HRH Princess Ghida Talal is a tireless advocate and fundraiser for the fight against cancer and the Chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center in Amman, Jordan. Princess Ghida is married to HRH Prince Talal bin Muhammad of Jordan, the nephew of His Majesty the late King Hussein bin Talal and the first cousin of His Majesty King Abdullah II. Princess Ghida lives in Jordan with Prince Talal and their three children; Prince Hussein (born 1999) and twins Princess Rajaa and Prince Muhammad (born 2001).
Princess Ghida was born on July 11, 1963 in Beirut, Lebanon to Hany Salaam and Rajaa Arab. She is the eldest of four children from a politically prominent family in Lebanon. Her great grandfather, Salim Ali Salaam, was a distinguished figure in Beirut at the turn of the 20th century and held numerous public positions, including Deputy representing Beirut at the Ottoman Parliament. Her great uncle Saeb Salaam served as Prime Minister of Lebanon several times and his son Tammam was the Prime Minister of Lebanon from February 2014 until November 2016. Princess Ghida’s paternal grandmother belongs to a leading family of scholars from Jerusalem, the Khalidis.
Princess Ghida pursued her college education in the United States at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. Growing up during the civil war in Lebanon, she became passionate about politics and decided to pursue a degree in International Politics and Economics. She graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service with magna cum laude honors, and a joint Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Her earlier education was in Lebanon at the Collège Protestant Français where she graduated with both the French and Lebanese Baccalaureates.
Princess Ghida began her career in journalism as a researcher for the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, in London. She then moved to Argentina as a correspondent for the London-based Sunday Times newspaper. Princess Ghida then worked with the wire agency Reuters in Beirut where she covered the Lebanese war and the country’s convoluted political scene. Her final job as a journalist was with the Financial Times of London.
In 1991, Princess Ghida married Prince Talal and moved to Jordan, where HM the late King Hussein asked her to establish the International Press Office of the Royal Hashemite Court and appointed her as his Press Secretary. In her new role, Princess Ghida oversaw all press activities for King Hussein and led a team of writers and press officers who covered all King Hussein’s official activities, such as state visits, press conferences and interviews. Princess Ghida also directed numerous research projects and produced many political and economic publications about Jordan. She served as Press Secretary until HM King Hussein passed away in 1999 after a long battle with cancer.
In 2001, HM King Abdullah II appointed Princess Ghida as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center (KHCF and KHCC). As the wife of a cancer survivor, Princess Ghida witnessed firsthand the emotional and physical toll that cancer inflicts not just on the patient but also on their families, and she decided to devote herself entirely to the fight against cancer.
As Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of KHCF and KHCC, Princess Ghida was determined to transform the quality of care offered to cancer patients in Jordan and the Middle East. The landscape for cancer care in the region at that time was extremely bleak and there was a severe stigma associated with the disease.
After many years of dedicated hard work, KHCC successfully reached and maintained a level of excellence on par with the most advanced cancer centers in the world. In her capacity as Chairperson of KHCF and KHCC, Princess Ghida formed and signed agreements and partnerships with the leading cancer institutions in the world, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, amongst others.
Princess Ghida is the mother of three children: Prince Hussein (b.1999) and twins Princess Rajaa and Prince Muhammad (b. 2001). She is fluent in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.