Queen Rania attends opening session of Fourth Arab Thought Conference in Dubai

05 كانون الأول 2005

(Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah- Press Department/Dubai, UAE) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah joined leading journalists and media executives from around the world at the Fourth Conference of the Arab Thought in Dubai, on Monday, affirming her confidence in the key role of the media in the region.

Queen Rania, together with His Highness Skeikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defense, UAE, attended the opening session of the conference, which included remarks by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal, President, Arab Thought Foundation; and His Excellency Amr Mousa, Secretary General, League of Arab States.

Entitled "Arab and World Media: Getting it Right", the event was organized by the Arab Thought Foundation for the fourth consecutive year.

During the two-day conference, which concludes today, delegates discussed changes in the Arab world in order to develop a deeper understanding of the region.

The highly interactive sessions raised key challenges in the region, including the role of the media in the political reform process, democracy in the Arab world, news coverage in the region, media censorship, as well as the ethical challenges facing journalists around the world.

Key speakers at the conference included His Royal Highness Alwaleed bin Talal, whose investment portfolio is strong in media and entertainment companies; Mr. Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of Orascom, the leading telecom firm in North Africa; Samia Nakhoul, the Gulf Bureau Chief for Reuters; Abdul Rahman Al Rashed General Manager of Al Arabiya; Jim Kelly, the Managing Editor of TIME Magazine; and Deborah Amos, a leading reporter for the American National Public Radio News.

On Sunday afternoon, Her Majesty also paid a visit to Dubai Media City, touring the Arabia and MBC headquarters with Sheikh Walid Al Ibrahimi and the networks' top executives.

As a firm believer in the fact that the media can be an agent of change, Queen Rania launched the Arab Media Network for Human Development, during this year's World Economic Forum in May, a regional organization based in Jordan, which aims at activating the role of the media in promoting and addressing Arab human development issues and strengthening partnerships and networks between media networks and outlets and civil society at large.

This network is an offshoot of the Arab Women's Media Campaign, which was launched by Her Majesty, together with CEO's of Arab satellite channels and opinion leaders, during her presidency of the Arab Women's Summit (2002-2004).