Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Eilat Signals Greetings to Hussein and Bride

June 19, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Officially, a state of war exists between Israel and Jordan. But that did not deter the Mayor and citizens of Eilat from sending warm congratulations to King Hussein and his new American bride, the former Elizabeth Halaby, last night when they arrived at the neighboring Jordanian town of Aqaba.

The warmth was more than figurative. The message, “Congratulations To The Royal Couple From The City Of Eilat,” was spelled out in letters of flame 15 feet high and 75 feet long, that was visible for miles. Mayor Gad Katz, who was among the hundreds of Eilat residents and visitors watching the huge sign when it was ignited, said he hoped the demonstration of good will would convince the Mayor of Aqaba to open the borders between the twin cities on the Red Sea.

Both are popular resorts. Mayor Katz said he has been trying for some time to link them just as the West Bank and Jordan are linked by open bridges. Hussein’s 26-year-old bride has taken an Arabic name, Queen Noor el-Hussein, and has adopted the Moslem faith. Her father is the Texas-born lawyer and industrialist, Najeeb E. Halaby, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration and former president of Pan American Airways.

Recommended from JTA