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 a 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.
Here’s a document’s excerpt:
“By the beginning of the 20th century, some of the Gharios family decided to use the titles and surname El Chemor once again. As there are two categories of Shaykhs in Lebanon—the noble (non-sovereign) Shaykh, who may be the counterpart of baron, count or duke—and the sovereign/Royal Shaykh. The first is mostly honorary but the second is a title bestowed by a semi-sovereign authority under the Ottoman Empire. A sovereign/Royal Shaykh, like the El Chemor/Shoummar/Gharios family, have roots in the tribal system, and are similar to their counterparts in the Arabian Gulf, like the ruling families in Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait, among others. It is this title that is the equivalent of prince and it’s given to the ruler and his sons. Consequently, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Nu‘man VIII (born Ahnume Guerios) is a direct descendant of the Ghassanid Kings and the Shaykhs El Chemor/Shoummar. He is the sole claimant to the headship of the Royal House of Ghassan with germane claims that are in absolute harmony with Middle Eastern laws of succession and tribal customs. Critically, he has the bay’ah [loyalty oath] from the heads of the El Chemor/Shoummar family members and, as such, a legitimate claim to his crown.”
Click on the link for the documents
Original Sworn Legal Statement in Arabic
Sworn Legal Translation in English
Sworn Legal Translation in German
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
Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies,Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-58826-556-0
Faysal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons, Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8130-3242-9
Political Participation and Stability in the Sultanate of Oman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Gulf Research Center, 2005
The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership,London, England: Saqi Books, 2003, ISBN 0-86356-783-5
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
Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy, Santa Monica, California: RAND, 1995, ISBN 0-8330-2332-2
“The Enduring Saudi Oil Power,” in Robert E. Looney, ed, Handbook of Oil Politics, London and New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 284-294.
The Sultanate of Oman and the US, in Robert E. Looney, ed, Handbook of US-Middle East Relations: Formative Factors and Regional Perspectives, London and New York City: Routledge, 2009, pp. 417-433.
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.
Extremism & Opposition Movements on the Arabian Peninsula, ORF Studies in Muslim Societies-V, New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation, 2006, pp. 1-55.
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.
The Throne in the Sultanate of Oman, in Joseph Kostiner (ed.), Middle Eastern Monarchies: The Challenge of Modernity, Boulder, Colorado and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000, pp. 187-211.
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.
A Century in Thirty Years: Shaykh Zayed and the United Arab Emirates, Washington, D.C.: Middle East Policy Council, 2000, ISBN 0-943182-08-5
Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf States, New York City, United States: Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-312-29388-7