Queen Rania Stresses the Importance of Dialogue in Bridging the Gap Between People

June 24, 2003

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Valencia) In continuation of her ongoing efforts to encourage dialogue between women in all parts of the world, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah inaugurated the third exhibition entitled "Breaking the Barriers: Women Artists from the Islamic World" in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sofia and Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Ali, President of the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Valencia, Spain.

The exhibition, organized by the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan and Pan-Mediterranean Women Artists Network, brought together 51 women artists from 21 Islamic countries with a common vision of breaking the stereotypes of women in Islam through art created by Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus living in the Islamic world and who have contributed to preserving cultural heritage.

Queen Rania launched the first exhibition of "Breaking the Barriers" in Rhodes, Greece in September 2002 during which she paid tribute to female artists who have helped break the barriers of misunderstandings and ignorance that divide nations.

The Queen, who has been outspoken on the need for cross-cultural dialogue aimed at a better understanding between different cultures, also took the exhibition to Paris in March 2003.

The exhibition, which has contributed to bridging the cultural gap between east and west, will tour other countries in Europe and North America. All 70 paintings featured at the exhibition were chosen from the collection of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman.

Women artists represent Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

During Queen Rania’s one-day working visit to Spain, she visited the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque, which acts as a meeting point for the Arab and Islamic community in Valencia. Queen Rania toured the facilities of the Center and met with religious figures in Valencia including the Center’s Director Mr. Rida Al-Barouni, who gave a short briefing on the Center’s activities.

The Queen’s visit to Spain came two days after the World Economic Forum’s Extraordinary Meeting held at the Dead Sea, where she took part in a lively dialogue with 120 women from around the world.

At the session women leaders addressed vital issues related to the participation of women in the social, economic, and political development process, and their role in bridging the gap between east and west.