Queen Rania discusses the successes of her YouTube channel devoted to breaking down stereotypes of the Arab and Muslim worlds

July 27, 2009

(Jordan Times - Amman) BBC programme highlights Queen’s YouTube channel successes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Saturday aired a special programme on Her Majesty Queen Rania and her YouTube channel, which seeks to challenge and address misconceptions of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The programme, titled, “Queen Rania: The YouTube Queen”, highlighted the Queen’s achievements and carried an interview with Her Majesty in which she expressed hope that her channel could serve as a means to communicate with people from across the world.
“I’m hoping that this will really become a channel of communication and hopefully one of many between East and West, because I really think that our world is very much in dire need of that,” the Queen told the programme anchor.
“You know, recently we’ve seen the tensions really become very strong between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the West. I do feel that our world is in a bit of a crisis at the moment; violence has overtaken dialogue and compassion has lost out to a combination of anger and bias. All have led to inflame the tensions between East and West,” the Queen added.
During the interview, the Queen talked about her role in promoting dialogue and understanding between East and West.
“It is not something that I had planned to do, but particularly after 9/11 I was always asked: Why do your people do this? Or, why do your people think that? Or, why do your people dislike us? And I found myself very much in the position where I had to defend or try to dismantle stereotypes,” she explained.
“When you are in the public eye, invariably you will have some kind of filters along the way,” she said.
“So, the information that gets to you is sometimes, you know, manipulated in one way or the other, but communicating via the Internet or a channel like YouTube means that you are getting the raw and honest information. You are kind of exposing yourself, you’re throwing yourself into the thick of things, you’re taking bullets from both sides but at the end of the day, it’s been a steep learning curve and a very enlightening experience for me,” the Queen told the BBC.
She added that her recent video on her YouTube channel affirms that terrorism affects all people, regardless of their origin or religion.
“Terrorism affects all of us regardless if they were from the East or West, whether they were Christians or Muslims. For example, Jordan was itself a victim of terrorist attacks three years ago when we had three bombs go off in three different hotels. We lost 60 people as a result and, you know, the psychological scars are still here and people are still feeling it,” she noted.
Referring to the dialogue on women and their choices in the Arab and the Muslim worlds, she said: “It was a video to try to showcase the different roles that women play, to showcase our talents in Jordan and to really celebrate their successes.”
The video also illustrated women’s success stories in Jordan, but in her interview the Queen explained that it did not represent all women.
“I don’t think that any one video can be representative of all women because women in Jordan are very diverse,” the Queen said.
“It’s part of my job to try to really spotlight the achievements and successes of these women because they’re very quietly and proudly eroding some of the negative cultural stereotypes,” she added.
The programme will be aired again today at 12:10am, 7:10am, 3:10pm and 7:10pm GMT on BBC World.
The dialogue on stereotypes over Her Majesty’s YouTube channel, which was launched earlier in March, will continue until International Youth Day, observed on August 12.