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  #21  
Old 11-12-2005, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by polop
No offense, but that's sad.The only way she can bring attention to her country and issues that matter is by how she dresses and by her looks.
No actually its not sad. You misunderstood what I meant. I didnt say the only way she could bring attention to her country was her wardrobe.
The coverage Im referring to was right after the death of King Hussein and after King Abdullah's enthronement. There were several reports and brief documentaries in the media about Jordan's new young King and Queen and their country. Through that coverage I learned about the problem of honour killings in Jordan, that QR had taken that issue on; about the political situation that Jordan found itself in being right in the middle of a volatile region. I remember the documentary Katie Couric did about Jordan, with the king and queen she went around the various sights in the country, including Petra, showing everyone what an ancient land their little kingdom was. From their palace KA and QR showed Katie how they could see the borders of Israel, Palestine and other ME nations right from their doorstep. And now I see what a perfect metaphor that was for how Jordan is surrounded by such instability. Until now many of us hadnt realized what an anamoly Jordan was in the ME, staying relatively peaceful and unscathed from all the violence that surrounds them. Now that violence is inside the country.

And then I saw KA and QR in the media once again, after September 11, 2001. They were the first in their region to visit the US after the attacks. I remember seeing Queen Rania on Larry King, on Oprah and other media, condemning the attacks and talking about Islam. It was so important and heartening to hear a prominent Muslim voice at that time when Muslims in the west and esp. the US were feeling so much under seige.
I have said this before, both KA and QR have a knack for speaking out and stepping up when very few do.
That is the point. There is a lot of substance out there for people to see, all they have to do is look for it instead of complaining about Rania's clothes. If someone chooses to focus only on the superficial and not the substantial, then thats their problem.
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  #22  
Old 11-12-2005, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by madonna23
no offense, but those protests don't mean a thing about the jrf's popularity in jordan. i was watching cnn and they pointed out that most jordanians are not very sympathetic to the "I love Abdullah" thing going on at the protest and in all probability, those protesters aren't either.
This is somewhat off-top but I wanted to make a few comments.
I watched something similar to what you mentioned on CNN as well.
But thats not exactly how it was put. I remember one of the reporters referring to the fact that there are Jordanians who sympathize with extremists like Zarqawi, as do others in the ME. Clearly that is NOT most Jordanians. Most Jordanians dont want their government and King to be overthrown and be replaced by an extremist theorocracy as Zarqawi wants.

I have been watching both Canadian and American media and the it has been pointed out time and again, that Zarqawi isn't happy with Jordan's pro-west stance nor is it happy with the liberal reforms that have been going on in Jordan. It was infact a CNN report that mentioned that the monarchy in Jordan has been steadily "loosening its grip" on many things which is leading to increasing modernization and that is something Zarqawi and the terrorists dont like.

So I think its very important to put everything in context and get the whole picture before reaching a conclusion about what the demonstrations mean. It is quite obvious that most Jordanians have come out to condemn these attacks passionately. I will mention another CNN report which underlined the fact that Jordan hasn't seen this level of support for the King and monarch since King Abdullah's enthronement (and I have heard the same thing in other American, Canadian, and international media)
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  #23  
Old 11-12-2005, 06:23 PM
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a reporter on cnn was asked whether or not the I love Abdullah protesters were actually reflective of reality. and the answer was no: while most if not all jordanians are unsupportive of the recent attack, they don't sympathize with his relations with the U.S. or his normalizaiton with Israel.

also, i don't think there is an either-or choice between Abdullah or Zarqawi-like people. there is a middle-ground which i think is what people seek. someone who doesn't fall to extremists but who also doesn't sell the country to the West. of course, again, we don't know for sure. maybe these people would rather have Zarqawi.

we really can't know because jordan is essentaily run by an absolute monarchy. i mean, the king appoints imams to mosques, he appoints people to parliament, he puts his picture up everywhere in Jordan. and if you happen to say that normalization with Israel or relations with the U.S. or support for the Iraq war is wrong, well, then you get locked up. and there are numberous cases of this in jordan and some are menitoned even on the internet.

Look, this is basically what I'm trying to say: the jrf may or not be good. i don't know. I can't look into their hearts or make any judgements. but don't judge them based on the protests; don't judge them based on what you see in petra; in fact, don't even judge them by what jordanians IN JORDAN say. because, in all probability, that will not be the truth but more likley a highly embellished truth.

just my two cents worth.
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Old 11-12-2005, 06:53 PM
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Ofcourse I know Jordan is an absolute monarchy. As are many countries in the Middle East. Nor would I ever judge the royal family based on Petra which, being the national news agency, has its own point-of-view.
I just think the point about the demonstrations is incorrect. Most of the Jordanians demonstrating against the attacks dont want extremism and suicide bombers in their country and for many of them KA has become a figure-head around whom they can rally, which is completely natural during such times of distress, regardless of how they feel about the King and the royal family. It is sort of like what happened after September 11 in the US, most Americans rallied around their president regardless of their points-of-view and whether they liked him or not.

King Abdullah faces the same problem that many Muslim leaders around the world who want friendly relations with the west have had to confront. I will mention Pakistan's President Musharraf for example. If he had listened to the extremists and the anti-western segment in Pakistan by not supporting the US against the campaign against Al-Qaida, Pakistan itself might be a battleground right now, it could be facing sanctions and, more dangerously, it would have become a haven for terrorist groups.
I know this is going off-topic but my point is, I dont agree with those in the Muslim world who have this notion that their leaders should always be fighting and defying the evil westerners. That is the wrong and hopeless stance to take. We need leaders that can stand up and say we have to take care of our own problems instead of blaming everyone else for it. Just because KA wants to be friendly with the West and with Israel, doesnt mean he's "selling his country."
That is such a wrong view to take.
Hopefully what has happened will make Jordanians see what a difficult position their King is in and that it is not the west that attacked them but their fellow Arabs and those who claim to be Muslim.
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Old 11-12-2005, 08:09 PM
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well, i just think the chances of that are unlikely. i mean, regardless of whether we want that to happen, there is just such a long history of bad relations with the u.s. that it is not going to just erase due to one attack. in fact, i would argue that it would make very little difference. especially with the ongoing conflict in palestine, iraq, etc. and u.s. pressure on syria and iran which many in the arab world feel is unjustified.

and while i agree that Muslim leaders should not just defy the west for no reason at all but i would think, again considering that a majority of jordanians are palestinians they would not want their leader to have such close ties with israel and the u.s. if most jordanians knew, i think, what the king does, well, they wouldn't be very happy. he's just too close to israel and on a personal level as well. i was reading how he gave ariel sharon one of his the royal arab horses so i mean, things like that, however small are not really reflective of jordanian sentiments.

---

So, just to sum it up, while it is very likley that Jordanians are now less supportive of figures like Zarqawi, that does not automatically translate into support for Abdullah or the JRF. While in the United States example, support for the ruling leader did rise after terrorist attacks, consider the Spanish example: terrorists attacked and the people out-voted the ruling government. The same can occur in Jordan with people increasingly questioning why the JRF has such close ties with the U.S. and Israel.
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  #26  
Old 11-12-2005, 08:10 PM
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Lyonnaise, I see you are hear and sorry if we have gone off topic a bit. I hope you will forgive us as this discussion is very relevant to the monarchy.
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  #27  
Old 11-12-2005, 10:01 PM
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Hopefully what has happened will make Jordanians see what a difficult position their King is in and that it is not the west that attacked them but their fellow Arabs and those who claim to be Muslim.

I agree. I think it is important for everyone everywhere to understand terrorists--supporting any cause and of any persuasion--"have more in common with one another than they do with the rest of us." (QN, 2001). I think being a ruler or consort of one in any country is a very tricky position to be in--as most are struggling to find common ground between the countries they represent and other nations--as, in order to survive and find success, they must embrace a global view. At the same time, they must also do their best to maintain the support of their people. It's a fine line to walk--and in this regard, I think Queen Rania is doing a very good job. She represents Jordan very well in the West and she certainly has emanated nothing but empathy, kindness, dignity and genuine sadness during the last few difficult days. From what I can see, her efforts are warmly received by her countrymen. As successor to Queen Noor and someone who was not "training" for the position she finds herself in now, she has had a sharp learning curve not only in Jordan but on the world stage, which loves to build people up then tear them down. Has she made some missteps? Sure. Does everyone love everything she does? I think QR would say certainly not. I continue to hold my position that this is really a defining moment for KA and QR and I can't find fault in anything they've done. If anything, I think her popularity will rise in circles where perhaps it had been wavering, e.g., the "chattering classes" of Jordan--the wealthier elements of society which dubbed her in the VF article a few years ago "the handbag queen". She's acting in a very mature and respectful and compassionate manner. She's older, wiser than when she first assumed her position. I've noticed a change in Rania since she came back from the birth of Prince Hashem. She seems re-energized, purposeful, and she's used her role in a very skillful, diplomatic manner to promote the causes she cares about--like the victims of Pakistan's earthquake, honor killings, issues surrounding the welfare of children, and now the terrorist attacks on Amman. I've watched her for the past six years now and have had some criticisms but, of late, I've been very impressed with the way she is comporting herself. I suspect what I'm seeing isn't lost on her fellow Jordanians either; it doesn't seem to be.
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2005, 10:25 PM
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madonna I understand what you're saying. There is sympathy for Palestinians and Iraqis all over the Muslim world. But that doesnt automatically translate into extremism or harsh criticism of the US. In most of the western media, Jordan is described as a moderate nation, different from many other nations in the region. Yes there are genuine grievances against the US and the west but that doesnt mean everyone is against dialogue and reconciliation, something that is very important at this time. And the Muslim world needs leaders who can be open to all sides. If I were a Jordanian and living in a region as volatile as the Middle East, I wouldnt want my government to isolate itself completely. The reality is that even if the population doesnt like it, King Abdullah is the one who has to make the difficult decisions based on Jordan’s self-interest.
I'll mention Pakistan again. The government made an important decision, based first and foremost on the country’s own self-interest, to support the Americans in their hunt for Al-Qaida terrorists. If they hadnt done that the Taliban wouldnt have been dealt a serious blow and instead of Afghanistan they'd now be freely operating in Pakistan.

The JRF's close relationship with the US or with Israel may not be popular, but it is based on Jordan's own self interest and security. Jordan is not an independently wealthy or oil-rich arab nation. It relies heavily on aid and support from the west. If that support were to disappear today, I can assure you no wealthy arab nations will be rushing to help Jordanians. I think the record on the generosity (or lack there-of) of the oil-rich sheikhs towards their fellow Arabs and Muslims is quite open.
There was a quote I heard quite recently, it went something like, "individuals have friends, nations have self-interest." I think that sums it up quite well.
I feel that the Spanish example is somewhat different. Most Spanish, like many other Europeans were opposed to the war in Iraq. They felt that the terrorist attacks in Madrid were a direct result of Spain’s participation in the Iraq war. Not wanting your soldiers to die in an American-led war that you think is unjustified is a little different from having close relations with the US.
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2005, 11:19 PM
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You are right, Humera, that nations must act in their self-interest. But there is also a question of short and long term interests (allying with the West now = good, but alliances are often temporary, and allying wtih the West for the long term may be detrimental) and I think you can also argue whether or not Jordan's alliance with the West is in the interest of ordinary Jordanians at all. Of course, we can't know yet as it is still too early but if yes, Jordan climbs out of povery and what not then maybe you can make the case that Abdullah's alliance with the West was beneficial.

But if we find out later on that Jordan's proclaimed "self-interest" was actually really only Abdullah's self-interest (you have to admit he has profited considerably by allying with the West), then I think you can make the case that the alliance was detrimental to ordinary Jordanians.

Also, there is the question of just what Jordan's self-interest is: economic success or something more value-based such as an Islam-oriented or even Arab-nationalist country . So while the JRF may feel that the economic aid that comes from the U.S. is in JOrdan's self-interest, Jordanians may feel it is not worth the price of allying with the West. They may feel that values are more important (not that economic success and values are mutually exclusive, but I'm just simplifying here).

hmmm...and we have to see if Jordan will follow the Spanish example. Jordanians may feel, for example, that relations with the US resulted in the attacks and that will give them an impetus to steer away from the US. Already, Jordanians are not very pro-American. I think polls find that 99% of Jordanians opposed to US policies. So I think it's quite possible that Jordanians may start to question why their leader is so close to the West. And maybe the attacks will provide the impetus for that, maybe not. We have to wait and see, I guess.

-----

Also, Humera, I hope you don't take this argument personally. It's nice I think to be able to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you on some points. It can open our eyes to different views. Sometimes when I speak to people who I don't agree with, I end up understanding their point of view much better and sometimes I even end up agreeing with them. So I think this sort of conversation is very benefical and enlightening and I hope you and others feel the same way.
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2005, 11:38 PM
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no im not taking this personally. I actually agree with a lot of what you've said. I just feel that everyone should have a fair chance of proving themselves. I do think that KA and QR can do a lot of good with time.
I only hope that as unpopular as the relationship with the US and Israel may be with Jordanians (esp. those of Palestinian origin) it is always good to have a way to engage in dialogue, only then can the Muslim and Arab leaders influence US policy.
This discussion reminds me of something Queen Rania said when she was on the Today show back in late May. She was talking about visiting a school for Jordanian children with Laura Bush. The school had been funded with US aid. QR said that she hoped gestures like that will show Jordanians the good side of US policy.
btw. this sort of discussion is quite familiar to me as a Canadian. We are America's closest neighbour and biggest trading partner. Canadians in general want to have friendly relations with the US but they dont like it if our government is too cosy with Washington. It also depends on who the president happens to be. Clinton was very popular here but Bush seems to be disliked by many and most Canadians disagree with his policies (ofcourse that is true internationally).
So I can only imagine how difficult it must be for and Arab leader like King Abdullah to balance both sides in this situation.
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Old 11-13-2005, 12:13 AM
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While I agree that Jordan must have a relationship with the US in order to influence US policy, this has not occurred and most likely will not; it occurs, rather, the other way around with the US influencing Jordanian domestic and foreign policy.

It IS difficult for Abdullah, I think, to maintain this relationship as it is for any leader who tries to become close to the Americans (Blair, for example). But that is Bush's fault - not Abdullah's!!
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  #32  
Old 11-14-2005, 07:53 AM
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With regards to the orginal topic, I have Jordanian firends who like her, some who don't. It's their opinion

"My point was and remains - if she wants to be noted for her work she may need to downplay her appearance, especially when she is engaged in activities related to her causes. There are many opportunities for royals to be dressed for show. Most royals are very well dressed but the clothes do not take centerstage."
Who cares what she wears to a public appearance. If she chooses to wear a Armarni suit she can and should. I've never seen any other Royal woman, apart from Rania get savaged ot the degree Rania does, for what she wears.
The only people quite so interested in her clothing are her criticis, most of the people who actually been interested in the workd she does aren't bothered.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~Humera~*~
No actually its not sad. You misunderstood what I meant. I didnt say the only way she could bring attention to her country was her wardrobe.
The coverage Im referring to was right after the death of King Hussein and after King Abdullah's enthronement. There were several reports and brief documentaries in the media about Jordan's new young King and Queen and their country. Through that coverage I learned about the problem of honour killings in Jordan, that QR had taken that issue on; about the political situation that Jordan found itself in being right in the middle of a volatile region. I remember the documentary Katie Couric did about Jordan, with the king and queen she went around the various sights in the country, including Petra, showing everyone what an ancient land their little kingdom was. From their palace KA and QR showed Katie how they could see the borders of Israel, Palestine and other ME nations right from their doorstep. And now I see what a perfect metaphor that was for how Jordan is surrounded by such instability. Until now many of us hadnt realized what an anamoly Jordan was in the ME, staying relatively peaceful and unscathed from all the violence that surrounds them. Now that violence is inside the country.

And then I saw KA and QR in the media once again, after September 11, 2001. They were the first in their region to visit the US after the attacks. I remember seeing Queen Rania on Larry King, on Oprah and other media, condemning the attacks and talking about Islam. It was so important and heartening to hear a prominent Muslim voice at that time when Muslims in the west and esp. the US were feeling so much under seige.
I have said this before, both KA and QR have a knack for speaking out and stepping up when very few do.
That is the point. There is a lot of substance out there for people to see, all they have to do is look for it instead of complaining about Rania's clothes. If someone chooses to focus only on the superficial and not the substantial, then thats their problem.
When a woman dresses to get attention for country or herself, because the only way she is getting attenion is by how she dresses not for what she stands for.Pardon me, but that sort of behavior is not only sad but degrading.(Iam not saying Rania is degrading )Once again,I applaud Rania for doing what she did right after 9/11 attacks, but does she expect a thank-you note?I know many well known successful muslim women, and none of them feel that they needed to wear a skirt and sleeves less top to fit in or send their messages across.As for focusing "only on the superficial and not the substantial," I will say what I have said before.Clothes do reflect ones inner self.
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  #34  
Old 11-14-2005, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polop
When a woman dresses to get attention for country or herself, because the only way she is getting attenion is by how she dresses not for what she stands for.Pardon me, but that sort of behavior is not only sad but degrading.
No offense but that is an opinion, not a fact, even if it may seem that way to you.
Rania has never said she uses her clothes to get attention nor has the media.
Of all the examples I gave in my post, did I mention clothes even once?
Apparently its ok for the media to talk about other royal womens' clothes but when its Rania's clothes, its because she's seeking attention.
Its the same complaint some people had about Princess Diana.
Its quite typical for well-dressed, attractive women to become a sort of lightning rod for critics who seem determined to reduce them to nothing but their clothes. No intelligent, independent and confident woman wants to be perceived that way and Im sure neither does Rania. She dresses the way she does because it is her choice.

The issue of her clothes, like Little_star said, seems to concern Rania's critics the most who either dont like what she wears or dont like the fact that she looks good in it. When the media, infact, never gives it more significance than a passing mention in a magazine about the designers she likes or something of that sort.
Every single time I have seen QR on TV, it has been to talk about Islam, the political situation in her country and in the ME in general, the peace process, terrorism, issues involving women and children etc.
I am quite familiar with the media coverage on QR over the past years and while every once in a while you'll see an article (from the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair, People etc) that'll mention her clothes (as with other royals), that is not indicative of the majority of the coverage. Ultimately most of the coverage is about the issues she's interested in, the causes she's involved in, and other things I mentioned above.

Again, no offense but your comment "does she expect a thank you note" is quite revealing to me. Did QR ask for a thank-you note?
She's doing her duty and what is expected of her. But what is wrong with people recognizing and praising that? I just dont understand those who look for the negative even in the best of intentions.
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:18 AM
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"I know many well known successful muslim women, and none of them feel that they needed to wear a skirt and sleeves less top to fit in or send their messages across.As for focusing "only on the superficial and not the substantial," I will say what I have said before.Clothes do reflect ones inner self."

Perhaps in your case they do, but my clothing usually reflects the temperature outside.
More importantly when has Rania ever said that by wearing a sleeveless top, to use your example she is "sending her message across" more effectively than any other muslim woman. More importantly there are millions of muslim women out there who dress in sleeveless tops, are they all superficial too?
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~Humera~*~
No offense but that is an opinion, not a fact, even if it may seem that way to you.
Rania has never said she uses her clothes to get attention nor has the media.
Of all the examples I gave in my post, did I mention clothes even once?
Apparently its ok for the media to talk about other royal womens' clothes but when its Rania's clothes, its because she's seeking attention.
Its the same complaint some people had about Princess Diana.
Its quite typical for well-dressed, attractive women to become a sort of lightning rod for critics who seem determined to reduce them to nothing but their clothes. No intelligent, independent and confident woman wants to be perceived that way and Im sure neither does Rania. She dresses the way she does because it is her choice.

The issue of her clothes, like Little_star said, seems to concern Rania's critics the most who either dont like what she wears or dont like the fact that she looks good in it. When the media, infact, never gives it more significance than a passing mention in a magazine about the designers she likes or something of that sort.
Every single time I have seen QR on TV, it has been to talk about Islam, the political situation in her country and in the ME in general, the peace process, terrorism, issues involving women and children etc.
I am quite familiar with the media coverage on QR over the past years and while every once in a while you'll see an article (from the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair, People etc) that'll mention her clothes (as with other royals), that is not indicative of the majority of the coverage. Ultimately most of the coverage is about the issues she's interested in, the causes she's involved in, and other things I mentioned above.

Again, no offense but your comment "does she expect a thank you note" is quite revealing to me. Did QR ask for a thank-you note?
She's doing her duty and what is expected of her. But what is wrong with people recognizing and praising that? I just dont understand those who look for the negative even in the best of intentions.
You're so right ,Humera. Rania's haters always try to look for reasons in order to denigrate her. There will be jealous women who don't like QR .
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:55 PM
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Let's not get into the jealousy thing. I think it's a tired argument. Just because someone does not like a particular royal person does not mean they are jealous. They may have their own reasons for not liking someone and I think jealousy is frankly, a cheap excuse to explain detractors.

If you dislike Rania for whatever reason, I am sure that there are more intelligent reasons than because you are jealous of her.

Just as if you like Rania, you like her for reasons beyond her nice wardrobe.
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polop
When a woman dresses to get attention for country or herself, because the only way she is getting attenion is by how she dresses not for what she stands for.Pardon me, but that sort of behavior is not only sad but degrading.(Iam not saying Rania is degrading )Once again,I applaud Rania for doing what she did right after 9/11 attacks, but does she expect a thank-you note?
i would stand by your position in the hypothetical case rania didn't do anythign else before than using clothes for well-known designers and ignoring what's on in her country. but she actually doe s alot for jordan and for many other causes outside her country. with some royals you think they are doing their jobs so that they are not critisized. however, i don't feel this with rania. if she didn't want to go she could have skipped it and let the king go, but she was there, and not only once, but twice or more.

another thing, girls... think we need to get a little bit more chilled out. none of the oppinions we are giving is wrong, but none of them is right either and the other person may feel bad because of lots of people being against it in such way.
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  #39  
Old 11-15-2005, 07:33 PM
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thats right, she didnt have to make multiple visits to the hospitals, one would've been what most people in her position would've and have done.
Just like she didnt have to go to the earthquake zone in Pakistan, or make the public service announcement for Unicef. She could've sat at home and made the appeal through the media like most other governments have done.
And these are just the most recent examples.
But I always think twice about whether I should mention something like this because I know I can expect comments like "does she expect a thank-you note?"
I mean for god's sake, if you dont like the woman or something she does, fine, but dont diminish a perfectly good gesture.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandria
Let's not get into the jealousy thing. I think it's a tired argument. Just because someone does not like a particular royal person does not mean they are jealous. They may have their own reasons for not liking someone and I think jealousy is frankly, a cheap excuse to explain detractors.

If you dislike Rania for whatever reason, I am sure that there are more intelligent reasons than because you are jealous of her.

Just as if you like Rania, you like her for reasons beyond her nice wardrobe.
Amen, sister!
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