In Saudi Arabia, Queen Rania Encourages Dialogue to Dismantle Stereotypes of Arab World

April 26, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Saudi Arabia) Delivering the keynote address at the Saudi-based Effat College’s sixth Annual Learning Technology Symposium, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah called for a global dialogue to dismantle stereotypes of Muslims on the one hand and of the suppression of women in the Arab world on the other.

“It is through a global dialogue that such stereotypes of Muslims can be dismantled, and it is through women’s sustained education and progress that such misconceptions can be removed,” she said.

Queen Rania said, “Stereotypes like women are being suppressed and that they are not educated should be answered by Arab and Muslim women themselves with the help of the Web and the Internet. Efforts are already being made by women to dismantle such misconceptions and much more needs to be done through a sustained campaign.” Using an interactive YouTube channel to dismantle many of these stereotypes, Queen Rania’s latest video highlights many of the efforts women are making in the region to overcome barrier.

“Yes, technology is important, but this age is not only that of technology. Technology makes things easier, reduces distances and opens doors. But it cannot think, see or create,” the Queen said in her address.

“Our age is that of vision, the age of thinking and creative ideas. Ideas are the most valuable commodity these days,” she told the attendance.

Underlining the importance of women in education, the Queen said: “When you teach a woman, you teach a whole community.”

After the seminar, she met with several college students and discussed educational issues and the role academics play in building one’s character.