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Thursday, June 1, 2000

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visits the Community Development Center in the Bronx in New York

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah paid a visit to The Point Community Development Center on Tuesday, a non-profit facility in the Bronx, New York, dedicated to the economic and cultural development of youth.

Queen Rania, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Princess Aisha and Princess Zein, began her visit with a meeting with senior staff members of The Point, and one if its main backers, Variety, a principal childrenÕs charity organization in New York.

The Queen then watched an improvisational play by 15 children, and took part in a photography session, as well as a children's silk-scarf making class.

The Point's Community Development Center aims to stimulate culture and enterprise among the residents of the community by encouraging self-investment, particularly among youth considered most at risk; those between the ages of 14-21.

The Point operates programs under the themes of 'arts' and 'enterprise.' It also publishes a monthly newspaper entitled "On Point."

Under the 'enterprise' programs, The Point offers the Youth Economic Development Initiative, which provides technical assistance and space to youth seeking to start their own businesses. The scarf-making project visited by the Queen is one of such youth-operated businesses.

Also operated under the 'enterprise' program of The Point is The Hunts Point Re-Envisioning Project, a community planning and revitalization initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of life in the Hunts Point Community.

The project, which also seeks to promote environmentally sound development, employs youth between the ages of 16-21 who document and report on environmental abuses.

Some of the Point's arts programs include a photography project operated in partnership with the International Center of Photography, offering daily classes to youngsters and adults in black and white photography.

The Point also offers "The Neighborhood Internet Center," which provide daily training in website design, computer graphics and Internet browsing.

Also offered by the Center is a weekly training program in video production and editing as well as daily instruction in modern dance, flamenco, martial arts, and aerobics.

Also offered to the children of the Bronx is an annual ten-day camp.

During the visit, the Queen and representatives of The Point discussed the possibility of bringing Jordanian children to the summer camp, while sending some of the Bronx's children to Jordan.

Variety's New York chapter, one of The Point's main backers, was founded in 1948 with the aim of raising funds and promoting projects for the care and support of disadvantaged, physically challenged and needy children.

Variety is an international children's organization founded in 1927, and has several branches across the world. In addition to Variety,

The Point is also funded by the New York City Environmental Justice, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York City Department of Health, among others.