Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Meet YALs, Chicago Mayor

April 30, 2006

(Jordan Times - Amman) His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday said he was looking forward to the meeting Jordan is hosting for the Young Arab Leaders (YAL) organisation later this year.

More than 500 YAL members and young leaders from the Arab world will convene at the Dead Sea on Nov. 22-23 to discuss issues of concern to the organisation.

As the King and Her Majesty Queen Rania met with the YAL board of directors and chapters' directors in Aqaba yesterday, he voiced hope the organisation would rise to expectations in addressing the challenges facing the Arab world.

YAL Chairman Saeed Muntafeq briefed the King and Queen on the organisation's mission and its action plan for 2006-2007, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Before meeting with the King, YAL's board and heads of chapters had met for two days in Aqaba to discuss their future strategy.

Following the meeting, they announced the election of Marwan Jumaa as head of YAL's Jordan Chapter, succeeding Reem Badran. The board thanked Badran for her efforts, highlighting her contributions to the organisation's programmes.

YAL is an independent not-for-profit association with headquarters in Dubai and regional chapters in various Arab countries.

It is a network comprising 500 Arab men and women “who have seen the power of action in their own lives, reached unprecedented levels of success for their age, who are positive and can see beyond today's difficulties to that vision of a prosperous Arab future,” according to the YAL website.

These young leaders, who are currently in prominent positions of responsibility and are destined for extraordinary achievement, believe their efforts today can have an impact on their communities, countries and the region as a whole.

The organisation's mission is “to improve the state of the Arab world by creating the necessary environment for future leaders to grow and develop across all sectors of Arab society.”

It seeks to create better opportunities for education and new means of income- generation, and to help Arab youth become tomorrow's leaders.

Each year, YAL commits to implementing an action plan that sets the organisation's strategic vision. They undertake projects focusing on mentorship and education, while producing sector-specific plans designed to increase income-generation opportunities for youth.

Also on Saturday, King Abdullah and Queen Rania received Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who is currently on a visit to the country.

During the meeting, the King referred to the situation of the Arab community in Chicago and their role in serving their communities.

They also discussed means of enhancing cooperation between the Greater Amman Municipality and Chicago Municipality in the educational and cultural fields. A twinning agreement between the two cities was signed in 2004 under which Amman became the 24th sister of Chicago. Relations between the two cities started developing in 1995 when a cooperation agreement was signed between the Chicago Cultural Affairs Department and the Royal Society of Fine Arts and the Jordanian National Gallery.