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Friday, February 9, 2001

Queen returns from Cairo

Queen Rania returns to Amman after 2-day working trip to Cairo

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah returned to Amman following a two-day working visit to Cairo, in which she met with Egypt's First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, as well as a number of Egyptian female officials and experts in the fields of child welfare and women's affairs.

The Queen's trip also included a visit to the Mubarak Public Library and a media and production facilities center, as well as a lunch hosted in honor of Her Majesty by Mrs. Mubarak.

Friday's lunch brought together Egypt's Minister of Environment Mrs. Nadia Makram Obeid, Minister of Social Development Mrs. Nuha Jundi, and Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt Ambassador Mushira Khattab, among others.

Queen Rania and Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak have met several times in the past year as Jordan and Egypt strive to enhance cooperation on matters related to women and children, among other issues.

The Queen had invited Ambassador Khattab to Amman in May 2000 for a two-day working visit aimed at sharing expertise and enhancing bilateral cooperation on child welfare.

Cooperation between the two countries has extended to close coordination in preparation for the upcoming United Nations Special Session for Children in New York in September, in which Jordan and Egypt will be partaking. Earlier during her trip, the Queen had delivered a speech at the American University at Cairo (AUC), on the occasion of its midyear commencement.

Speaking at the graduation, Queen Rania stressed that dynamism and creativity, in addition to hard work and dedication are the fundamental ingredients for success in the age of globalization.

"Good old-fashioned hard work and dedication remain the classic formula. But globalization has made dynamism, creativity, and world-class innovation additional prerequisites for any success story," Queen Rania said.

"Never before has a creative idea presented so many opportunities as it does today. Grasp the opportunities," Queen Rania told the audience of graduates. "Don't let the traditional constraints of geography, culture and time deter you.

As we say in Jordan, we may be a small country, but we have big ideas." Queen Rania herself is a graduate of the American University in Cairo. She completed her studies in 1991 with a degree in business administration, and a minor in psychology.

Stressing that her life consists of four main factors: faith, family, career and activism, the Queen said that her family represents an integral part of her life.

"Family is the most important benchmark that you will ever possess... I look at my parents and my husband and see all that I still need to accomplish... I look at my children and realize that my life-long achievements will inherently be dwarfed by theirs. Through them I hear familiar voices from the past and see a preview of the future."

The Queen urged the students to remain humble and to always turn to God Almighty.

"The ultimate truth is solely the possession of God... To me, this is what faith is all about. It is the comforting belief that God will always be there to guide you towards the path of betterment and fulfillment."

Referring to Her Majesty, President of the University Dr. John D. Gerhart said that the Queen "embodies all the best qualities that we seek in an AUC graduate: academic excellence, effective ability in public speaking, and a devotion to public service."

"Every one of us entered AUC with a vision, whether to be a businessman, an engineer, a physicist, a journalist, or a politician," said AUC graduate Mohammad Sayed El Kazhashy during the graduation ceremony.

"What I am sure of is that we all had one common goal, which was to succeed. The definition of success was different from one person to another, but the AUC definition was above all 'success is when reality exceeds expectation,' and what we got out of AUC exceeded our expectations."

Later in the evening, Dr. Gerhart hosted a dinner for Her Majesty, the Board of Trustees of the AUC, prominent alumni of the University, as well as members of the business community in Egypt.

Earlier on Thursday, the Queen had visited the Mubarak Public Library. Established in 1995, the library introduces a new and needed service to the Egyptian public in Greater Cairo.

It includes a children's library, an adult's library, a cafeteria, a conference room and a gallery. A public-private sector partnership with German funding, the library aims to promote reading in Egypt and the use of the library's collection, to attract new target groups as library users, and aspires to become a cultural institution.

Also targeting women and highlighting their vital role in society, the library conducts regular activities for and about women.

Presenting copies of the children's book she produced "The King's Gift," the Queen stressed the importance of spreading libraries and reading campaigns across the Arab World, as a way to combat illiteracy, complement formal education, and promote Arab culture.

During her Cairo trip, the Queen also visited the "6th of October City," a productions facility that aims to enhance investment in the field of media in Egypt.