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Josefine 10-29-2003 09:32 AM

Interviews, Speeches and TV appearances of the King and Queen

I don´t know the date for this

Oprah: You were recently here in New York, and as I understand it, you went to Ground Zero with Mayor Giuliani. What was that like?

Queen Rania: I think for the past couple of weeks we've all been struggling with what happened on September 11, trying to understand it, trying to make sense of it. We've all been glued to our televisions trying to comprehend what happened. It really made a difference to me when I was actually there, when I went to Washington and New York, and visited some of the family centers.

I had the opportunity to speak to some of the families of the victims, some of the children who have been orphaned and some of the workers who had been working day in and day out. I began to really understand and appreciate the enormity of the tragedy, and the extent of it, and just how many people were affected by it. It was very, very difficult for me, but I was very inspired by the resolve and the strength of the people that I saw.

Oprah: I've heard you say that as we attempt to fight this war against terrorism, whether it is militarily, diplomatically, through other resources, that this is an opportunity for the United States to perhaps reach out to other disenfranchised countries. Is that true?

Queen Rania: Absolutely. I think that this is a new chapter in human dialogue between the United States and the rest of the world and between countries all over the world. For the first time in history, we all have a combined objective. We all have this common enemy, terrorism. We all need to draw our resources together and fight the common war, each [country] in its own area of expertise, whether it's through intelligence, militarily or economically. It's very important that we all come together on this issue and really fight this war together.

Oprah: When this first happened on September 11, I think it came as a shock to so many of us that other people in the world hated us so much. Can you help explain that to us?

Queen Rania: I think it's very important that you realize that for the majority of Muslims, they do not hate Americans. They do not hate the American way of life. In fact, many countries look at the American model as one that needs to be replicated, one that they aspire to achieve.

We are talking about a minority of people who feel that they have been unjustly treated by the United States. Some of them feel that U.S. foreign policy might have been partial and not completely fair to all parties involved, and they wanted their voice to be heard. Unfortunately, the means that they have used are ones that are condemned all over the Arab world.

We do not approve of these terrorist acts or any gruesome activities like the ones we saw on September 11. The American people have to realize that the whole world is with them, they feel with them. They are not hated by the rest of the world. Some people feel unfairly treated, but I think that dialogue is the way to understand each other and to reach out to each other.

Oprah: What we're trying to do on this show today is to bring about an understanding of what it's like to be Muslim in the world, and what is Islam. I think there's a lot of confusion. You're very westernized, and then we see women wearing the hoods, the burqas and the hijabs. What makes one acceptable, and the other not? Are you accepted in your country not wearing the scarves? What does the scarf represent?

Queen Rania: I'd really like to commend you for having Islam as the subject of your show. I think this is the right time to reach out and have this open, ongoing dialogue about different religions.

[Just] like in Christianity, there are different interpretations of Islam, and there are different degrees of conservatism. It's a personal choice. Some people are more conservative than others. The important thing is the spirit of Islam. That is all about tolerance, about doing good, diversity, quality, and human dignity.

The fact that Islam is very tolerant means that it doesn't impose anything on other people. You are supposed to behave in a certain way, or dress in a certain way out of conviction, not because somebody imposes their own ideology on you. I believe one's relationship with God, and how one chooses to practice religion, is an intensely personal choice.

Oprah: So you as an individual choose whether or not you want to be robed or not robed, or wear your head covered or not? That's not imposed upon you by your religion?

Queen Rania: In our country, that is what we believe. We give women the choice to wear the headscarf or not. It's a personal choice. As I said, it is not the state that is supposed to impose on individuals what they believe in. That is their own personal choice.

Oprah: Are you a practicing Muslim?

Queen Rania: Yes, very much so. Muslims are required to pray five times a day. We fast the holy month of Ramadan, which is, I guess, equivalent to Lent in Christianity. We are meant to give to charity. Once in our lifetime, we have to make a pilgrimage to the holy site of Mecca. These are the basic principles and practices of Islam. But more importantly, Islam is about spiritual fulfillment, about morals, about trying to purify your soul. That is something that has to be very much emphasized.

Oprah: What is life like for Muslim women in Jordan? I think we all have a misinterpretation that the women wearing the robes are dominated by men, that the women don't have a voice of their own. Is any part of that true?

Queen Rania: In Jordan, women lead a very free life. We find the level of education for men and women in Jordan is equal. We have women who participate in the business sector, in government, in the armed forces, in the police force, women judges. They're very much free to choose what kind of life they want to lead. The lives that they lead here are very similar to those that you see in other countries in the world.

That is not to say that they don't have challenges, but I think that the challenges that women face in Jordan are very similar to those that you see in other countries in the world, particularly developing countries. The obstacles that they face are more social or cultural hindrances. Women in our part of the world have to be encouraged to be more confident, to voice their concerns, to fight for their legal rights, and to do what the women in the States and in Europe did: try to gain their rights by voicing their concerns and fighting for them.

Oprah: One of the things that we have been horrified by in the U.S., and I've actually done several shows about here, are honor killings. I know you have campaigned against honor killings, the Jordanian parliament however, as I understand it, has rejected laws that would treat those crimes as seriously as other homicides. Where does that stand now?

Queen Rania: It's very important for me to clarify that honor kilings are not in any way condoned or accepted in Islam. They are, in fact, un-Islamic. These are more cultural and social aspects that we have to deal with here.

What we're looking to do here in Jordan, and our voices have been heard and many people have been rallying, is to try to explain the whole issue of honor killings, and to try to explain where Islam stands [on] this issue. Once we have this open dialogue and we reach to the grassroots where people can understand this issue, we are hoping through democratic process to change these laws that we have in Jordan.

The problem was the fact that people didn't understand what honor killings were and how often they were happening and all the dimensions of the issue. We need more public awareness about the issue and that's what we're doing right now. It's only a matter of time before these laws that you're referring to are going to be changed.

Oprah: Newsweek magazine reported that there are some Muslim fundamentalists that see you as a threat. They've said, 'She is attacking our ancient values, tearing at our social fabrics as a member of our moderate Muslim brotherhood.' How do you respond to that?

Queen Rania: You find fundamentalists and extremism in every religion and these are the people on the fringes. They are expressing their own point of view, a personal point of view. I believe in what I am doing. It's my personal choice. I feel that people of my country accept me the way that I am, and I hope the rest of the world will see it that way. I cannot really answer to these kinds of things because everybody is entitled to his own opinion.

Oprah: Do you feel that you represent a large portion of the Arab world in terms of women being progressive, forward-looking, being smart, thinking for themselves?

Queen Rania: There is a large portion of women who are like that. As I said earlier, I think that the challenges that women face in our part of the world are more related to some social and cultural constraints. These are the issues that we need to deal with. Religion provides equality for women. Islam views women as full and equal partners to men, so [women's] rights are guaranteed by Islam. It's up to us to try to make use of these rights, to try to voice our concerns and make sure that we achieve our full rights.

Oprah: So anything that we see that doesn't represent what you're saying is a distortion of Islam, correct?

Queen Rania: Absolutely. I think that is what extremism is. Extremists are on the fringes of religion. By nature, Islam and the Qur'an, which is the holy book in our religion, came to apply to humankind at any point in history, which means it is open to interpretation. I feel that a lot of these extremists have taken this as a way to justify and to twist the facts in Islam to justify their own actions and their own beliefs, and in many cases to fulfill their own political agendas.

Oprah: I thank you so much for being here to clarify and to bring about a greater understanding of what Islam means and what it's like to be a Muslim woman. Thank you so much, your majesty.

Queen Rania: Not at all. Thank you, Oprah.

Josefine 10-29-2003 09:34 AM

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The new queen of Jordan is young, tall, beautiful, smart, and determined to right the wrongs of her country.

Queen Rania's coronation was never supposed to occur. When, at age 22, Rania Al-Yasin married Prince Abdullah of Jordan — King Hussein's eldest son by a wife he had divorced years before — her new husband was simply one prince among many. Rania was a commoner, from a Palestinian refugee family, no less. Her husband's father was on the throne with his fourth wife, American-born Lisa Halaby, known as Queen Noor, beside him. Hussein's dull and courtly brother, Hassan, was crown prince.

During the six years between their marriage and King Hussein's death in 1999, Rania and Abdullah were just attractive young royals about Amman, Jordan's capital. They were peripheral to local gossip, not particularly notable except for the fact that Abdullah, an army man who loves flying and driving fast cars, had stopped his fabled womanizing, and Rania was very, very pretty. And now they were very, very married. Almost a year to the day after their wedding, their first child, whom they named for his grandfather, was born. King Hussein loved baby Hussein, eldest son of his eldest son.

On his deathbed, King Hussein switched the long-accepted line of dynastic succession, bypassing Hassan and making Abdullah crown prince instead. Two weeks later, the king was dead and Abdullah, who had just turned 37, became the new king.

"It was a big shock to me," says Rania, opening her wide eyes wider. "First of all, to lose the king, whom we all loved so much. And then, the other thing." Hussein's death at the age of 63 and the new succession came as shocks to all of Jordan, but people gathered happily in the streets for the coronation of the young, vital king, and camels bearing high-ranking soldiers bowed to their knees for him. The elegant new queen was correctly restrained yet charming and welcoming. She looked like a royal Arab fantasy in her traditional embroidered dress. (Although Queen Noor retained her title, it is now more of an affectionate honorific than an official designation. Noor's son, Prince Hamzah, is next in line to the throne—a line of succession that could change as Prince Hussein matures.)

Two years later Queen Rania has traveled the planet, from small villages in Kosovo to Washington, D.C. She has met with some of the world's most important people.

"You think it is like a fairy tale," she says today, sitting in a plush suite in a Washington hotel. "It sounds like a fairy tale." She recrosses her long legs and adjusts the collar of her blouse. "But in fact, it is not a fairy tale." Rania shakes her head. Her thick, long, honey-brown hair tumbles around her face. "Being queen is overrated," she says. Being queen, she says, is more like running a very big and very serious business. She smiles a wide, white smile. Rania, it turns out, loves business. And she is very, very serious. —Amy Wilentz

salma 11-20-2003 03:50 AM

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Abdullah during interview

barbara_41172 02-15-2004 10:55 PM

TIME magazine (the European edition) has put Queen Rania on its recent cover as part of its look into the new generation of Arab women who are becoming prominent and speaking out about the advancement of their gender. This is the second time the Queen has been on the cover of TIME.

Here's a link with a picture of the cover and the article on Arab women:

TIME cover

This link will lead you to the article on Queen Rania herself:

Regarding Rania

The article is very informative and highly timely ;) I believe the Queen is an incredibly positive force for Good in the Middle East. Her work and influence has powerful repercussions.


Dennism 02-16-2004 12:42 AM

It is a good article and yes, she has been a good force.

sheeba 02-16-2004 05:29 AM

I thought so to. Untill I read a couple of threads in this section - her gold shoes and spending habits. it looks like she has succeeded in impressing the west and not her subjects.

madonna23 02-16-2004 12:39 PM

did you read about her very own challenger jet? i don't want to sound like i'm looking for something bad to talk about but i've never heard of a first lady having her very own jet...not even here in the states...what do you guys think? extravagence? or am i just being picky?

mizrahi_girl 02-16-2004 01:16 PM

yes! rania is very nice queen! :blush:

Jacqueline 02-16-2004 01:49 PM


Originally posted by madonna23@Feb 16th, 2004 - 4:39 pm
did you read about her very own challenger jet? i don't want to sound like i'm looking for something bad to talk about but i've never heard of a first lady having her very own jet...not even here in the states...what do you guys think? extravagence? or am i just being picky?
I never knew that she had her own jet. I have always known first ladies to fly using private planes, but not owning one. Are you sure that it is hers alone, and not one that both she and her husband use?

micas 02-16-2004 01:59 PM

Do you refering Rania?????????? :blush: :blush: :blush:
I think Rania have a personal fortune. Do you belive that she spend so much and the parlament don't do nothing?
I red that most of the dress she don't pay. Like many ladys and acretress. The designers give the dress because the"free publeicity". Do just think how many Ellie Saabd became famouse after dress Rania???
In case of England existe a especial found for pay the clothe that some member (royal famelly and wife of blair) wear when they go represent the contrie. Maibe that existe in Jordan. :flower: :flower: :flower:

Veram98 02-16-2004 02:27 PM

the jet is state property at her disposal for official duties.

madonna23 02-16-2004 02:36 PM

it said in the article that it was ordered specifically for her...i.e. it is her

barbara_41172 02-16-2004 10:38 PM

Small correction: this is the first time Queen Rania has appeared on the cover of TIME. The other cover I was initially thinking of is actually Newsweek.

The jet at her disposal doesn't worry me. Queen Elizabeth has planes at her disposal too. Let's not get sidetracked here. The real story is Rania and the enormous work she has done for the benefit of her Arab sisters.


pegassuss2525 02-17-2004 08:55 AM

The jet is the Royal jet. It was probably refurbished and Rania probably had a say in it.

Humera 02-17-2004 11:51 AM

Its not a bad article, though I cant help feeling that its quite full of praise for Rania, not that she doesn't deserve it for her efforts. But I think it shows a very one-sided picture of her, almost as if she's perfect and doesnt deserve some of the criticism she gets. And I dont really believe that Rania really wants to be seen that way. But I suppose she cant help the fact that the western media is so in love with her.

Humble 02-17-2004 03:12 PM


Originally posted by ~*~Humera~*~@Feb 17th, 2004 - 10:51 am
Its not a bad article, though I cant help feeling that its quite full of praise for Rania, not that she doesn't deserve it for her efforts. But I think it shows a very one-sided picture of her, almost as if she's perfect and doesnt deserve some of the criticism she gets. And I dont really believe that Rania really wants to be seen that way. But I suppose she cant help the fact that the western media is so in love with her.
And this is what she wants (to be loved by western media). It is like licking & smooching those who have more power. She is definitelty smart in this sense as she is always strategizing her moves....Besides, she gives herself roles & titles not all the Arab women official representatives have agreed upon or have been consulted before.

For me, I do not deny she is pretty. She dresses VERY WEll with no doubt..Although she connects herself to some charity projects and so on but there is no depth and she is not that considerate...This is how i feel about her. I am glad she is not my queen especially that she gives me the feelings of an opportunistic person... :yuk:

madonna23 02-17-2004 03:23 PM

well, compared to articles about her in vanity fair, vogue, etc. this one is pretty did mention that a lot of people are adverse to her extravagence.

i was also surprised at the strong tone used by king abdullah...he said that "there are boundaries (Rania) cannot cross." he became extremely defensive...obviously they are both well aware of the criticism they are receiving...and they both realize that people both in the middle east and in western countries have noticed the almost too influential role rania has come to play...

and, i think the criticism is beginning to have an influence on rania...she seems to have toned down a bit...which, i suppose, was to be expected as she has greatly perhaps my criticism of her was too harsh and she will take on a more worthy role than style icon...only time will tell. ;)

Humera 09-27-2004 11:01 PM

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This is for the Canadians out there, there will be a documentary on Jordan on the French-Canadian network RDI, I dont speak French but I'll be watching anyway:D its about Queen Rania I believe, here's a description

20 h
Grands Reportages
Le roi et la reine de Jordanie - Un portrait de Rania et de Abdullah, le roi et la reine de Jordanie, ce pays du Moyen-Orient, sans ressource naturelle, voisin de l'Irak, de la Syrie, de l'Arabie Saoudite, et d'Israël. Ce jeune couple moderne essaie d'insufler un vent de dynamisme à la Jordanie, un des plus occidentalisé du Moyen-Orient. BBC
Du lundi au vendredi.
Rediffusion à 1 h.

here's some pics from the documentary I just watched.
I have tons more but I only have time to post a couple right now.

Banadoora 09-29-2004 05:06 AM

Humera, was she speaking in French? Or was she dubbed?

Humera 09-29-2004 06:02 AM

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Originally Posted by Banadoora
Humera, was she speaking in French? Or was she dubbed?

No it was actually a BBC Documentary in English, dubbed in French
I dont believe Rania speaks French

Some more pics from the documentary

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