Queen Rania Inaugurates “Exploring Jordan” Forum and Concludes Visit to the US

October 17, 2003

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Washington, D.C.) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah concluded a three-day visit to the United States during which she attended a series of events aimed at promoting Jordan and underscoring the significance of cross-cultural dialogue.

On the final day of her visit, Queen Rania inaugurated "Exploring Jordan", which includes a number of cultural and economic events highlighting Jordan’s heritage and economic potential as a gateway to doing business throughout the entire Middle East.

The Queen attended the forum "The Jordanian Gateway to Business Opportunity in a rapidly Changing Middle East", where Jordanian officials and Jordanian and American senior business leaders discussed Jordan's new model of economic reforms and the economic growth it witnessed in the past four years.

Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Mr. William Burns delivered the forum’s keynote speech as participants discussed trade and untapped investment opportunities in Jordan, the first Arab state to realize a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

This partnership is a vote of confidence that reflects the Kingdom's commitment to social and economic development despite difficult regional conditions.

Sponsors and speakers at the forum, which launched "Exploring Jordan” organized by the Jordanian Embassy in Washington DC, received awards of appreciation from Queen Rania for their efforts in making the event a success.

The forum’s sessions focused on sector-by-sector opportunities, success stories in Jordan, and new economic and regulatory freedoms in Jordan which is speedily setting a new standard for the Arab Middle East in economic liberalization and integration with the global economy as the Kingdom strives to establish a firm basis of understanding based on tolerance and cultural, political and economic openness.

Under the patronage of Queen Rania, the Embassy of Jordan, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, held a gala reception and a special musical performance by Jordnaian pianist Zade Dirani, to mark the official launching of the Jordan expose at the National Museum of Natural History entitled "Celebrating Jordan's History and Culture" where a series of lectures and film on Jordan were held offering an opportunity to better understand Jordan’s rich cultural treasures and heritage.

This came two days after the official opening on October 14 of the exhibition “Petra: Lost City of Stone,” attended by Queen Rania as the first major cultural collaboration between Jordan and the U.S. at the American Museum of Natural History.

Queen Rania’s launch of the exhibition reflects her efforts aimed at bridging cultural divides and deepening understanding between peoples of the world.

In her opening remarks, Queen Rania said like the Nabateans, modern-day Jordanians “craved out a special and unique role as a bridge between diverse regions and cultures, and like them, are a peaceful culture committed to international commerce and dialogue.”

As a leading voice for peace, understanding and cross-cultural dialogue, Queen Rania also addressed the Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee annual Banquet in Dearborn Michigan on October 15, where she called on Arab-Americans to act “as active agents of cooperation between Arab and western cultures,” and stressed the need to find ways to channel sentiments into constructive action conducive to the Arab world and to peace at large.

“We need to bring dignity and hope to the millions of people who lack both. And we need to do so with the knowledge that we share a stake in one another’s success,” Queen Rania said.