The Supreme Judge of the Holy Places was far more tolerant than Lady d’Orléans regarding the union of their children, Joukhadar’s parents… A union that would turn out to be one of the happiest.
Joukhadar was born on December 20, 1956, from this unlikely encounter between the East and the West. On his mother’s side: the d’Orléans family; a Belgian industrialist grandfather; a poet great-grandfather who was from the Davies family and close to the English Royal Court; cousins in the Alsace region of France; and second cousins from the Andrews family in Boston.
On his father’s side, he belongs to one of the most distinguished families of the Middle East. His grandfather was a leading figure of the Ottoman Empire, serving as a judge in Anatolia and then, successively, as Mufti of Damascus and Jerusalem. Then, thanks to his role as Supreme Judge of the Holy Places in Medina, he was destined to be the natural successor to the highest religious position of the Ottoman Empire.
Joukhadar’s grandfather nearly paid with his life to save hundreds of Armenians from the 1915 massacres. A street in Istanbul bears his name, as does a street in Damascus, where he founded the Faculty of Law and was President of the High Court of Appeal and Minister of Justice.
Joukhadar’s father was also a renowned jurist. A dozen African and Middle Eastern countries owe their Labour Code to him. Meetings with Nasser, Tito, Nehru and Zhou Enlai were part of his daily routine, as a United Nations expert at the International Labour Organization in Geneva.