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Thursday, February 22, 2001

Queen Rania takes students to France

Queen Rania begins two-day working trip to France with six Jordanian students

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Paris) Accompanied by six Jordanian high school students, Her Majesty Queen Rania began a two-day working visit to France aimed at enhancing cultural and educational ties between Jordan and the French Republic.
 
 The 14-16 year old students who are learning the French language as part of their high school education in public schools across Jordan, accompanied the Queen on a visit to La Cite Des Sciences, one of the largest and most visited science and technology museums in the world.
 
The students, who come from public schools in Amman, Zarqa, Jerash, and Salt, were chosen to accompany the Queen on the educational and cultural trip to provide them with an opportunity to see and experience French culture firsthand.
 
The students visit also aims to get the French public further acquainted with Arab and Jordanian traditions and culture. The students toured La Cite, which includes sections on communication, space exploration, computers, and environment, while the Queen was briefed about the Museum, which was established in 1986 and attracts approximately 3.5 million visitors each year.
 
Offering conferences and workshops, the Museum attracts a large number of journalists, scientists and experts to discuss the latest scientific developments.
 
La Cite also offers interactive children's activities featuring various educational activities that teach children the basics of science and technology through experimentation and direct interaction.
 
The Queen has initiated and is supervising the establishment of an interactive children's museum in Jordan, which is expected to include a "science city," modeled after La Cite Museum. Speaking during the visit, 16-year old Ayat Alwan from Salt said that she was impressed with the French desire to safeguard their culture while simultaneously striving towards modern developments.
 
She said that she believed that the Arab World holds the capability to modernize [in the same manner.] Fourteen-year old Mohammad Abu Labad from Jerash said that he was pleased to visit La Cite as it demonstrated the technological and social advances made by France, adding that he hoped to see a science city for children established in Jordan.
 
Later on Thursday, the students toured the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, while the Queen held a working lunch with the Organization's Director General Koichiro Matsuura and other high-ranking UNESCO officials.
 
During the working lunch, Queen Rania, who heads the International Jury of the UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance, and Mr. Matsuura discussed means to promote reading among parents and children.
 
The Queen also updated the Director General on the Computerization of schools across Jordan and curricula reform in the Kingdom's education system. Queen Rania had previously met with Mr. Matsuura during His Majesty King Abdullah and Her Majesty's state visit to France in November 1999.
 
Later in the day, the students visited the Latin Quarter in Paris, as well as Napoleon's Tomb, while the Queen met with French women experts in children and women's affairs.
 
The students will be accompanying the Queen to the Institute and will be visiting the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, and the Children's Public Library.