Queen Rania Congratulates Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi

December 11, 2003

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Honoring 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah congratulated Ebadi describing her as “a powerful spokesperson for tolerance and compassion…[who] has inspired the world as a tireless champion of women, children and the vulnerable or weak, whenever their rights are in danger.”

In a taped congratulatory message broadcast during the Nobel Peace Concert held in Oslo, Queen Rania recognized Ebadi’s efforts saying she “never lets risk to her own well-being restrain her from helping others, she believes the beauty of life is to fight in a difficult situation.

She knows that even the darkest night cannot deter the dawn.” Queen Rania said Ebadi is “a powerful spokesperson for tolerance and compassion… and for all of us who know there is no contradiction between deep religious faith and dedication to human rights.”

As she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights, Ebadi said it was “an inspiration to women, Iranians, Muslims and all others striving for human rights worldwide.”

"The decision by the Nobel Peace committee to award the 2003 prize to me, as the first Iranian and the first woman from an Islamic country, inspires me and millions of Iranians and nationals of Islamic states with the hope that our efforts, endeavors and struggles towards the realization of human rights and the establishment of democracy ... enjoy the support, backing and solidarity of international civil society.

Undoubtedly, my selection will be an inspiration to the masses of women striving to realize their rights, not only in Iran, but throughout the region,” Ebadi said.

With Islam as her starting point, Ebadi campaigns for peaceful solutions to social problems, and promotes new thinking in Islamic terms.

She is an activist for refugee rights, as well as those of women and children, displaying great personal courage as a lawyer defending individuals and groups who have fallen victim to a powerful political and legal system that is legitimized through an inhumane interpretation of Islam.

Queen Rania commended Ebadi saying “as a Muslim myself, I view her life’s work as a perfect reflection of the sacred principles of our faith. It’s an honor for me to honor her and her well-deserved award.”

Other distinguished notables who delivered taped remarks congratulating the new Laureate were President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Jodi Williams, winner of the previous Noble Peace Prize for her work on landmines.

The remarks came at the Nobel Committee’s concert in Ebadi’s honor in Oslo which will be broadcast in different parts of the world over the next two weeks to more than 150 countries and more than 500 million households in a global celebration of peace that transcends borders and religion.