Queen Rania captured the international gaze when she married the eventual King Abdullah bin Al Hussein of Jordan in 1993, and her elegant style quickly made her a fashion icon in the Middle East.
However, Queen Rania’s style and elegance are only matched by her grace, passion, and tact that make her a force for peace in the Middle East and a worthy role model for young girls everywhere.
Rania’s Non-Royal Roots
Unlike other royals, Queen Rania doesn’t have royal roots. Rania Al Yassin was born on August 31, 1970 in Kuwait to Palestinian parents from the West Bank.
After growing up in Kuwait, Rania earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the American University in Cairo before launching into her successful career in the technology sector, holding executive positions in the Middle Eastern headquarters for Citibank and Apple.
Her whole life changed when she met the then Crown Prince Abdullah at a dinner party in January 1993. It was love at first sight, and the two were married five months later. Their wedding was considered a national holiday.
Rania’s husband assumed his role as King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on February 7, 1999, and Rania officially became Queen of Jordan.
They went on to have four children: their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Al Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem. Rania prides herself first and foremost as being a wife and mother.
It’s fitting, then, that Her Majesty has become a mother-like figure to many across Jordan and the Middle East.
The Mother-Figure of Jordan
Queen Rania poured herself into using her royal platform to advocate for the prosperity of children across Jordan. Her initiatives include revamping Jordan's public school system, boosting Child Protective Services, advocating for women’s rights, and starting initiatives to boost the economy through entrepreneurship, particularly among young people and women.
The Queen launched the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), believing that “every Jordanian child should have access to not only stimulating learning environments, but also inspiring teachers and technology that connects them to the world.”
Her foundation has funded the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, which trains Jordanian students on how to become competitive employees in fast-paced industries, the Edraak, the Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans, which provides security and job training to Jordanian orphans who aged out of the orphan care system, and other initiatives to ensure that every child, regardless of their background, has access to education and a pathway to a successful future.
A Champion of Entrepreneurship and Opportunity for All
The Queen continues to use her business background to boost Jordan’s economy and opportunities for all its citizens.
Through partnerships with FINCA and other private and public entities, Queen Rania encourages microfinancing of small businesses and works with the public and private sectors to help train and hire Jordan’s youth and aspiring entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.
In addition to her passion for education and entrepreneurship in Jordan, Queen Rania has become a global advocate for children. The Queen is UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children and served on an UN-appointed High-Level Panel to create Sustainable Development Goals to improve the lives of millions of children globally by 2030. In 2009, Her Majesty spearheaded the 1 Goal campaign for education and served as a Global Honorary Chair of the UN Girl’s Education Initiative.
She also co-chaired a roundtable at the 2016 UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants and visited refugee camps in Jordan, Greece, and Bangladesh.
A Global Voice for Peace
In addition to education and entrepreneurship, Queen Rania has become a global voice for peace and interreligious dialogue across the Middle East. The Queen started a blog breaking down stereotypes about Islam and Muslim women and encourages the Middle East to engage in open dialogue with the West.
The Queen has authored multiple children’s books, the most famous of which, The Sandwich Swap, draws upon a memory from the Queen’s childhood and encourages friendship among children from both the East and the West.
On her Instagram page, Queen Rania wishes the Christian population of Jordan “Merry Christmas” in addition to Muslim high holidays and promotes peace among Jordan’s different religious communities.
A Role Model for All
It’s no wonder that Forbes named Queen Rania one of the top 100 most influential women in the world. Many have compared Queen Rania to Kate Middleton because both women have used their royal positions to advocate for the most vulnerable in their countries, to promote prosperity in their nations, and to become a global voice for peace. Moreover, both Queen Rania and Kate Middleton are proud wives and mothers, and champion their families above all else. Plus, they both have amazing style!
It’s both refreshing and empowering to see these two influential women pride themselves on their femininity, from their fashion statements to their unflinching devotion to their families, to their unwavering passion for peace and prosperity in their communities. They are worthy role models for both young girls and women within their own nations and around the world.
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