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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Queen Rania celebrates birthday with continued focus on educating children as her life-calling

Today marks the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. In the past two years, Her Majesty has directed most of her attention towards ensuring that quality education is available to all children in Jordan and across the world.

Madrasati, “my school” in Arabic, is an all-encompassing initiative, founded by Her Majesty, that aims at rehabilitating and refurbishing the worst of public schools in Jordan, thus providing the students with a better school environment combined with increased local community involvement. Madrasati also works on providing schools with several academic and extra-curricular activities.

With work on the Madrasati phase four commencing this year, the initiative has thus far reached more than 400 public schools, 110,000 students, and 7000 teachers, with more to come.

Her Majesty’s other work in education includes the Queen Rania Teachers Academy, for teachers' training, and the Queen Rania Teachers Award which recognizes excellence in teaching, and honors outstanding teachers across the kingdom. The Royal Health Awareness Society also works on making public schools a safer and nutritious environment.

Queen Rania is also the founder of the Children’s Museum of Jordan, the largest space of its kind in the region.

Last year Her Majesty Queen Rania also delivered the 1GOAL Education Petition to UN Secretary-General, with 18 million people calling on world leaders to get every child in school. Her Majesty Co-Chaired 1Goal, a global campaign, in partnership with soccer’s governing body “FIFA”, that aims to raise awareness about the cause of an estimated 69 million children currently out of school.

Her Majesty Queen Rania came in third, following Barak Obama and Ten Downing Street in the list of most influential world leaders on the social network Twitter. The list was compiled as part of a report by the Digital Policy Council.

Labeled by many “the online Queen”, Her Majesty, has more than 1.6 million followers on the social networking site, Twitter. And that’s not where Her Majesty’s online presence ends; apart from Her website, Her Majesty has over seven hundred thousand fans on Her facebook page, as well as a very successful YouTube channel, where Her Majesty works to promote issues such as breaking stereotypes and cross cultural dialogue.

Her Majesty launched “Twisit” last year. In cooperation with Twitvid, a twitter video application site. Twisit, a “tourist swap” with a twist. Chosen by the public, the lucky winner from Jordan travelled to Seattle USA, while the American winner received an all expenses paid vacation for a week to Jordan.

Queen Rania is also the author of “The Sandwich Swap”, a children’s picture book, about embracing our cross cultural differences. The lesson learnt from the book is that one should not fear the unknown and be open to experiencing other cultures with no pre-judgment. The message comes across in a simple story of two girls, who swap very different sandwiches at their school. The Sandwich Swap topped the New York Times best sellers list for 2 consecutive weeks.

Throughout the last year, Her Majesty also continued to raise awareness and funds for Al Aman Fund and the plight of orphans across Jordan. The Fund which was founded in 2003 by the Queen works on providing orphans with education, allowance and expenses for their post secondary education. It also aims at raising awareness about the importance of orphans’ education, in order to provide them with the tools and skills to develop a career and a sustainable independent future

Last year also marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), which was founded by Her Majesty. JRF is a non-profit Jordanian non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to lift the lives of Jordanians by empowering communities, with a wide range of programs such as those that encourage job creation and child protection.

During the last year, Queen Rania received several awards and recognitions for her work and efforts in promoting the importance of education and championing women’s and children’s rights. Her Majesty received the Leadership Award at the “Women: Inspiration and Enterprise” (WIE) Symposium in New York, and the 2010 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award given by The Tech Museum as part of its international program, The Tech Awards.

Her Majesty Queen Rania was also h