Queen Rania on the Middle East
Our best quotes from Jordan’s Queen Rania on the Middle East and its conflicts.
April 22, 2002
Jordan’s Queen Rania has become a highly regarded spokesperson on behalf of the Palestinian people. Of Palestinian descent, she is outspoken and educated — a vision of Muslim modernity. Observers around the world noted Queen Rania’s media skills and independence of mind. Our Read My Lips feature explores her views on globalization and the Middle East conflict.
What is the biggest challenge in working for human rights?
“Working for human rights in the developing world is not always a linear and logical process. I wish it were that straightforward.”
What role does the United States have in this?
“The whole world is looking to see that America applies the principles of justice and tolerance of human rights to all parts of the world.”
How dangerous are stereotypes?
“Stereotyping is something that baffles me. Although information is so easily accessible, we seem to know less about each other.”
What frustrates you about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
“The lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has left a deep undercurrent of cynicism in the Arab world.”
What is the solution?
“In Palestine, people have been deprived of their rights, of their freedom, of their land. So therefore the solution is not to use aggression, but rather to go to the political process to open the door for political negotiations.”
What about the role of the international community?
“We need the engagement of the international community because clearly these two sides cannot find a solution on their own.”
Why is U.S. involvement so crucial?
“The American leadership is a test here, because being the last remaining superpower, its moral authority is at stake here.”
What do you think of the Israelis government's strategy?
“Prime Minister Sharon says that these incursions are taking place in order to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism. I think it’s actually that [these incursions are] dismantling the infrastructure for peace.”
How is that?
“Do we fight terrorism by terrorizing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?”
What impact does the conflict have on the region’s children?
“We have to be very careful of the kind of effects that this is having on our children. Our children deserve better than this.”
Do you have confidence in Iraq's ability to chose a new leader?
“They’re the ones who have lived under the previous regime. They’re the ones who have suffered for 23 years during three wars — and for 12 years under economic sanctions. They’re the best people who can judge what kind of government that they would want."
Can the United States be of any assistance?
“There are very high expectations from the Iraqi people from America because they view America as a powerful country with many resources at its disposal and therefore the ability to bring about swift changes.”
Why do you and King Abdullah travel so much?
“In this global community we live in, if you don’t have your agenda on the world scene, you don’t get the attention.”
What is your husband’s view on women in society?
“He really does believe that no country can advance without the full participation of 50% of its people — meaning women.”
Finally, what is Queen Rania’s contribution to a better understanding between East and West?
“In offering up a view of Muslim modernity, she is important to the world — not just her country.”
(U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), March 2002)