Queen Rania Chairs Meeting of the Higher National Committee for Amman Culture Capital of the Arab World for the Year 2002

March 18, 2001

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania chaired a meeting of the Higher National Committee for Amman Culture Capital of the Arab World for the Year 2002, in which the proposed activities and programs of the one-year event were discussed.

Queen Rania, who heads the Higher Committee, was briefed on the work done in preparation for the cultural event and approved some of the programs, which include special activities for children.

The Higher Committee aims to showcase Jordan's rich cultural heritage on the regional and global levels, to boost the Kingdom's cultural movement, to exchange cultural activities between Jordan and other Arab countries, and to include national institutions in highlighting the country's cultural life.

Amman was chosen as the Culture Capital of the Arab World for the Year 2002 by UNESCO two years ago during the Arab Cultural Ministers Meeting, held in Sharjah. Several other Arab capitals have hosted this annual event including Beirut, Cairo, Tunis and Sharjah.

The Queen had met with approximately 40 Jordanian artists, painters, poets, writers musicians, media representatives, as well as film director and producers last year to listen to their views and suggestions of the experts on their visions for the event.

The Higher Committee, which was established following the brainstorming session with the Queen, built upon the recommendations of the experts. Earlier on Sunday, the Queen had met with representatives of the Arab Network for Open and Distance Learning, which seeks to meet the growing demand of young Arabs to continue their higher education, irrespective of their geographic location.

The Network in particular strives to target people in remote and rural areas across the Arab World, which may have more limited access to universities and colleges.

Queen Rania is honorary president of the Network, which was established in 1996 with backing from UNESCO.

Some of the Network's tasks include providing consultation to Arab governmental and non-governmental organizations in the area of open and distance learning, supporting open and distance education research, and assisting in the support and development of individual Arab countries' institutions related to open and distance education.

The Network also encourages cooperation and joint action among institutions providing open and distance education services in Arab countries.

During the meeting, the Queen was briefed about the Network's efforts to establish an Information Center that would link existing and future Arab open and distance universities, institutions and networks.