Queen tweets for education

Source: Reuters

August 21, 2009

London - Jordan's Queen Rania joined international soccer stars to launch a campaign for education on Thursday, hoping to use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to get more children into school.

Speaking at London's Wembley Stadium, Queen Rania said she hoped to attract signatures to an online petition calling for schooling for the 75 million children who today have none.

"I have already started on my Twitter site," Queen Rania, who has more than 600 000 followers on the popular micro-blogging site, told Reuters in an interview.

Appearing alongside former French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly and England's David James, the Jordanian royal threw her support around 1GOAL, an initiative backed by the International Football Federation (FIFA) in the run up to the 2010 soccer World Cup.

Online petition

Organisers hope an online petition signed by millions of people will world pressure leaders to meet a United Nations commitment of education for all by 2015, with the momentum of the campaign building ahead of the World Cup in South Africa that begins next June.

"I've spoken about 1GOAL and I hope my followers will engage with this. We're hoping there will be a viral effect," Queen Rania said.

Social networking sites have become important tools for campaigners.

Twitter and YouTube were both used by protesters in Iran to draw attention to violent clashes after the contested presidential election there in July.

Rania said social media were having an increasingly powerful effect in the Middle East, but governments still needed to make internet access open to all.

- Reuters