Princess Ghida Talal, chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) and Center (KHCC), was recently awarded the Lebanese Order of Merit, First Class. The Beirut-born princess received the prestigious award during a ceremony held in the Lebanese capital’s Grand Serail in the presence of the Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
Amman-based Princess Ghida was feted for her tireless work supporting cancer patients throughout the Arab world. The mother of three has particularly been praised for helping secure desperately needed cancer medication for patients in Lebanon during the country’s ongoing financial crisis.
The 58-year-old royal expressed her appreciation for the award saying: “I dedicate this medal to all who really deserve it, cancer patients everywhere.”
About Princess Ghida Talal
Princess Ghida Talal was born into the politically prominent Salaam family. After attending the College Protestant Francais school in Beirut and graduating with the French and Lebanese baccalaureates, she moved to the States to start university. She graduated with a joint bachelor's and master's degree and magna cum laude honors in International Politics and Economics from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.
After graduating, Princess Ghida, who speaks and writes fluent Arabic, French, English and Spanish, began a career in journalism. She first worked in London as a researcher for the American Broadcasting Company News and then moved to Argentina to serve as a correspondent for the London-based “Sunday Times” newspaper. Next, Princess Ghida found herself back in Beirut, where she focused on Lebanese politics for Reuters. She then went onto lending her expertise to the “Financial Times” of London.
Princess Ghida moved to Jordan in 1991, when she married Prince Talal Bin Muhammad, the nephew of King Hussein bin Talal and 41st-generation direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The late King Hussien asked her to establish the International Press Office of the Royal Hashemite Court and Princess Ghida continued to act as Press Secretary until he died.
In 2001 King Abdullah II appointed Princess Ghida as full-time chairperson of the board of trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) and Centre (KHCC). Under the go-getter’s direction, KHCF entered into agreements and partnerships with several prominent institutions, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute and Georgetown University’s Lomabardi Cancer Center. On the occasion of Jordan's Independence Day in 2012, the centre and foundation received the Kingdom's Medal of Independence for its work in the fight against cancer and for providing life-saving treatment to cancer patients in Jordan and the region.
The royal also remained active in other areas. In 2007, she played a pivotal role in the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project, an Institute of International Education (IIE), which worked at liberating scholars from Iraq who were being persecuted. Princess Ghida, who has stood as King Abdullah II’s special envoy at a United Nations General Assembly's High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases, helped find them safe havens. The intellectuals stayed at host universities across Europe, the US, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East until they were able to safely return home. Princess Ghida was awarded IIE's Humanitarian Award for International Cooperation in 2008 for her efforts.
About The King Hussein Cancer Center
The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), one of the most well-known cancer centres in the Middle East, treats all types of cancer in children and adults. As well as having over 300 oncologists and consultants, KHCC is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology to provide the most advanced treatment to patients. The centre also has partnerships with some of the largest cancer centres.