Queen Rania: The Queen Of YouTube?

I thought this piece about Queen Rania to be fairly interesting for several reasons that I’d rather not share out loud for fear of “poisoning the well”, so to speak. I’d rather leave it up to the reader to watch it and express their own views on it, especially Jordanian views, which isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of when it comes to the Queen’s activities on YouTube and other social media. Apparently, the piece was recently aired on Hurra TV, which is one of the things I find interesting, but some of the information feels outdated so I’m not sure about the original air date. Nevertheless, check it out and let me know what you think.

h/t: Bakkouz


  • this is actually an old program that was done by the bbc. looks like al hurra bought the rights to it, though.

    my view is that it’s very healthy for such people to be active in social media. while you’re right that we don’t have too many local personalities sharing their opinions, that is our fault completely. jordanians, and arabs in general, should contribute more in the online sphere.

    one thing i do remember coming across is criticism (specifically from the “angry arab” and some of the kabobfest authors). my issue with that is that they usually don’t share an alternative perspective. it’s not useful to criticize without offering another solution. so for the time being, battling these misconceptions remains something we all have to step up to – her channel is one way to do it, but i’d be interested to know what other tools and platforms we can use.

  • Queen Rania and President Obama share something in common which should earn them both our respect. Even though we could not expect them to always agree with each other or with us readers, let us give them credit for attempting to confront intolerant views of our countries with a more balanced picture of citizens who for tne most part practice reason and logic.

  • Rania pitching herself as a modern monarch (yes, an oxymoron; she ignores that though). It keeps surprising me just how successful her propoganda is outside the Arab world.

    Check out her speech at Yale.

  • Someone above mentioned KabobFest. You can’t take what they wrote about Queen Rania seriously, especially when they are talking about the “hotness” of Queen Rania and Mrs. Al Assad. The real problem though is that those folks clearly have no idea about the Queen’s initiatives in Jordan (e.g. education and entrepreneurship), and they think all she does is surf YouTube.

    I honestly think that she is doing the best she can for a Jordanian queen, and I think this particular effort on YouTube is a good one. I do not see any harm in it.

    What I would like to see more of however is sharing some success stories from Jordan on her channel.

  • You can’t take what they wrote about Queen Rania seriously, especially when they are talking about the “hotness” of Queen Rania and Mrs. Al Assad.

    i fail to see the connection between the two …

  • the problem of middle east underdevelopment, or orientalism if you like, is a fundamental one that dates back to the medieval era… it is an institutional one. What makes the world think that a AUC graduate could solve the problem? Just coz shes royalty doesn’t mean she is all knowing.

    Go get a real education Rania and solve the FUNDAMENTAL problems… feed your hungry refugees, give us decent voting rights. What a phony.

  • ya i got that .. but i didnt get the connection between this and that .. just because they get a little silly and have some fun on their blog we should not take anything they say seriously .. i find that kind of non sequitur or whatever the word is ..
    for example: olbermann, stewart, colbert all get silly on their shows sometimes .. so should we not take them seriously either?

  • Go get a real education Rania and solve the FUNDAMENTAL problems… feed your hungry refugees, give us decent voting rights. What a phony.

    Don’t you think it’s a bit unrealistic to ask the queen to “feed the hungry” and “give voting rights”? I mean we have to have realistic expectations of what a queen can do. First, it’s not like she doesn’t have a husband who is the ruler in the country and the one with power. Remember, the previous king married multiple wives, and this one can do the same. Would you then look to the new wife (if that even happens) for these same demands? I think we both agree that’s not realistic.

    The queen’s role from my point of view is informal. She has to act outside the scope of the formal regulatory institutions in the country (government, parliament, senate and the king) but at the same time making sure she doesn’t break any rules. So the best she can do personally is launch initiatives, and uses whatever power she can yield to empower women, entrepreneurs and teachers.

    I think calling her a “phony” is unfair. She is basically doing what every Arab would like to do, and that is to speak up against the negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. Calling her a phony implies that she somehow enforces these stereotypes, but I don’t see how that is the case.

    Some will argue about the usefulness of the YouTube channel. I think it is useful to a degree. Maybe not to Arabs, but we were never the target audience, so I don’t expect the indirect benefit to be so obvious.

    Some say that a lot more can be done, and I agree that in the big picture of things in Jordan, a whole lot more needs to and can be done, but in the scope of this discussion, we have to ask ourselves, how much of that really falls under the responsibilities of a queen?

  • @Hamzeh N

    I appreciate your response. It certainly stimulated my thoughts a lot, but for the most part I still stand my ground.

    Regarding your first idea about multiple wifes and a queens credibility, I agree, she certainly isn’t as powerful as her husband. She cant feed the hungry, or revive our public transportation system. But Abdullah is not Hussein. I guarantee he will not have more than one wife. That would slander her entire campaign that attempts to adjust preconceptions of Arabs. He dares not in the eyes of the international community.

    So we pretty much both agree on that, but she is the Queen of Jordan isn’t she? She is totally turning a blind eye on her own population. She is totally culturally ignorant. Her personality is very imposing on the average Jordanian. You could almost say she abuses her power at the cost of the average Mohammad. I mean just look at her photos. She is practically naked on the beaches of Southern France. And if you were wondering, yes, my girl is even more naked than she is but my girl isn’t the Queen and intl. ambassador of a conservative third world country! It is totally aristocratic behavior ala medieval Europe.

    Moving on… I call her a phony because I question her true intentions. Not calling her a hypocrite.

    Look, there is no doubt what she is doing is a good and useful thing. But is Queen Rania up for it? Is she really the one we want to be doing what she is doing? Are her intentions genuine? Isn’t she doing all this for selfish as opposed to altruistic reasons? I believe she is doing this for her own self and not for the sake of Jordan or Muslims around the world.

    Do you know why I dismiss your counter-argument as invalid? because you challenge only the campaign and not those who carry out the campaign. Let me give you an example. Bernard Lewis wrote a book called “What Went Wrong” attempting to explain why the Middle East is so backwards. In his entire book, he only studied the Quran, the Hadith and so on. He studied the rules but failed to study how we interpreted the rules. You do the same, you study the campaign but you fail to study the person carrying out the campaign! Please do not feel I am being offensive, just trying to let you know where I think you went wrong in your argument 🙂

  • Fares, do you really think you can say that you’ve “studied” the person of Queen Rania? I mean you say you question her intentions and motives, and believe she carries out these initiatives out of selfish reasons. Is this based on any facts that you’ve uncovered in some research that you’ve done about her? I don’t know, but I would always be careful before saying that someone doesn’t have good intentions. We are usually expected to assume good faith in others, and I honestly believe that most people, when given the chance to lead others, will try to do a good job at it, unless they end up being crazed dictators set on torturing people for fun.

    Regarding how the queen chooses to dress when she is on vacation. I think the fact that she does that empowers women in her own country to exercise their freedoms because she sets an example of exercising her right to dress the way she wants regardless of what others (you and I) might say about it. And it’s not like she’s wearing things that women in Jordan cannot wear themselves. And if we’re going to blame her because some women in Jordan are coerced by their families to dress in a certain way, then every woman who dresses liberally in Jordan is guilty of the same aristocratic life style that you mention.

  • interesting debate that’s evolving here…

    so, do we judge the person or their actions?

    and if we judge the person, are we ever in any position to truly know what their intentions are…be they the queen or just your average jo?

  • “every woman who dresses liberally in Jordan is guilty of the same aristocratic life style that you mention.”

    There is not doubt in my mind about that. Jordanian aristocratic society is there and is growing rapidly.

    Research ? You want me to research why I feel how I feel? Thats the whole point, its a feeling I get, not a fact of the matter. The facts, on the other hand, are clear. We have a GROWING conservative community in Jordan, so if you really want to study the actions and judge Rania by her action, then facts say: fail. Her campaign is an utter failure in the eyes of her own people, but an outrageously brave and successful one in the eyes of the international community. I am a member of my own community before I am a member of the international community.

    You may be right. I am certainly am not in any position to judge her. I apologize and admit wrongdoing for that. Maybe I was a little harsh. Surely, though, someone must see where I am coming from, no?

    Nas: That is a great question. I don’t know what to tell you. But I feel if you are going to judge someone based on their actions, you need not be selective of those actions. You need to study all that persons actions and look at what it is your trying to understand relative to everything else.

  • Oh, one thing that I have been meaning to say since I started participating in discussion on this blog. I feel this will somewhat fit in here.

    If she really is liberal, why I am afraid of posting my last name on here? I shouldn’t be. I want to be able to tell her what I have to say face to face. But I am afraid ill go to jail. So there, I AM judging someone by their actions (and not my feelings), and I STILL think they need to be perfected.

  • You need to study all that persons actions and look at what it is your trying to understand relative to everything else.

    i agree, but with that in mind, i think in order for your argument to stand there need to be some glaring contradictions in the actions anyone does. when it comes to the queen, i would argue that those glaring contradictions don’t seem to exist when it comes to the issues. as for personal lifestyle, that’s another thing I suppose, but then, i’ve never seen the wife of a leader who is poor. when was the last time that happened in human history?

    would it make people feel better if she lived in a tent?

    i dont know. maybe.

  • God hates the sin, not the sinner, right? therefore we judge the act, and not the person.
    personally i’m for not judging at all, but that’s pretty hard to do as human beings. and surely the act, emanating from the person, must reflect on their character in some way? when viewed against the surrounding circumstances?
    i’m getting way out of my philosophical depth here. but great debate, keep it up : )

  • I see the word aristocrat being used and I wonder if Jordan really has any “aristocrats” in the true sense of the word ie of noble stock ? What I see are rich people mainly of mercantile background, some with older money, that is to say, with a couple of generations of wealth behind then , and a lot of nouveau very very riche, who may now lead an extravagant lifestyle but certainly are not noble nor aristocratic in word, deed, pedigree or lifestyle, and with no sense at all of “noblesse oblige”.

  • @Nas… She certainly shouldn’t live in a tent, just be more modest I guess.

    @susie… not yet, but it is growing pretty darn rapidly..

  • Of course, no conversation about Queen Rania is complete without a “OMG SHE DOESN’T DRESS CONSERVATIVELY” detour. *eyeroll* Because clearly, it would be far more noble and righteous for her to pretend, since pretense goes such a long way.

    Funny how no one ever criticizes King Abdullah for not wearing his beard long, or whatever.

    But I forgot – women’s bodies are public property.

  • @Natalia: to be fair, conservative or modest dress has nothing to do with the beard, i.e. Islamically-speaking, they are not parallels. but i see, get and empathize with your point-at-large

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