New York News: Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah is a mother, a wife, a boss, an advocate, and a humanitarian.
She once said, “I just wake up and feel like a regular person. At the end of the day you are living your life for the people that you represent. It’s an honour and a privilege to have that chance to make a difference – a qualitative difference in people’s lives – and it’s my responsibility to make the most out of that opportunity.”
For that reason, Queen Rania spends much of her time listening to and talking with the people of Jordan, to learn from them the best way to improve their livelihoods and Jordan’s prospects.
Queen Rania spearheads efforts in Jordan to adopt a holistic approach to national education, encouraging agencies and organizations to work on classroom quality, teaching standards, computer access, family involvement, community investment, and health awareness. Through initiatives, like Madrasati and the Teachers Academy, Queen Rania is helping Jordan’s children get the best start in life by repairing and revamping local schools, while inspiring teachers to be their best. She believes that the power of partnerships between the public, private, and non-profit sectors is a source of great potential for change in Jordan’s education system.
The Jordan River Foundation (JRF) is Queen Rania’s NGO that gives a helping hand to the disadvantaged in Jordan. For over ten years it has provided families with skills and knowledge to work themselves out of poverty. Today, it partners with the private sector and entire communities to bring resources, energy, and change to the lives of vulnerable citizens, empowering and inspiring them to believe they can make a difference for themselves and their loved ones. JRF is also recognized as a leader in the region for its achievements in protecting children. From rescuing abused children to healing whole families, JRF is now a centre of excellence, sharing its knowledge and know-how with others in and outside of the country.
The opportunity to work. The opportunity to escape poverty. The opportunity to live healthily. The opportunity to live confidently. The opportunity to hope.
I believe you deserve an education.
Whoever you are.
It’s your right.
You deserve the chance to make the most of this brief glimpse we call existence. To be all you can be. To help those dear to you. To re-imagine the parameters of possibility.
Because education is transformative.
It can rescue a girl from the burdens of adulthood: early marriage and premature pregnancy.
It can empower a woman to take control of her life: mind, body, and soul.
It can defeat disease and temper intolerance: a shield for both our health and our humanity.
Education is a Titan.
Whole communities and countries lifted from the quicksands of destitution to the plains of progress.
And the power of education lies not in the pages of textbooks, or the recital of facts and figures.
It resides in the mind of a child who is taught how to think. How to learn. How to navigate the world, avoid whirlpools, climb mountains.
Education isn’t a line I’m spinning.
It’s a lifeline that’s saving.
Saving families. Saving futures.
When people come to Jordan, they find a country that is safe, warm, and welcoming, a people who embrace modernity and revere their traditions, and a culture that is rich, diverse, and peace-loving. This Jordan is my Jordan.
Over the years, I’ve been pleased to see our country blossom and grow into everyone’s Jordan. Many of my friends, seasoned travelers, believe there’s nothing left that can surprise them, but then they come here and we prove them wrong. Before they leave, they tell me that Jordan is more than just ‘a place to visit’, it’s ‘a place to experience’.
They’re right. Visitors are discovering the out-of-the-way places tour buses don’t go, eating in cafes that aren’t decorated with Michelin stars, and chatting to village shopkeepers over some Arabic coffee. Our vision’s a sustainable one. It’s about developing Jordan in a way that protects and promotes what’s precious to us, while providing jobs for our people, and an authentic cultural experience for our guests.
So, no matter how long you’re here for, what kind of trip you’re on, or even what mood you’re in, you can still find your niche. We have five star hotels, great restaurants, shopping malls, and spas, as well as souks, traditional coffee houses, authentic cuisine, and old-style hammams (bath houses). Not to mention World Heritage sites, Roman ruins, the largest spa in the region, prized nature reserves, and the oxygen-rich Dead Sea!
Our number one attraction is the rose-red, Nabatean city of Petra, carved out of stone cliffs made famous by Indiana Jones. Hidden within mountain gorges, this once-lost city has survived earthquakes and the passage of time; its geological history is etched in the walls, its secrets lie buried below ancient roads.
Near Petra, Dana Reserve is a stunning geological wonder; it looks like something from prehistoric times! Local Bedouin guides take you through gorges that abound with birds, animals, and flowers. Several hours trek down the Great Rift Valley, you’ll find Feynan Eco-Lodge, where climate-conscious guests can rest their carbon footprints.
Jordan is also host to many sacred religious sites. Here, you can see where Jesus was baptized, walk in Moses’ footsteps, visit his burial place at Mount Nebo, and enter Lot’s cave. And, nearby, is one of the most therapeutic stretches of water in the world: the Dead Sea. There’s always laughter on the shore as people slather on the mineral-rich mud.
If you’re an adrenalin junkie, Jordan’s adventure tourism is scaling new heights. In Wadi Rum, you can hot air balloon, fly microlites, ride 4×4 sand-dune buggies or Arabian horses, and rock climb Jabal Rum, the highest peak in the area. And in the evening, cook your dinner in the sand with local Bedouins, then sleep under the stars. If you want to cool down, you can take a dip in the Red Sea, diving coral reefs and old wrecks.
There’s no place like it, so, come, see my Jordan; I know you’ll enjoy making it your own.