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Sunday, September 4, 2005

Queen Rania receives the Honorary Citizenship of Milan Award, discusses Jordanian-Italian educational projects

(Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah-Press Department) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, on Saturday, was granted the Honorary Citizenship of Milan Award, in recognition for her work and social contributions on the international front.

Upon conferring Her Majesty with the Honorary Citizenship, in an official ceremony, the Mayor of Milan, Gabriele Albertini praised Queen Rania for all her efforts, particularly those “demonstrated towards universal themes, which have always taken up the plight of the most vulnerable people, including the protection of children’s rights, education and policies in favour of the young, support to children whose lives have been damaged by war and conflict”.

He we went on to say that Queen Rania’s “personal and direct engagement, within the framework of the promotion of women’s rights, freedom, growth and prosperity and through initiatives aimed at spreading economic development, culture, art and other human endeavours” are all deemed “milestones in the progress of all nations”.

The event was attended by Jordanian Ambassador to Italy, Ramez Qoussous, as well as other Middle Eastern ambassadors to Italy and other officials.

Upon receiving the award, and in her capacity as the only Arab and Muslim woman to receive the award, Queen Rania praised “Milan’s willingness to embrace different cultures and perspectives”.

Her Majesty also commended Italy for hosting the 30th Ambrosetti Conference, entitled Intelligence 2005 on the World, on Europe, on Italy, where she participated in the plenary session The World: Key Current Challenges, delivering a special address, urging the international community to utilize ‘personal intelligence’ and ‘human understanding’ in tackling the global challenges facing today’s world.

“At a time when we are dealing with turbulence in the Middle East, discord between East and West, and an impending energy crisis, institutions like Ambrosetti are invaluable,” she said. She added: “We need more people to follow Italy's example … seek solutions and drive positive change”.

Referring to Jordan’s efforts in fostering dialogue and countering the “ignorance and division” threatening today’s world, Queen Rania spoke of the Amman Message, issued last year during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which according to Her Majesty, was “intended to remind the world’s Muslims of the true tenets of our faith” and emphasizes “the Islamic values of tolerance, social equality and, above all else, respect for human life”.

Such values, the Queen went on to add, are the reason as to why Jordan and Italy share a long-standing partnership and friendship.

Citing examples of such collaborations, Queen Rania highlighted joint initiatives in the field of education.

She said: “I am especially proud of how we have worked together in the field of education…promoting exchanges, making our universities the very best they can be and establishing networks of excellence among our scholars and administrators”.

Jordanian-Italian educational co-operation was also the focus of another event attended by Queen Rania, in the cosmopolitan city, earlier on Saturday.

With the aim of promoting and strengthening ties between Jordanian and Italian institutions of higher education, Queen Rania met with representatives from the University of Pavia.

At the meeting, attended by the University’s Rector, Roberto Schmidt, and the President of the European School of Advanced Studies in Cooperation and Development at the University, Professor Gianni Vaggi, Queen Rania welcomed the idea of setting up a network of Centers for Advanced Studies in the Middle East linked to the University and discussed the prospect of establishing one in Jordan specializing in Human Rights.

She noted that this would compliment Jordan’s efforts in this field, particularly as it would like to take a leading role, and given that it is in line with the Kingdom’s efforts in the promotion of Human Rights since the establishment of the National Center for Human Rights, and in particular the prote