Is Jordan's King slumming it? Mystery man spotted in protest crowd

22-11-2012 12:00 AM

Ammon News - Royals across the ages have donned disguises to acquire the common touch: from King James II who dressed as a woman in his escape from England, to Will and Kate who regularly shed their finery for a night at the movies. But this phenomenon isn't restricted to England's monarchy, Arab leaders have been getting in on the act too.

At the beginning of his reign Jordan's King Abdullah was no stranger to disguise. He has posed as a taxi driver and a TV reporter and back in 2001 he reportedly donned a false white beard on a trip to Amman's income tax department, in a bid to see what life is like for ordinary Jordanians.

Now the internet is rife with rumors that he's at it again. During a spurt of large-scale protests across the Kingdom last week, many were quick to point out that the King was nowhere to be seen as he failed to address the demonstrations in any public speech. But some Jordanian netizens are suggesting that Abdullah had a more active involvement in the uprising than first met the eye.

In a bizarre video of Friday's rally in downtown Amman, a man can be seen fully covered from head-to-toe, standing calmly amongst the chaos of riot police and fleeing protestors. While those around him are chased away by the regime's forces, the man is left to stand and observe.

The video has inspired an influx of conspiracy theories, with many speculating that the mysterious figure is none other than Jordan's crowned ruler, getting a glimpse of the mayhem caused by recent price hikes for himself.

But Abdullah isn't the only suspect. Others have been quick to shoot down the royal theory, putting forward suggestions that the man could be a member of Jordan's secret service or an Imam.

Outspoken opposition member Mudar Zahran is also in the lineup. In an interview with an Israeli radio station, Zahram voiced his suspicions that the regime would fall in early summer because of an economic crash and civil war. Some conspirators believe the Palestinian-Jordanian made the trip from his home in London to watch the chaos he had predicted unfold.

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