Queen Rania Surprises Residents of Wadi Al Seer

September 27, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) - As the boys of the Anas Bin Malek Center, an orphanage in Wadi Al Seer, spent the afternoon figuring out creative ways to pass the hours until iftar, a surprise visit by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah added some much welcomed excitement to the quiet afternoon.

Queen Rania, who was visiting the Wadi Al Seer area, stopped in for a quick spot check on the center, where she interacted with the children and distributed some gifts.

Most of the 30 boys, who are now between six and 12 years old, were too young to remember the last time Queen Rania visited them, in 2000. Still, they updated the Queen on their academic achievements and boasted about their technological skills as they displayed their abilities on the center’s computers. 

Anas, who was at the center during Her Majesty’s last visit, now works as a supervisor at the center, where he said he enjoys being able to actively give back to his community and help its most disenfranchised citizens.  

As the boys and their teachers escorted Her Majesty on her way out, their faces lit up when they saw the pile of gifts awaiting them– from a big screen TV and DVD player, to video games and remote control cars. The Queen teased the excited boys saying she hoped the toys wouldn’t distract them from their studies, a warning they all welcomed with giggles as they eagerly began sifting through the gifts. 

Also on the Queen’s agenda was a repeat visit to the Anwar Al Huda Al Islamic Society, where she encouraged the women to continue in their efforts to empower the rest of the community. Her Majesty last visited the center in 2000, and she commended the women on their progress since then. 

Best known for its Productivity Kitchen, the society employs local women to prepare everything from bite-size halvah to stuffed lamb. The profits of the meals, which are all prepared by order, go towards salaries, rent, and more food purchases. Orders have been increasing and come from as far away as Jubeiha, said one of the beneficiaries. 

Her Majesty commended the positive reinforcement the center provides for the women of the community. “You give women the opportunity to understand their valuable contributions to society and help them improve their standard of living,” said the Queen, as she encouraged the women to expand their kitchen. 

The center was created to raise women’s social, cultural and health awareness. The members said they are always looking for new projects and opportunities to empower women. 

During her visit to Wadi Al Seer, Queen Rania also made a surprise stop at the local vegetable market, where vendors and customers were immersed in conversations as they bargained and bartered. Queen Rania toured the market to chat with a number of customers as she inquired about the food prices. 

As she almost dropped the fruit she was about to purchase when she was approached by the Queen, Rabi’a, a resident of Wadi Al Seer, later said she was so affected by the Queen’s surprise visit. “It’s the first time I see her, but she is so personable, I feel like I’ve known her forever,” she later to said to those around her.