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MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2009, 06:24 PM

My name. Your space.

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but we’re up and running now.I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of www.queenrania.jo.

It might have my name on it, but this is your space too. It’s a place where you can contact me directly…give me feedback… post photos… blog back…debate ideas…be part of a global campaign…suggest things for me to do and see…learn more about education…exchange information…and take action on issues we both care about it.

C’mon! What have you got to say for yourselves?

Have a look at My 5 for some inspiration…

Comments (260)
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CraigMead
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ok a joke since all this political talk gets pretty heavy...and since we ALL hate Microsoft for the bugs and crashes...and love it for the wonderful world it opened up for business, art, media and communications. In fact since the Admins here have been so gracious to allow my long-winded posts (I'd apologize but it would have to add to my text and I wouldn't be honest in doing so), what do you say I condense a couple of Microsoft Jokes - no hard feelings if they don't make the cut here and get zapped.
So Bill Gates dies in an airplane crash and is waiting at the Pearly Gates - son of a gun there's the President of GM who was on the same plane and died too. Bill said "You know, if you had installed Microsoft Windows in all your cars, you probably would have taken the car market by storm and stayed ahead of the pack." to which the GM CEO replied "We thought about it but didn't think customers would like a car that CRASHED every 2 hours." ----
Bill Gates was standing at the Pearly Gates (a common theme in Bill Gates jokes since a lot of people wish he would die a painful death - very sad - but true) and God says "You know Bill...so many people hated you down on Earth, what with your racketeering tactics, blasting out competitors with rules for anyone including your operating system on PCs, tricks you built into your OS to thwart other brands of browsers, word processors, the spying your OS does by sending customer data onto the internet (it does that by the way - my firewall stops it cold)...and then Bill.." says God "...so many people love you, for the expansion of knowledge the internet and your software has given to children, to schools, the art, the presentations, business graphics, so many wonderful things. Frankly Bill, we're not sure if we should send you to heaven or hell, so we are going to let you decide after visiting both places...what do you say?"

"Well golly gee..." says Bill "That's mighty nice of you and sure...why not...lets start the tour!" and with that Bill was transported to hell. He woke up in a blink in a saloon like the 1800s - dancing girls on stage - a great piano player playing wonderful happy music, poker tables, pizza, beer...everything Bill loved to do and eat and listen to - this was the best time he ever had in his whole life. He sat down at the poker table and made $500 in five minutes. The girls were all over him and he almost forgot where he was. He was having a blast. Suddenly ka-pooof - back to the Pearly gates and God asked "So what did you think?" and Bill replied "Not what I envisioned...that's for sure." God said "Ready for heaven?" and Bill said sure and before he could finish his word ka-pooof - he was in a quiet, peaceful garden. Folks were meditating, eating wonderful fruit from wonderful trees, angels were coming and going to Earth to go help out down there, people were laughing gently, and the harp music was very pretty indeed. Bill wondered if there was any formal dining/social place and he walked into a hall and saw all these people sitting in front of a huge banquet of food...with 3 foot chop sticks. Bill was confused - how in the heck can you eat with foot long chop sticks?!? And then he saw everyone fed the person who sat across from them at the table. It was a wonderful lesson to Bill and just as he was sort of getting used to it ka-poof - back at the Pearly Gates. God asked him "So what did you think?" and Bill said "Wow - wonderful place - so much tranquility and cooperation - really neat place you got there." And God asked "So what's it gonna be? Heaven or Hell?" and Bill, somewhat ashamed of his passion for poker and pizza, asked "So...once I decide that's it, huh? An eternity in one place or the other...is that right?" And God nodded his head "Yes...that's how it works here." And Bill said "Well golly gee, you know heaven was wonderful and everything, but, uh, well, um, I'm gonna have to choose hell because..." and before he could finish his sentence God said "Done." and ka-pooof - Bill awoke in a flaming room with skewers and spears and fire all burning and poking him - agony - horrible painful agony - for eternity. And Bill, quite upset about the situation screamed in pain "God - lord - please - what happened to the poker games, the pizza, the piano...the beer and the dancing girls...where's the Hell I visited?" And a booming voice from God delivered the answer "THAT WAS THE DEMO".

Emanajlouni
Thursday, June 17, 2010

i just wanna say...
i love queen rania soooooooooooo much

DW Duke
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hi Craig,
It is interesting that you mentioned the idea of an Israeli male and Palestinian female becoming romantically involved. You might find this book very interesting (though I am told it is a tear jerker):

http://www.publishamerica.net/product89496.html

CraigMead
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Then there's this bit of news in the AP Press today - what I call "The Bozo Patrol"...Now I absolutely, positively think Obama is 10,001% better than Bush...Obama could beat Michelle 24/7 and be better than Bush (personal opinion - hey - I live in the States so I get to say that)...BUT...any President that would allow - for any reason - for this sort of circus to continue should be slapped silly - probably by his own wife since she's the only one who could get away with it...she should absolutely smack our President on the back of the fanny (or head) and ask "Is this sort of thing going to continue? Bush was a Bozo - your popularity is falling dear...don't cha think you ought to spend the rest of your Term as President of the U.S. at least addressing Bush mistakes, and fixing things intelligently?" Michelle seems like a smart chick/first lady...do we have to send her a paddle to use on Obama's backside?

Here's the story...Mr. President...fix these things and please help us all forget the Bozo Bush years - ASAP:

American on US no-fly list stranded in Egypt

PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Jun 16, 2010

CAIRO – A Virginia man said he has been stuck in limbo in Egypt for the last six weeks, living in a cheap hotel and surviving on fast food after his name was placed on a U.S. no-fly list because of a trip to Yemen.

Yahya Wehelie, a 26-year-old Muslim who was born in Fairfax, Virginia to Somali parents, said Wednesday he spent 18 months studying in Yemen and left in early May. The U.S. has been scrutinizing citizens who study in Yemen more closely since the man who tried to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas was linked to an al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen.

Wehelie was returning to the U.S. with his brother Yusuf via Egypt on May 5 when Egyptian authorities stopped him from boarding his flight to New York. They told him the FBI wanted to speak with him.

He said he was then told by FBI agents in Egypt that his name was on a no-fly list because of people he met in Yemen and he could not board a U.S. airline or enter American airspace. His passport was canceled and a new one issued only for travel to the United States, which expires on Sept. 12. He does not have Somali citizenship.

Wehelie said his brother Yusuf was allowed to return home, but only after he was detained for three days by Egyptian police on suspicion of carrying weapon. He said his brother was shackled to a jail wall and interrogated by a man who claimed to work for the CIA. He was then dumped in the street outside the prison when he feigned illness.

Wehelie said he had no dealings with a terrorist organization while in Yemen and does not see himself as a particularly observant Muslim. He said he was studying information technology at the Lebanese International University in the capital San'a and only visited a mosque a handful of times. He said he had also studied a little Arabic.

"It's amazing how the U.S. government can do something like this," he told The Associated Press from his ramshackle hotel in downtown Cairo.

"I'm cool with all their fighting terrorism and all that, I'm cool with that. I like that, more power to them," he said in American-accented English, wearing baggy basketball shorts and a long white T-shirt.

"My home is America and I don't know why I can't go back there," he said, adding that he even suggested to the FBI to "put me ... in an airplane with a bunch of U.S. marshals or whatever, in handcuffs. Just get me back home."

While in Yemen, Wehelie married a Somali woman whose family had close ties to his own. She remains in Yemen and was to have joined him when he returned home.

His family said Wehelie was never physically abused but subjected to enormous psychological pressure and denied access to an American lawyer his family hired for him.

When he asked the FBI agents how he could return to the U.S., he said one made a reference to how "Columbus sailed the ocean blue," possibly suggesting he take a sea route.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the bureau does not comment on whether a particular person is on a watch list. While Bresson did not discuss the FBI's interest in Wehelie, he did note several recent high-profile terror plots, including an attempted car bombing and the failed Christmas Day jetliner bombing, as reminders of the need to remain vigilant.

Egyptian authorities confirmed there is a Somali-American stranded in Cairo waiting for his name to be lifted from a U.S. no-fly list.

Wehelie said the U.S. embassy is for now paying the $16 a night for his hotel, which he will one day have to reimburse, and gives him coupons to eat at U.S. fast food chains.

"I can't even eat at Hardees anymore. I ate everything they had there for like two weeks straight," he said. "Now I can't even walk in there."

He said he was eating pizza now and that his fast food diet has left him feeling unhealthy.

In a news conference Wednesday in Washington by a Muslim civil rights group, his mother Shamsa Noor said she sent her sons to Yemen to learn Arabic and get some direction in their lives and now she feels guilty for that decision.

"It is very frustrating. I feel so guilty because I'm the one who sent them there," Noor said.

The family said Yemen was a natural choice because education was relatively inexpensive and many Somali natives live there.

Wehelie's brother Yusuf also spoke at the news conference.

"What happened to me was wrong and I want to make sure it does not happen to any American citizens," he said.

Officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sponsored the news conference, said they are aware of at least two other cases where American citizens who are Muslims are similarly denied return to the United States.

CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, said the organization understands the need to question travelers and the need to protect national security. But he said the no-fly list is being used as a weapon to punish American Muslims without providing due process.

"We are very concerned that this apparent targeting of American Muslims sends a very wrong message to American Muslims that they are second-class citizens," Awad said.

Wehelie said he is having trouble sleeping and spends his days at Internet cafes and watching the World Cup in the hotel's threadbare common room.

Wehelie has no intention of returning to Yemen and cannot imagine living in another country.

"My foundation is in America," he said.

Walking through Cairo's teeming streets, Wehelie winced as he passed a fast food outlet.

"I just want a home-cooked meal, man. I miss my mom's cooking."

CraigMead
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear DW - as I said - there is no doubt to me that "Israeli and Palestinian Children can learn to love each other," despite what "some" of their parents teach - and there is no doubt that some of the parents also have friends on both sides of that equation - and there should be no doubt to anyone watching that many adults on both sides have no use or love for the other. All of that - and much of the debate or discussion you and I can have about it - or what Hillary might say - or anyone - anywhere - about that, or the Arab/Persian "quarrels" here and there, or about Morocco and the Western Saharaa - so many "conflicts" won't be resolved by talk - I don't care who is talking..dialogue is a great start - it shows INTENT (perhaps) - but not ACTION that backs it up. For example, Israel could show ACTION by announcing to the world that "ALL SHIPS THAT INTEND TO CARRY AID TO GAZA SHALL REPORT TO US FIRST - THEN WE WILL MEET THEM ENROUTE - AGREE TO HAVE PRESS THERE TO FILM/VIDEO TAPE OUR SEARCH FOR WEAPONS - a nice easy search perhaps - AND MAINTAIN OUR WATCH OVER GOODS TRANSMITTED INTO GAZA - to insure what we found - food, medicine, construction supplies etc. - ARE WHAT IS ACTUALLY IMPORTED INTO GAZA"

While not as nice as saying (and ACTING) "GAZA IS HEREBY LIBERATED AS A SOVEREIGN NATION OF PALESTINE AND WE PROMISE NOT TO ATTACK IF THEY DON'T ATTACK US." (that would be real progress) - or even better "The line demarcated by ABC LATITUDE SHALL AS OF THIS DATE BE PALESTINE...A SOVEREIGN NATION" (everyone faint now) or even better - as Italy did recently to Libya "We apologize for the atrocities we committed - here's some cash - sorry we were jerks (you were too) - lets kiss and make up".

Ok - not much, if any of these ACTS is likely - but without real action from both sides, such as Hamas saying "You know Israel - we're still pretty upset about this whole invasion/occupation/historic stuff - the way we see it - and we understand why (key point) you folks think Jerusalem should be your turf - as you probably understand our reasoning - but since you're chilling out and cutting the southern region into a sovereign nation called Palestine - tell ya what - we (HAMAS) are going to enact a law, enforced vigorously - of capturing and trying or extraditing ANYONE in Gaza who is caught conspiring to hurl rockets at your settlements - its game over for extremists here Israel - watch and see how we ACT to demonstrate our intent to enforce a peaceful existence with you in the hood." p.s. (from both parties) "Can we all get along and share Eilat? Our kids want to open a dive shop down there and we here you guys make great water craft...what do you say?"

And while completely out of the question TODAY - if both sides were serious about peace - THIS would be the type of cooperative dialogue they'd have - and if ACTIONS from both sides moved towards these common objectives (war is always expensive) then this whole conflict would be over - before summer - and would be a distant memory by New Years Eve. Wow! Imagine New Years in Eilat with Israelis and Palestinians together for the first time - with no bombings, brawls or violence. I think the entire planet would hold a moment of silence for all the strife gone by - and the promise of a lasting peace ahead.

THAT common objective, and few others - to me - would mean real progress. Talk is cheap. Our views here - while PERHAPS (barely) cause to inspire these folks to reach for these goals - in reality does little except give this site (a source for inspiration - we hope) - a lot of text, ideas, possibilities, dreams...and that's good. We should all DREAM about what is possible. How can you create a fine painting, song or sculpture if you cannot see it in your mind first?

How can Israel and Palestine form a lasting peace if they cannot both envision the cross-culture exchange?

But in the morning - when everyone wakes from the dream, its time to get up - get dressed - get out - a real day in the life of all people - time to translate dreams into actions and all the talk and hot air means nothing until both sides move towards these objectives with concrete steps, taken as quickly as possible by everyone. None of this "You show me yours, THEN I will show you mine." Both sides should be SPRINTING to resolving this crisis once and for all.

Unfortunately - having worked in Gang Warfare Mediation - and still do in my labs for inner-city kids - when two sides mistrust each other, no one is ready to sprint to peace. You can't show up at the peace table with a handgun in your sock. You can't show up to a peace table with a rocket aimed at your neighbor's school. You can't show up at a peace table while your military is refusing to allow food and medical supplies into an impoverished area - and you can't show up at a peace table and then go home that night and tell your kids to join an Army who's main objective is to hate the other side of the table...

In law, they call it ACTING IN GOOD FAITH - according to the common objectives both sides share. So...early in this process, some common objectives must be established - or there will be no progress.

ONE objective (I think...I dunno...) is that no Israeli child will ever again feel unsafe in Palestine territory/the Nation, and no Palestinian will ever again feel unsafe on any Israeli street, sitting on a curb near a church, Christian, Jewish or otherwise...let the early objectives be the most clear about the "atmosphere of trust and cooperation" that needs to be created.

Subsequent objectives have to incorporate the needs of the other for peace and security and prosperity...and sovereign territory. If Israel cannot bring itself to provide Palestinians with their own land...if Zionists believe "they will rule the world after some big WW-III battle" (delusional thinking always looks good on paper), or if Muslims think that 100 - 500 years of pressure on Israel is going to make them go away (wishful thinking is always a good way to sit back and relax instead of working towards a more realistic solution), then nothing will get done. They have to get rid of delusions and wishful thinking and work with realistic OBJECTIVES that are good for the kids of both sides...kids first...and darn near anything that's good for ALL THE KIDS will probably work out to be pretty good for MOST of the adults too.

The hardliners of either side - like the KKK in America - and the extreme Black Panther style African Americans - need to get a life. The entire NATION of both sides suffer when these "unenlightened individuals" gain any power or voice that anyone is listening to. These type of individuals - whether in Israel, Palestine, Iran, China, America, England, Spain...name the place...lead nations, religions, cultures and sometimes entire civilizations to ruin. Hate just doesn't work well with enlightened species. War is NOT a sustainable practice...or as I learned in East L.A. if you tell everyone YOU are the big dog on the block and push your weight around long enough...one day a bigger dog comes along and eats you....not maybe...its guaranteed.

Another way to remember this - besides the Bible quote that "the meek shall inherit the Earth" - (?does Koran have a similar message?) is to recall that as the Dinosaurs became extinct - the tiny mammals - the ones that hid well - did in fact, inherit the Earth...not the big warriors that required lots of energy (vegetation) and space...tight, small, compact, low maintenance - is the most sustainable model. War is expensive...or as the Chinese say "There is no victor in war, because the winner must still clean the battlefield." and as the Romans found out when attempting to conquer the Welsh - which never really worked out - they must eventually integrate with the locals and suddenly they are no longer Romans - they ARE Welsh.

Put another way: an Israeli boy and a Palestinian girl fall in love - and get married (don't faint) - they are cast out of both churches... who is right? The churches for practicing prejudice and old, unenlightened ways - or the two who made peace and fell in love? This is an IQ test that has a far different answer today then it did 50 years ago...perhaps even 10 years ago...perhaps even today this question alone could inflame a debate.

A white guy in America marries a black chick...who is right? The white people who can't stand having "that girl" at their dinner table? The black family that can't forget all the injustice their grandfather (and father - and brother) endured at the hands of the white neighbors...or the new husband and wife who made their peace, found their love and are making happy, healthy, children who bring NO prejudice to the new world?

These "evolutions" of enlightenment can't drag on in this day and age. Things are happening very fast in the global village we all share...and if governments, banking centers, oil companies, religions, and people...don't get with the program and realize we are all ONE SPECIES that all face some pretty catastrophic global problems...if we don't all get on the same side and solve these problems together...it won't matter who's Religious text is right or wrong...who's claim to land is right or wrong...nothing really matters when everyone is starving, short on water and fuel, gasping for air in polluted cities, and enduring lack of building materials and resources to build any new homes, let alone hospitals and libraries.

If people everywhere don't get a grip on their hatred and toss those unenlightened ideas out the window, there is little hope for humanity.

And if we CAN learn these lessons and ACT by applying them with speed, vigor, good faith and an attitude of "I will be more charitable than you - betcha a sandwich I will..." if that is how we treat our neighbors, then there is nothing our species cannot overcome.

(my two cents)

Abidi
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear Queen Rania,
The existing education delivery system is not meeting the needs and aspirations of the society as such particularly, it is a challenge to the provinces and districts for the 21st century. Moreover, prior to devolution, the policy and planning have been undertaken by the central and provincial governments without taking into account the ground realities and without the participation of community. The main objectives of the devolution plan is to empower the community at the grassroots level in planning, management, resource mobilization and utilization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the education system to improve the service delivery at that level. The main inherent issues of education systems are: teachers absenteeism, high drop out rates particularly at primary level, high repetition rates, low completion rates, inequalities by gender, location and social groups, low literacy rate and unsatisfactory performance of schools, these issues have been addressed for 60 years in Pakistani Parliament for empowerment of local communities but no actions taken, The Govt. passes the budget for looting the treasury. I wish you read this and give some attention. Step in and see your self the Education system here in Pakistan.

Regards,
Your Admirer
Misam

hebayousef
Monday, June 14, 2010

Dear Queen Rania,
I'm Heba Yousef from Jordan,
First I really want to thank you for all the great things you've done to our kingdom.
You are truly trying your best to do the best to us, and you are a lovable person.
I only want to know one thing that might help me, is your majesty going to give the Jordanian citizenship for children who are Palestinian,and their parents are divorced,and the mother is Jordanian, or this wont happen, because I've heard that many times, but it is hard for the Palestinian to have any details, I don't know why. It would be a very kind from you to answer my question with yes or no, just because i'm worried about my daughter, and no one can answer this question except you. I'll be grateful if you respond my question.

with Maximum Respect to your Majesty
Heba Yousef

DW Duke
Sunday, June 13, 2010

This is one of most ingenious and passive responses to agression that I have seen in a long time. I thought you would love this. An artist in Israel is taking Kassam Rockets that are fired into Israel and making them into roses. The proceeds are then used to building bomb shelters to protect against Kassam Rockets that are fired into Israel.

http://www.rocketsintoroses.com/products.html

That is turning lemons into lemonaide. :)

DW Duke
Friday, June 11, 2010

Nazanin's very powerful human rights anthem "Someday." A story about her childhood and hope for the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wYPA02mheI

DW Duke
Thursday, June 10, 2010

This morning I saw Queen Rania's tweet wherein she mentioned the World Cup and it reminded me of one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, "Invictus." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/movies/11invictus.html

Invictus was about the new government after aparthied when Nelson Mendela was elected the first black president. Played by Morgan Freeman(one of my favorite actors of all time) he surprised everyone with his compassion and understanding. Apartheid supporters were expecting "payback" and that they would all be fired or worse. Instead, he said "We need you now more than ever." Like Ghandi (and as I believe history will portray Queen Rania and King Abdullah) he had the ability to look beyond differences and forgive injustices not only against his people but against him and his family personally. It was a great movie.

I am reminded of the Cold War when so many people in the US were saying that the US should use nuclear weapons against the USSR and "get it over with." Now that the nation has opened up so many people are ashamed and saddened to realize that they used to say that but now they see that some of the nicest people and best friends today are Russian. They would have been killed had the US p