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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Human Rights Day

Queen Rania joins students nationwide to mark Human Rights Day

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) With 1.4 million students in the Kingdom’s schools taking half an hour off their schedule to mark Human Rights Day, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah reaffirmed her commitment to human rights underlining the significance of cherishing the values of equality, respect for human rights and cooperation in society.

As she joined students to read and discuss the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Al-Kamalieh Girls’ High School in Sweileh, Queen Rania engaged in a lively dialogue with students about the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights touching upon issues of equality, women’s rights, as well as humanitarian and family values all of which are basic principles of the teachings of Islam.

Queen Rania underlined the need for public awareness on human rights in order to spread these values noting that His Majesty King Abdullah in his Speech from the Throne had outlined his vision for Jordan highlighting the need to “consecrate a society of collaboration and cooperation, built upon a solid foundation of justice, equality, equal opportunities, and respect for human rights, through the adoption of the principles of integrity and transparency in all the areas of work and production.”

Responding to the call by the United Nations upon all member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and to cause it to be disseminated principally in schools and other educational institutions, Queen Rania read different articles of the declaration and discussed the themes and ideas which include “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” In a speech last week addressing the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Queen Rania had stressed “The right to human dignity is non-negotiable.

The world’s great faiths and philosophies all draw strength from the same core belief that dignity is intrinsic to humankind as a universal birthright.” At Wednesday’s celebration of Human Rights Day, the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ahmad Hlayyel announced the launching of Queen Rania’s initiative for an annual nation-wide essay competition commemorating Human Rights Day in the Kingdom with this year’s theme being human dignity.

He noted that Islam emphasizes human dignity for all without discrimination in relation to gender, race or religion. Minister of Education Khaled Touqan briefed students on the importance of understanding human rights values and the need and worth of integrating them in their curricula.

Among the many activities of the day, the National Theater in Education Group of the Performing Arts Center presented a show that tackles the issue of human rights and child labor in a very lively and interactive manner.

Queen Rania, an advocate of human