The world was stunned when King Hussein of Jordan, who was suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, named his eldest son Abdullah his successor, replacing Abdullah’s half-brother Hamzah as crown prince. On 7 February 1999, Abdullah, who became a crown prince on 24 January, ascended the Jordanian throne shortly after the death of his father. His wife, then Princess Rania became the world’s youngest living queen at the age of 29. Just like her step-mother in law Queen Noor, she is known for her charity work and involved in women, children, and family affairs; an issue that one would rarely discuss in an Arabic country. In 2006, she was named as one of the Most Influential People by Time Magazine and Most Powerful Women by Forbes.
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, formerly Rania al-Yasin, was born in Kuwait in 1970 to a Moslem Palestinian family. Shortly after the 1991 Gulf War which resulted in the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, she and her family fled and settled in Jordan. She studied at New English School in Kuwait City and American University in Cairo, Egypt; both are Western schools. She graduated with a business degree and worked in Citibank and Apple Computers in Amman, Jordan. She met her future husband (love at first sight!) at a dinner party in January 1993. They got married 6 months later and now have 4 children.
Back in 1993, when I first met Prince Abdullah at a dinner, I could never have imagined what fate had in store for me. At that time, as a recent graduate, I was living and working in Amman, and certainly never expected to marry a Prince of the Hashemite lineage or, one day, become the Queen of Jordan. Queen Rania
Unlike other Arab women, she is a free, bright, elegant, active, knowledgeable, and smart woman with a pleasant personality who is committed to family’s issues and is a supporter of the women’s rights. She has won the respect and admiration of many women in her country for her advocacy, founding many organisations and counselling centres to improve the life of Jordanians. She is fighting to change misconceptions of Moslem women, improve Jordanian education standards, tackle poverty, and end child abuse as well as honour killings that occur in her country. She is a new generation of an Arab woman who promotes the freedoms and modern values to not only her nation but also the Middle East countries.
If you educate the women, you educate the family. If you educate the girl, you educate the future.
I first saw her in a documentary about King Abdullah on TV years ago and noticed a unique side of her. She became one of few public figures that I admire. A few days ago, I found a full version of her television interview on Oprah and adored her thoughts & ideas that are so well-spoken. She talked about how she thinks we can fight terrorism, by educating our children and introducing them to other cultures and religions. In that way, they’ll be encouraged to think and debate these issues themselves and not to be influenced by other people’s opinions. “We have to create opportunities for our youth so they have a chance in life,” she said. “Whenever you’re frustrated and you feel like you don’t have a future or you can’t get a job, then you’re more susceptible to be influenced by terrorism and extremist ideology.”
She explained about the Moslem veil that is viewed by the West as a sign of oppression when it’s actually a matter of choice for women to wear it or not. I love it when she said, “We should judge women according to what’s going on in their heads, rather than what’s on top of their heads.” 🙂 She also talked about her children; how important it is to introduce them with the right values, which are “the shield that you carry with you throughout life. It protects you from whatever life throws at you”.
They [her children] have to feel like they are global citizens. To really have an understanding of the world at large. Once you feel that others are like you, then you want for others what you want for yourself. And that way you start helping others.
A lot of times when we look at problems happening halfway across the world and we think, ‘Well, that’s their problem.’ But it’s not. When you solve somebody else’s problems, you’re solving a problem for yourself, because our world today is so interconnected.
Oh. She is definitely my most favourite queen!! She’s gorgeous, don’t you think?? Rania rules!
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