Youth Give Us Confidence and Hope in Spite of Challenges - Queen

September 07, 2005

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, on Tuesday, stressed that youth and students are the pride of Jordan and that His Majesty King Abdullah and the Government are working to provide various means which will enhance their capabilities and unleash their potential. 

Her Majesty was speaking to a group of 20 female students from the Maymoonah Secondary School for Girls, during a visit to the Al-Manara area in East Amman. 

Accompanied by the Minister of Education Khaled Touqan, and Ministry of Education Secretary-General for Educational Affairs Tayseer Al-Nahar, Queen Rania toured the school, which caters to 1200-1300 students from grades 7-12, interacting with teachers, students and residents, while taking a firsthand look at the facilities and services there. 

During her visit, which came at a time when Jordan and the international community are preparing to observe International Literacy Day on September 8th, Queen Rania also met with the President of the Al-Manara Society for Social Development, a non-governmental association for women, as well as a group of women attending the organization’s adult literacy class. 

Established in 1988, the organization has been instrumental in teaching more than 3000 women in the area, benefiting them and their children through awareness-raising activities and lectures. The institution also provided financial and in-kind assistance to needy families, while enrolling children in the society’s kindergartens.  

Engaging in a discussion with the students, Queen Rania said she was pleased with their drive for excellence, noting that they need to continue to enhance their talents and excel in their chosen fields of interest. She also underlined the need to benefit from the tools available to strengthen their individual capacities. 

Referring to the need for involving youth and students in countering the challenges of today, Queen Rania also spoke of one of the main themes of the Royal Letter to students, issued by His Majesty King Abdullah, in August of this year, to mark the start of the 2005/2006 scholastic year. 

The Queen stressed that they must work to challenge the current global perception of the Islam, with its negative association with violence and terrorism, reiterating that they have a responsibility to highlight the true face of Islam, which emphasizes the values of tolerance, social equality and respect for human life.  

For their part, the students, who were in grades 7 through 11, deliberated the main themes of the Royal Letter, highlighting that it gave them confidence in themselves and their roles in the learning process, providing them with an incentive to persevere.   

The Royal Letter focused on the notion that knowledge is the medium through which students can hope to achieve a prosperous Jordan. It also asserted that students (and children and youth in general) are the core of the country’s national concerns and that the kingdom is working towards the ‘modernization and development of education’, including the role of teachers.  

Jordan is anticipated to celebrate International Literacy Day with an official ceremony, to be held on Thursday, under the patronage of the Minister of Education. 

According to the Ministry of Education, Jordan has 298 literacy centers disseminated all over the country. International reports and studies also indicate that it is the first Arab country that has worked to reduce its illiteracy rates, which according to reports published in 2004, stand at 9.1% compared to 67% in 1961.