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Due to the massive fall of monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries, the study of Dynastic and Nobility Law has decayed considerably becoming a very rare subject amongst the scholars today. This fact gave birth to several myths and misconceptions about the subject even amongst reasonably educated people.
Because of the European colonial dominance in the world until the last century and the current existence of several acting monarchies in the region, as well as several non-ruling royal families being extremely active socially and even politically, created the false idea that all the royal and noble titles in the world and their succession should follow the European model, regardless of any local – and sometimes millennial – traditions that particular family may have. Truth to be told, many royal houses decided to “Europeanize” their customs and traditions, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, those “adaptations” to the European model were dully and legally documented, not leaving any room for guessing and hearsay.
Also, there’s an enormous misconception regarding legality versus notoriety and prestige. There are thousands of former ruling and noble families in the world. Some more and some less known and prestigious. Not all of them have a plethora of information available in other languages than their native ones. It’s humanly impossible, even for a scholar, to know the peculiarities and rules of every single one of them. Therefore, it’s not because many people “never heard” of this or that family means that the family is legitimate or not.
Through this blog and many other documents and articles containing several scholarly references from bonafide academic organizations all over the world, we’ve proven to exhaustion the legal rights of the El Chemor/Gharios family according to the Middle Eastern custom and the international law to the Royal Ghassanid titles.
There are maybe dozens of top scholars specialized in the European royal succession but not a handful of leading experts in the royal succession in the Middle East.
Today, one of the indisputable world top scholars in Middle Eastern Royal Succession, Dr Joseph Albert Kéchichian, signed a sworn affidavit recognizing the rights of the Ghassanid Royal Family and of HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Nu’man VIII.
Click on the link for the documents
Dr Kéchichian is the leading authority on Middle Eastern Royal succession in the world today. He has received his doctorate in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1985, where he also taught (1986-1988), and assumed the assistant deanship in international studies (1988-1989). In the 1989, he was a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University(under the U.S. State Department Title VIII Program). Between 1990 and 1996, he labored at the Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation as an Associate Political Scientist, and was a lecturer at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
Between 1998 and 2001, Dr Kéchichianwas a fellow at UCLA’s Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, where he held a Smith Richardson Foundation grant (1998-1999) to compose Succession in Saudi Arabia (New York: Palgrave ) and Beirut and London: Dar Al Saqi, 2002, 2003 [2nd ed] (for the Arabictranslation)]. He published Political Participation and Stability in the Sultanate of Oman, Dubai: Gulf Research Center, 2005, Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy (Santa Monica: RAND ), and edited A Century in Thirty Years: Shaykh Zayed and the United Arab Emirates(Washington, D.C.: The Middle East Policy Council ), as well as Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf States (New York: Palgrave ). In 2003, he co-authored, with R. Hrair Dekmejian at USC, The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership (London: Saqi Books), which includes a full translation of the Sulwan al-Muta` by Muhammad Ibn Zafar al-Siqilli.
In 2008, he published two studies, Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies(Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, and Beirut: Riyad al-Rayyes Books, 2012—in 2 volumes for the Arabic translation]), and Faysal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida and Beirut: Dar al-‘Arabiyyah lil-Mawsu‘at, 2012]. His newest book is Legal and Political Reforms in Sa‘udi Arabia, published by Routledge in December 2012, and he has just completed a companion volume to Faysalon ‘Iffat Al Thunayan: An Arabian Queen(London: Sussex Academic Press, 2015).
Some of his works:
From Alliance to Union, Sine loco : Sussex Academic Press, 2016
Succession in Saudi Arabia, New York City, United States: Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-312-23880-0, Beirut and London: Dar Al Saqi, 2002, 2003 [2nd edition (for the Arabic languagetranslation), ISBN 1-85516-445-0
“The Enduring Saudi Oil Power,” in Robert E. Looney, ed, Handbook of Oil Politics, London and New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 284-294.
Reforming the Judiciary in Saudi Arabia, in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1979-2009: Evolution of a Pivotal State, A Special Edition of Viewpoints, Washington, D.C.: The Middle East Institute, 2009, at http://www.mei.edu/Publications/WebPublications/Viewpoints/ViewpointsArchive/tabid/541/ctl/Detail/mid/1623/xmid/784/xmfid/11/Default.aspx[permanent dead link]
Refining the Saudi ‘Will to Power’, Perspectives 003, National University of Singapore Middle East Institute, Singapore, 2009, pp 1-16 at http://www.mei.nus.edu.sg/publications/MEI%20Perspectives%20003-Final.pdf
Affirming the Saudi Will to Power: Domestic Challenges to King `Abdullah, Middle East Institute Policy Brief, Number 16 (June 2008), pp. 1-9 at https://web.archive.org/web/20090503081050/http://www.mideasti.org/policy-brief/affirming-saudi-will-power-domestic-challenges-king-%E2%80%98abdullah
Can Conservative Arab Gulf Monarchies Endure a Fourth War in the Persian Gulf, The Middle East Journal, 61:2 (Spring 2007), pp. 283-306.
Democratization in Gulf Monarchies: A New Challenge to the GCC, Middle East Policy 11:4 (Winter 2004), pp. 37-57.
Testing the Saudi ‘Will to Power:’ Challenges Confronting Prince Abdallah, Middle East Policy 10:4 (Winter 2003), pp. 100-115.
The Burden of Saudi Arabia [Review Article], The Middle East Journal 57:3, (Summer 2003), pp. 492-497.
Saudi Arabia’s Will to Power, Middle East Policy 7:2 (February 2000), pp. 47-60.
Trends in Saudi National Security, The Middle East Journal, 53:2 (spring 1999), pp. 232-53.
Last Friday in Beirut, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor had a pleasant meeting followed by an interview section with two prominent Muslim scholars, one Sunnite and one Shiite. With (left) Sheikh Dr Abdelkader Ternani (Sunni Muslim) professor of the Universite Libanaise (Lebanese University) and (right) Sheikh Dr Ahamad Kaiss (Shiite Muslim) professor of the Islamic University of Lebanon. Both Muslim scholars are great supporters of inter religious dialogue and were interviewed for the documentary series “One Voice for Christians“.
Yesterday, at the Lancaster Plaza Hotel in Beirut, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor lectured to diplomats of several embassies about terrorism. By invitation of General Michel Nahas, the keynote speaker, and Mr Imad Risk, head of Isticharia – ISCS, the Prince of Ghassan spoke about attacking the causes of the global terrorism.
Some flashes of the lecture:
Yesterday, at the Maronite Archbishopric of Beirut in Archrafieh, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor and a delegation from the board of the Royal House of Ghassanin Lebanon, has visited His Excellency Boulos Youssef Matar, the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut. The group was received by the Archbishop for a private audience and also for an interview for the series of documentaries “One Voice for Christians“.
The Archbishop is a connoisseur of Ghassanid history and very familiar with the El Chemor family, ministering the wedding of a family member in the past.
His Excellency has offered a very comprehensive overview of the situation of Christianity in the Middle East which will be available to the public very soon.
In addition to the Prince of Ghassan, the delegation of the Royal House was composed by the board members HH Sheikh Dr Elie Gharios, Joyce Doumit – the responsible for the arrangements, Petro Al Achkar, and by the production team of “One Voice for Christians“.
The Royal House of Ghassan, through its international board and royal family member, HRH Prince Sheikh Antoine Magid El Chemor, provided for public records, the personal official passport of the late HRH Prince Sheikh Nassif Magid El Chemor (*1945+2017). The recent Passport number 184320 proves that the Lebanese Republic kept recognizing the titles of the El Chemor family even over two centuries after the last dethronement in the 18th century. That’s also a capital proof that the family members that stayed in Lebanon have never relinquished the sovereign claims since the fall of the first Ghassanid State in 636 CE. Several family members risked their lives keeping the last name El Chemor and the titles regardless of the persecution from the Ottoman Empire legally preserving the sovereign claim of the family according to the standards of international law.
Last Tuesday, at the Grand Hills Hotel Broumana, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor and a delegation from the Royal House of Ghassan composed by HH Sheikh Dr Elie Gharios and Petro Al Achkar, have participated of the “Armenian Cultural Night” with the presence of the Armenian Ambassador to Lebanon His Excellency Mr Samvel Mkrtchian. The event was organized by the Ourjouan Lions Club and the Metn Rotary Club under the patronage of the Ain Malak family. The Royal House of Ghassan thanks Mrs Rima Kanaan, President of the Ourjouan Lions Club, for the kind invitation.