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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Queen addresses AUB's 8th annual conference on global education

Queen Rania highlights importance of humanizing education in address at Lebanese American University

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - BEIRUT) On a one-day working visit to Lebanon, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah highlighted the importance that both Jordan and Lebanon place on long-term investment in their citizens.

"Lebanon and Jordan have long believed in human capital investment. Indeed, we both share the realization that a nation's competitive edge depends on the cumulative skills of its citizens," the Queen said in a keynote speech at the Lebanese American University in Beirut.

Speaking at the opening of the University's eighth annual conference on global education, which this year adopts the theme "Humanizing Education, Queen Rania underscored the vital role of educators in coming up with workable strategies, vision, and frameworks for systematic change. "You shoulder a great responsibility.

Your zeal, effort, and significant decisions will have a crucial impact on our future generations," the Queen said. Queen Rania also highlighted the importance of incorporating early childhood development and learning into plans for strengthening education and improving a child's overall well-being.

Sharing the Jordanian experience in early childhood development, the Queen said: "We in Jordan realize the importance of the early years, and we value the long-term economic and social benefits of investing in the formative and crucial ages of birth to 8 years."

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Nabeel Haidar, who welcomed Queen Rania to LAU, spoke of the importance of providing all children, regardless of their differences, with a quality education that "cater[s] for all."

Education, he added, "should not only address their intellect but their souls and hearts, their points of strength and their weaknesses..." Organized by the Teacher Training Institute of LAU's School of Arts and Sciences, the conference brought together Lebanese and foreign educators and experts to explore appropriate mechanisms to promote global education.

 Queen Rania's visit to LAU Friday also included a meeting with Jordanian students attending the University, where she discussed their aspirations, challenges, and future outlook.

Later in the day, the Queen attended the first high-level Arab meeting in preparation for the United Nations Special Session on Children, to be held in New York in September 2001.

 The meeting was attended by member of Parliament and Head of the Hariri Foundation Mrs. Bahia Hariri, as well as representatives from Arab governments and civil society organizations.