Rania Al Yassin is the Queen of Jordan. Since becoming queen in 1999, she has done much to advance the social and economic conditions for women in Jordan and throughout the world. Education is her passion, and she is also a vigorous advocate for innovation, entrepreneurship, improved healthcare, community empowerment, and public service. She represents a new kind of royal leadership for the 21st century by engaging directly with her people in meaningful ways. She supports, empowers, and inspires her people to dream big and work hard to achieve their dreams. She advocates for peace in her region and throughout the world by encouraging intercultural understanding and dialog, and by shining light on and condemning injustice, intolerance, bigotry, and hatred.
In 2010, while serving as the Honorary Global Chair of the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, she spoke at the “Women in the World” Summit in New York where she emphasized the importance of educating girls in impoverished areas of the world and pointed out the nonsense that prevents them from obtaining an education. She said:
“Nonsense like girls walking 10 kilometers every day on empty stomachs to find water for their families; nonsense like girls denied the chance to go to school for a lifetime of cooking, cleaning, and childcare; nonsense like girls thrust into marriages they’re too young to understand. . . . For over 600 million girls around the world, this nonsensical reality is their daily reality where the four walls of inequality, injustice, indignity, and ignorance close in around them, limiting their potential at a time when it should be limitless.”
In addition, she has been an advocate for community engagement, self-determination, and public service and has emphasized the responsibility of all of us to engage to improve our communities. Queen Rania said, “often social progress doesn’t come from governments looking down, directing change. It comes from communities, families, and individuals looking up, driving society forward themselves, fueled by nothing more than an idea or instinct to do good. It comes from civic engagement.”
She has launched numerous economic development projects and is especially passionate about projects that empower women and families to develop sustainable projects that will enable them to support their families. One of the first such projects is the Jordan River Foundation, which she formed in 1995 and is designed to provide economic opportunities to Jordanian women and children. Check it out at this link; you will be impressed with all the successful community development projects that are managed through the JRF. Today (March 19, 2018), she announced that she is providing financial support to the Madaba Women’s Charity Association to help 100 families start income generating projects in the small community of Al Fayha’ Village. And, there have been numerous projects in between—all designed to empower self-determination and improve the lives of women and children in Jordan.
She has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of the increasing plight of refugees from war-torn countries. At this link, you can see a clip from her October 2017 interview with Christiane Amanpour where she discusses the horrific Myanmar Muslim Rohingya refugee crisis.
Born in 1970 in Kuwait, she attended the American University of Cairo, had a brief career working first for Citibank and then for Apple, and then married King Abdullah II in 1993, who was at that time a prince. She was proclaimed Queen in 1999, shortly after her husband ascended to the throne following the death of his father, King Hussein. They have four children, including Crown Prince Hussein, who is heir to his father’s throne.