her fiancé Jameel on their engagement. I wish you a lifetime of happiness together.”
Princess Iman’s mother, Queen consort Rania Al-Abdullah, congratulated her daughter in a post that read, “Congratulations my dearest Iman; your smile has always been a gift of love that I’ve cherished since the day you were born. I wish you and Jameel a life filled with love and laughter!”
The last wedding in the Jordanian royal family was between King Abdullah’s half-sister, Princess Raiyah, and British journalist Ned Donovan, the grandson of British novelist Roald Dahl, in July 2020.