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 Cinderella of the Middle East   

By Cassidy Rich

“A mum and a wife with a really cool day job.” Look on any of her social media accounts and these words are in her bio. You may not recognize her name or face but this woman is definitely worth being aware of, especially with everything that is going on in her region of the world. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is making waves not just in her country, but all over the world. Her Majesty is quite active on social media, often posting about her meetings and conferences with other world leaders on fighting for positive change. Queen Rania, supported by her husband His Majesty Kind Abdullah II, has committed herself to several initiatives to better the lives of Jordanians and Arabs across the Middle East. Her Majesty is passionate about children’s education, empowering entrepreneurs, and helping youth thrive. On the international stage she promotes understanding and tolerance amongst cultures and encourages people to step beyond the stereotypes in order to find common ground (Her Majesty, 2016). Along with being a wife and Queen Rania and His Majesty are the proud parents of four children, their oldest being the heir apparent to the Hashemite throne, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II (Her Majesty, 2016). Her Majesty’s life was not always in the spotlight, however, and if it were not for her hard work and determination she would not be where she is today.

Rania Al Yassin was born in Kuwait to middleclass parents. Nothing about her circumstances ever suggested she would one day be a princess and then queen of the neighboring country, Jordan. During the first Gulf War her family immigrated to Jordan and shortly after that she began attending the American University of Cairo, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business. Moving back to Jordan she soon became a career woman, working for Citibank and then Apple Computers (Clibbon, 2010). Rania Al Yassin was a hardworking young woman chasing her dreams and setting an example for other Arab women through her determination, grace, and beauty. Like Cinderella, though, one night was going to change her life forever.

When she was 22 years old, Rania was invited by a friend to a dinner party. It was at this party that “Prince Charming” met “Cinderella.” Rania did not run away from the dinner party and then-Prince Abdullah did not end up with her shoe, but the pair did stay in contact after meeting that night. Six months later they were married. The couple settled into a fairly ordinary life until six years into their marriage they went from being “Highnesses” to “Majesties.” Then-Prince Abdullah was suddenly crowned King in 1999 after his father’s death and Rania went from being a princess to the Queen. This was unexpected because His Majesty King Abdullah was named the heir just before his father, His Majesty King Hussein, passed away. Since becoming Their Majesties and being launched into the spotlight in this chaotic region of the world, King Abdullah and Queen Rania have tirelessly worked for the betterment of their people (Clibbon, 2010).

For young women still trying to find our way in the world, what can we learn from this woman who holds incredible influence? What she is doing is great and all, but what does it have to do with us? Looking back on her past, Queen Rania was just like us and is a beautiful example of what can happen when you put your mind to it. She was an average girl in the Middle East who had dreams she wanted to accomplish. For all of us life can take a sudden turn and Her Majesty is definitely no exception. Almost 23 years after marrying into royalty and seventeen years holding the title of “Queen,” Her Majesty continues her initiatives to empower women and girls, come alongside entrepreneurs, and encourage young innovators to keep chasing their dreams and reach their full potential. With there being a seemingly endless line of celebrities who are potential role models for us, we should take a better look at who is truly making a difference and using his/her platform to change lives. Considering everything that is currently happening in the Middle East, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah is a pretty great role model.

 

From the writer:  “I am currently a senior at Grand Canyon University, double majoring in History and Communications and graduating in December 2016. I love writing and putting my thoughts on paper, so I am hoping that when I graduate I can work for a company or organization in a position that requires a significant amount of writing.”  
References 
Clibbon, J. (2010). Queen Rania Al-Abdullah: A diplomatic monarch in a troubled region. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/world/queen-rania-al-abdullah-a-diplomatic-monarch-in-a-troubled-region-1.942163 
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.queenrania.jo/en/rania 

 

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