The crown prince Hassan of Jordan is a rather short Arab with a van dyke beard and a very short step, but last Friday night on the second floor of the Harvard Faculty Club he charmed two dozen guests of the Center for International Affairs.
Hassan came to Harvard under heavy police protection for about three hours and a fancy dinner, interrupting what he said is a ten-day fund-raising trip to the United States to hit major investors for his country's new five-year plan.
Guests this week said that the prospect of consultancy arrangements between Harvard and Jordan never came up, although personal contracts between the Arab nation and Harvard personnel have existed in the past and could emerge in the future.
Hassan himself said that the "intellectual fabric of an intelligent center" like the CFIA could lead to "economic commitments," but Harvard professors said the subject never came up.
"It was just a dinner," Jean Mayer, a guest and professor of Nutrition, said yesterday. "If this was supposed to be followed up by any arrangement with any member of the faculty, it was not apparent."
Hassan reportedly did take an interest in Roger R.D. Revelle, Saltonstall Professor of Population Policy. "I'm in irrigation," Revelle explained later, "and he's interested in irrigation."
The prince's special project is the use of 2.5 million cubic meters of water that is available each year from the Jordan River. Revelle said that Hassan advocated improvements in irrigation for the benefit of Israel too.
And Hassan said that if there's development on one side of the Jordan, there can also be development on the other.
The fact that Hassan comes from a country which has taken positions against Zionism and in favor of the Palestine Liberation Organization apparently ruffled no feathers at Harvard.
Hassan said that he did not talk about Zionism with anyone, and Nadav Safran, professor of Government and a guest who has written on Israeli security problems, said, "I walked away with the feeling that if there were three or four people like him running things in the Middle East, there would be no problem there."
Zionism has not fulfilled its initial purpose of 50 years ago, Hassan said, of bringing "know-how" to the area.
"And now," Hassan added with a smile, "you can buy know-how anywhere."