King Abdullah, Queen Rania honored with Peacemaker Award

May 09, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department, New York) Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah were recognized by Seeds of Peace, for their commitment to promoting world peace. As Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah accepted the award on their behalf, she asserted that, "It is time to drop the rhetoric of fear, and launch a conversation of the heart – one that builds on common values, as fellow citizens of an ever-shrinking world."

 Playing on an environmental metaphor, the Queen voiced her concern for the divide between East and West. "I believe the terrain at stake is much wider than the Middle East," she said, "For I am concerned about the dark cloud of fear that is separating East from West and obscuring our ability to work through our problems together." Queen Rania, who has been speaking out about the need to increase dialogue and understanding, especially between the East and West, outlined the role that every individual has in this regard. "All of us have a responsibility to tend and nurture the soil – to ensure that when these seeds touch down, the ground is not barren and cold." Seeds of Peace recognized Their Majesties for their outstanding contribution on the global stage to peace making. "My husband and I are determined to do our part," stressed Her Majesty. Past recipients of the John Wallach Peacemaker Award have included His Majesty the late King Hussein, who was a great supporter of the organization's effort, former US President Bill Clinton, and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak. "It is especially meaningful for me, as a citizen of Jordan, to be continuing along the path set by His Majesty the late King Hussein," she said. "Poised at the crossroads of East and West, and in the cradle of humanity’s great religions, Jordanians know that intercultural respect is not an option, it is an obligation. But even more, for us, it is an opportunity to become our own best selves, by opening our minds and hearts to the rich diversity of humankind. We are proud of our role in promoting peace – in our region, and beyond". Seeds of Peace was founded to develop and to empower young leaders from regions of conflict to work towards peace through coexistence and conflict resolution. Also being recognized this year were television newsman Ted Koppel, for his outstanding contribution to journalism, and Jane and Robert Toll, CEO of Toll Brothers Inc., for their dedication and support. "Seeds of Peace is both inspiring and humbling – for it shows us all the simple power of friendship to change the world. By giving young people the chance to get to know one another in person, instead of through the distorting lens of bitter legacies and conflict, Seeds of Peace is creating a new generation of thoughtful leaders who approach the world with open minds and empathetic eyes," said the Queen.   More about Seeds of Peace:Founded in 1993, Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. Over the last decade, Seeds of Peace has intensified its impact, dramatically increasing the number of participants, represented nations and programs. From 46 Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian teenagers in 1993, the organization still focuses on the Middle East but has expanded its programming to include young leaders from South Asia, Cyprus and the Balkans. Its leadership network now encompasses over 3,000 young people from several conflict regions. The advisory board includes: The Honorable George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States of America; The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America; Her Majesty Queen Noor; His Excellency Shimon Peres; and Dr. Sa'eb Erekat