Queen Rania Speaks on Behalf of Children in Conflict Areas of the ME, Makes a Pledge for Peace

September 22, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amman) In a time where children are meant to be waking up to the sounds of laughter and honking school buses, many of the children of the Middle East are hearing cries of pain, bullets and bombs. As the situation in the region continues to worsen, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah spoke out on behalf of the victims of war through a televised taped message to supporters of the Peace One Day movement, to raise awareness about the humanitarian crises.  

In her emotional message, delivered on International Peace Day, the Queen highlighted the plight of Palestinians and Iraqis as they continue to suffer from the violence. “The reality of peace is sadly absent from the lives of too many in the Middle East,” said the Queen, “And it is particularly painful at this time of the year – the Holy month of Ramadan – a month of giving, when we share what we have, with those who do not have enough; a month of empathy, when we feel with the vulnerable, the poor and the hungry. Yet too many of my people – mothers, fathers, children in Palestine and Iraq - are starved of the thing they need the most: peace.” Around the world, millions of children are suffering from the crippling effects of war as families flee their homes, healthcare facilities are stretched to the limit, and vital infrastructure is in a poor state of repair. “Peace means our children can fall asleep to a mother’s soft voice, not screaming sirens; play with building blocks, not watch their homes destroyed; make friends not lose them; dream up big plans for the future, not wonder if they will have one,” said the Queen. Peace One Day began as a film project by British filmmaker, Jeremy Gilley, in 1999. His aim was to establish the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. In 2001, September 21 was unanimously adopted by UN member states as the International Day of Peace. A non-profit organization, Peace One Day’s aim is to raise awareness of Peace Day and to engage all sectors of society in observance of the day through the practical manifestation of non-violence and ceasefire, and encourage action to create a united and sustainable world. Over 4,000 peace advocates gathered in support of peace at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Friday, to raise support for peace. The attendees enjoyed the sold out concert, which included a well blended mix of music and messages. Performances by Annie Lennox, James Morrison, Corinne Bailey Rae, Kate Nash, Yousif Islam, and Marc Almond were peppered with messages of support and advocacy from other famous personalities including Jude Law, Lord Puttnam, Ahmed Fawzi, David Beckham, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Angelina Jolie. Encouraging the concert goers to continue raising their voices for peace, and all the supporters of peace worldwide, Queen Rania pleaded “whatever pledge you made for peace on this day – take it forward. Make it a pledge for all your days”. Queen Rania also signed the Peace One Day commitment wall this week, where she committed “to advocate for the children of Palestine, Iraq, and beyond, caught up in war's senseless tragedy.”    For more information about Peace One Day, or to sign your own commitment to peace, please visit http://www.peaceoneday.org/ Jordan is a signatory to the International Day of Peace.