Tuesday, 16 February 2010

An inspired queen

What would you do if you were young, elegant and extremely beautiful - with a handsome husband in a position of power and great wealth; a huge residence; the opportunity to travel the world; four beautiful healthy children: 2 boys and 2 girls; and the ready-made adulation of many?

Most of us aren't in this position. But what does your instinct tell you? That you'd sit back and enjoy your charmed life of leisure and family? That you'd relax and enjoy life without a care? That you'd take on a few charity engagements just to justify it all? That you'd never have to work again?

How about choosing tirelessly through every medium, to improve the lives of those around you?

How about working so hard you become... UNICEF's first Eminent Advocate for Children; Co-Founder and Global Co-Chair of 1GOAL;Honorary Chairperson for the UN Girls’ Education Initiative; Chairperson for the Global Campaign for Education; Board Director of the International Youth Foundation; Board member of the World Economic Forum; Foundation Board member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders; Board director of United Nations Foundation; member of the Every Child Council for the GAVI Alliance; Honorary Member of the International Advisory Council for the International Center for Research on Women; Co-Chair of the Arab Open University; Honorary Chairperson of the Jordanian Chapter of Operation Smile.

And, you were thinking it was an effort to even read that list???!

Who are we talking about? Queen Rania of Jordan, in her own words "a mother, a wife, a boss, an advocate, and a humanitarian."

But having titles means little if you don't ACT. Queen Rania has launched a public-private initiative aimed at refurbishing Jordan’s public schools; awards for excellence in education and teachging; an interactive children's museum; a public Health Awareness Society; a Healthy Schools Project; a Scholarship Program in partnership with several leading universities from around the world; Community Empowerment Programs and Children Programs including income-generating projects;a community champion award (Ahel Al Himmeh)to highlight the accomplishments of groups and individuals who have helped their local communities.

Her Child Safety Program addresses the immediate needs of children at risk from abuse and initiated a long-term campaign to increase public awareness about violence against children. “Dar Al-Aman”, the Child Safety Center, was the first of its kind in the Arab region, offering protection and rehabilitation to abused and neglected children, as well as counselling to their families; while the Queen Rania Family and Child Center promotes positive, practical training for parents, and provides facilities to encourage constructive and educational activities for children. She initiated the Al Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans in 2003 and has also partnered with a various number of international universities providing scholarships for Jordanian students to study abroad; and at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davos, she launched the "Empowering One Million Arab Youth by 2018" campaign.

Think Public Health and Education, Educational promotion and reform, Children's and Youth initiatives (and writing children's books) are enough to keep anyone busy?! Launched by Queen Rania in May 2008, The Arab Sustainability Leadership Group (ASLG) encourages businesses to show that profit does not have to be sacrificed for the sake of environmental protection and equal opportunity. The regional network brings together the Arab World’s most progressive business, government, NGO and civil society leaders, and is the first of its kind from the region to commit to sustainability and global reporting standards.

It doesn't matter if Rania Al Abdullah has access to wealth and contacts. She still has the same 24 hours a day we have, and this is how she chooses to spend it. You see, it matters little what we have and where we come from, because we can always choose to enrich our lives and those of those around us, more and more each day. If we have much (as she has), we can always give more. If we have little, we however have our capacity to give and to contribute to someone, somewhere.

"No matter where we come from… what we look like… how we dress… or to whom we pray… when it comes to what makes us laugh or cry… when it comes to what we dream of for ourselves and for our children… when it comes to how hard we work each day… we are usually more alike than we are different."
(An extract from a keynote address given to Harvard University by Queen Rania Al Abdullah, May 3, 2007).

Oh... and... she's on facebook and twitter and youtube!

Want to leave your mark on the world? Take Rania as a role model and never rest on your laurels! Oh, and by the way, on Twitter Rania calls herself: "A mum and a wife with a really cool day job..."


  1. That's some inspirational, fired-up posting, Mrs!

  2. I heard her interviewed on NPR a few weeks ago and was stunned at how accessible, articulate, and inspiring she was. She's an absolutely astonishing person, and I think the world would be a better place if we would all borrow a page from her playbook.

    I had no idea she was on Twitter - definitely an automatic follow for me!

  3. Thanks Sarah and thanks Jess, yes, Rania is absolutely a role model for us all (certainly mine!) Thanks for your comments!

  4. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour..............................................

  5. Hi,

    I'm a MA Gender studies student at UCL in London currently writing my dissertation about the relationship between feminism and the role of the housewife. I am planning on interviewing stay at home mums and housewives about their views on feminism, motherhood and their experiences of staying at home. I recently came across your blog and find it very interesting! I would love to speak to you about the topics outlined above and was wondering whether you would kindly be able to participate in a short interview at the end of May or beginning of June? (Your identity would of course be completely anonymous).

    My email address is: sofia_carlson@hotmail.com

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Kind regards,

    Sofia Carlson

  6. It absolutely does matter that she has access to wealth and contacts. While I'm sure she is a fine person, I too could perform world-changing work on the same scale if I could afford, among other things, to pay for household management, including but not limited to shopping, errands, childcare, laundry, cooking, cleaning, maintenance, yardwork, etc. Given her wealth and privilege regarding how she can spend her time, I find her only marginally inspirational and certainly not astonishing. While I do think she should be praised for her accomplishments, I also think that they should be viewed from a realistic perspective. She doesn't simply have the "same 24 hours" as the rest of us.

  7. Hello: I was just wondering if you were still around. Blessings and Bear hugs.