Ask Queen Rania!

queen_rania_jordanVeering into Flea territory, I note that TIME Magazine offers a weekly opportunity to ask some notable guest ten questions, selected from those submitted by readers.  Recent guests include actor Chevy Chase (1st and 2nd appearance) and former Arkansas governor / presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee (also granted a 1st and 2nd appearance).  Be advised that now is the time to submit your questions to former Citibank and Apple, Inc. employee Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen Consort of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and stone cold fox.  These are some of my favourites from those submitted so far.

These peope did their homework and asked relevant questions:

Posted by Muhammed A. Azim in Harrisburg, PA, United States of America
Queen Rania, thanks for the opportunity to ask you this simple question. what inspired you to establish this “Village Banking” and how this idea of Micro Credit Banking came about to your mind? I would want to hear from you about this issue in the context of poverty that we are trying to minimize from this world.

Thanks.

Posted by Farah in Washington, DC
Your Royal Highness Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Thank you for taking the time and effort to answer many of the articulate and informative questions posted on this site. Serving underdeveloped communities is a necessary initiative that benefits everyone involved. Financial institutions will make funds available, yet how do we offer the tools these people need to start a business, to follow through with their plan and make sure it is successful, to manage, design, implement and evaluate a plan. When making funds available, it is imperative that we are held accountable and responsible to ensure that the money A) is properly disseminated to those who need it and B) is being used successfuly and fruitfully in a way that will surely benefit a population of people where education, health care, and access to basic amenities are limited. What plans do you have to maintain these intitiatives?

Warmest regards,

Farah

Citizen journalism at its finest.

Then of course there is the winner of the Ludicrously Off-Topic Award:

Posted by Tic Roman in Bucharest
I know that “salaam” means “peace”, and the salute is a form of showing respect for the one receiveing it. But I want to know a little more… As a kid, I remember seeing in an Omar Sharif movie this splendid Arabic salute. Traveling the world, I’ve met people saluting in the (so to speak) “traditional Salaam manner”, by accompanying a low bow with a hand touching the forehead. The thing is, as I remember (from that movie), while performing the bow, the hand was touching the chest, the mouth and only then the forehead. What is the significance of these “touching points” in this salute, and which one is the real one: the simple one, or the complex one?

How about you ask your local imam and find out.  They will probably get back to you sooner than the Queen of Jordan.  I’m just sayin’…

Posted by Geneviève-Anaïs Proulx in Montreal, QC, Canada
I would like to know what is the most important women issue you’re working on to ensure the respect off women’s rights in Jordan ?

Posted by Nuha Mousa in Seattle
1) What are you doing to eliminate the honor killing of women in Jordan?

2) What are you doing to allow women to travel and obtain a passport without requiring them to get a male relative signature?

3) What are you doing with making and enforcing laws to punish the rapist and the raped woman?

3) What are you doing to make and enforce laws about domestic violence against women?

I wouldn’t mind knowing the answers to those too, thanks.  Then there’s the folks looking for an opportunity to rant:

Posted by Kelly Freeman in new york
Why is it still legal in Jordan for men to have four wives? I visited Jordan recently and really liked the people and the country, however I found many men to be very aggressive probably because they are single and I am sure frustrated. The population has more or less equal number of men and women, so when some men are able to have four wives others are left with no wife at all.

Ah the old “squares just need to get laid and relax” argument, dressed up in pop-psych finery.  If that theory was correct, Kelly, the most aggressive people on the planet would be adolescent nerds in after-school D&D clubs.  That is clearly not the case.  There are comic book stores all across North America where women may not only enter the premises, but peruse the wares unmolested and free of vulgar catcalls.  Maybe there’s some other factor at work in the aggression of Jordanian males you’ve observed.

This is not to say that polygamy is not repellent to the modern mind; it is.  Indeed it is a backward institution that must be eradicated.  But I am sorry to say that ending polygamy is not going to transform the Middle East into a paradise-on-Earth where human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance are integral pillars of its civilisation.

That said, yes, please explain why Jordan permits polygamy in the 21st century.

Now let’s move on to Barbara Walters territory:

Posted by cd in dc
Your majesty: I had the honor of hosting a delegation of Jordanian parliamentarians in 2004 and clearly, they love you and your husband, KIng Abdullah, as well as the late king, King Hussein, a small man with a big heart. Did you ever feel rejected by the Jordanian population since you are Palestinian? Shukran, baraka la fik. M’aa salamma.

And other pressing questions of state:

Posted by Biba Herndon in Falls Church, VA
Do you watch American Idol? and if you do who are you rooting for?

Posted by Douglas C. Hoyt in Greenville, SC
Please give us your best humus recipe, i.e. the one you would serve at a state function.

Doug, if she gives up her best recipe, what’s she going to serve at state functions?!  Think, man!

Finally, there’s the question that plagues us all:

Posted by Sean Kumar in New Orleans, LA
Queen Rania,

Firstly I’d like to know if you would leave your current husband and marry me so that I may ascend to the throne of Jordan and then also subsequently take over the world with you by my side.

Secondly, How do you manage to financially back your “village bank” ? Will it be with fundraised money or will it be your own? Also how do you plan to structure village banking? Are loans based on a “honor” system?

Thank You for your time.

Love,

Sean

Category: Foreign Affairs
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