11-25-2004, 05:37 PM
Why didnt QR go to Luxunburg with KA?or did she prefer to stay in paris for a shopping trip.
11-25-2004, 11:41 PM
I think QR looks much better now that she's pregnant and put on a little weight. Her face was gaunt she was so thin before.
Not loving all her outfits, but her face looks beautiful.
11-26-2004, 02:48 AM
Thought I'd post full body shots of Queen Rania from the Foreign Press Association Annual Awards. You all can look at it better...:)
I must say I liked the dress, it hid QR's pregnancy very well, its hard to guess that she's is even pregnant in that dress. The fur also hid her tummy well...
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."--P&P
11-28-2004, 10:28 PM
A sage king...
From The Sunday Times:
Comment: Michael Portillo: A sage king teaches us how to be Middle
East wise men
At the risk of making racist generalisations, why is it that
Europeans and Americans are so clumsy and unsubtle and appear to be
such galumphing oafs in diplomacy? Last week the European Union
looked foolish with its over-hasty claim to have a deal with Iran
over uranium enrichment; Javier Solana, Europe's foreign affairs
representative, seemed shifty because he could not decide whether he
had or had not met Hamas, the anti-Israeli terror group; Jack Straw,
our foreign secretary, and Colin Powell, the US secretary of state,
appeared naive as they rushed to Ramallah to back Mahmoud Abbas, also
known as Abu Mazen, the West's preferred candidate in the Palestinian
election. That has probably ruined his chances.
As I watched King Abdullah of Jordan deliver a speech in London last
Monday, I tried to imagine how that highly intelligent man keeps his
patience as his country reaps the baleful consequences of the West's
ill-informed meddling in his region.
In public the king says many things that Tony Blair and George W Bush
would love to hear. He talks of the "true Islam" characterised
by "peace, moderation and progress". But cloaked in nuances that
would go over western leaders' heads, he pleads for no interference
in Jordan as it moves in its own way towards democracy.
Any attempt to impose a process from the outside would put in
jeopardy "the sense of engagement" needed to produce success. He
mentions that there is a crisis of faith in international justice and
he might add that this stretches well beyond the Middle East.
The king defies our stereotype of Arab leaders. He speaks perfect
English, eschews pomp and formality and uses the Autocue to deliver
his speech with a professionalism that should make Bush envious. But
beneath the silky exterior I sensed that the king must be in despair
with America, which has shown little regard for Jordan's delicate
The kingdom has made peace with its neighbour Israel, but Jordanians
identify strongly with Palestinians and their cause. Saudi Arabia,
another neighbour, is involved in a struggle to the death with Al-
Qaeda. Across a third border, Iraq has been invaded by the United
States and Britain. Nonetheless, Jordan has close relations with the
coalition powers while still trying to co-exist with next-door Syria,
which Bush believes is part of the axis of evil. No wonder the
Hashemite royal family has developed subtlety, not to say cunning.
Blair must often reflect on the troubles that have come his way for
supporting Bush. His poll ratings have nose-dived. Perhaps he should
spare a thought for the Jordanian ruler who has also shown loyalty to
the White House but whose country is now surrounded by terror and
war, its population driven from its pro-western outlook to an
unprecedented level of anti-American fury.
While Blair faces metaphorical flak from his party and the media,
Jordan is subjected to all the detritus of conflict: the flow of
terrorists, gangsters, refugees and weapons across its territory. It
is now concerned about the import of scrap metal from the Iraq war,
some of it containing depleted uranium from coalition shells.
Shortly after arriving at the Pentagon as defence secretary, Donald
Rumsfeld abolished the US armed forces' peacekeeping school,
miscalculating that Americans would not be called upon for such
duties. The need to save face makes it impossible for his error to be
reversed, but some American units have been sent to a peacekeeping
school in Jordan.
The instructors there were shocked at the attitudes of the trainees.
They were aggressive towards foreigners and inclined to humiliate
citizens who they stopped to question on the street. Many soldiers
could not understand that across the world human beings hold dignity
dear; and they did not understand local taboos against, for example,
Americans sometimes ascribe their difficulties in Iraq to a gulf
between cultures. In fact some of their behaviour would be as
offensive in Chicago as in Baghdad. That may derive from military
training or from xenophobia. Perhaps the shock of finding that the
local population did not greet them with roses has devastated morale.
A recent article in Science magazine discussed why US soldiers
tortured victims in Abu Ghraib prison. It said they came to see
Iraqis as "interchangeable members" of a contemptible and alien
Rumsfeld's lack of preparedness for post-war Iraq evidently owed much
to his overreliance on Ahmed Chalabi, who led opposition to Saddam
Hussein while studying mathematics at Chicago and MIT. Accepting a
single view of Iraq from Chalabi was another example of the West's
innocence. The Bush administration now ostracises him.
Maybe influenced by Chalabi, the Americans who sketched Iraq's future
thought they were being sophisticated in planning safeguards for the
Sunni minority against the Shi'ite Muslims. Others in the region
thought that concept misconceived because it underestimated the
feelings that unite Iraqis.
Foreign ignorance has served to exacerbate divisions but fortunately
not yet disastrously. Despite the insurrection, the Shi'ites and
Sunnis have not resorted to civil war, suggesting that the Americans'
emphasis on sectarianism was wrong.
Will the Americans be any more deft in handling Iran? It is doubtful.
Rumsfeld will remain in his post because to sack him would be to
admit America's many mistakes in Iraq. Condoleezza Rice is not a
specialist in the Middle East and has visited there even less than
Powell, who has been only twice as secretary of state.
Admittedly America was right to be sceptical of the Europeans'
alleged breakthrough in winning Tehran's agreement to suspend uranium
enrichment. The EU is pathetically keen for a diplomatic success to
prove that its policy of engagement is better then Washington's
bellicosity. In this instance, Britain is in the European camp. But
for all the Arabists who populate the Foreign Office, there is little
grasp of how Iranians negotiate. Their equivocations seem to have
taken our mandarins by surprise. I recommend a crash course in
bargaining in a Tehran bazaar.
Common sense suggests that Iran is determined to get the bomb. There
is nothing it wants from America enough to give up that ambition. The
West has taught the developing world that countries that acquire
nuclear weapons win respect. We have taken India and Pakistan
seriously only since they joined the nuclear club and we have not
demanded any forfeit for their defiance in testing their devices.
Middle East sophisticates believe that when Iran goes nuclear, Bush
should grin and bear it. Iran educates its men and women to a high
standard. It is Persian as well as Shi'ite — that is, it has a
secular as well as a theocratic tradition. With Iraq in flames, maybe
Iran will offer the best hope for stable democracy — one day, if
America will stay its hand.
Israel has the most cause to feel threatened by an Iranian bomb but
it also has the capability to retaliate in kind. No government in
Tehran is going to sacrifice its cities to Israeli warheads, so the
Iranian threat is largely theoretical. The Israelis look beyond the
superficial: they share the wiliness of their Arab neighbours.
Perhaps that is why conspiracy theorists are having a field day over
the emergence of Marwan Barghouti as a possible candidate for the
Palestinian presidency. If he stands he will campaign from an Israeli
prison where he is serving five life sentences for terrorism. He has
the charisma of Che Guevara and appeals to Palestine's youth.
Abbas looks grey and is a generation older. Barghouti could emerge
from jail as a hero in the Nelson Mandela mould. He has said that
Israel is serious about ending the occupation and that he advocates
peace. Perhaps his captors have had all this planned, having
bargained with him in his cell. If so, they will make Straw and
Powell look very flat-footed.
Or maybe Ariel Sharon would prefer a Palestinian leader like Yasser
Arafat who could be dismissed as a terrorist, providing Israel with
an excuse to pull the plug on negotiations whenever it chooses.
The Middle East is so complex, the balancing acts so delicate and the
players so devious that I almost fear for Rice. The girl from Alabama
risks being an innocent abroad.
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