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Queen Rania’s personality is not positive for Arabs

Rania al-AbdullahImagine my horror when I woke up this morning to find that the campus newspaper had found a token Arab student reaction to a campus event with Rania al-Abdullah, the queen of Jordan:

“As someone from the Middle East, I am very proud,” he said. “This is the Arab woman that we want and that we are aspiring to.”

“As someone from the Middle East, I am very proud,” he said. “This is the Arab woman that we want and that we are aspiring to.”

Now, I hope this person receives informative letters from insulted Arab women around the world. But let me not dwell on that, and instead pontificate a little bit on two issues related to Queen Rania. The first relates to the nature of the invitation itself: in what context does the Twitter Queen come to find herself being treated as a model Arab woman at an American university? The second relates to the nature of the queen herself: is the image that her public relations staff carefully constructs a fair representation? Those two things considered, is the queen actually a positive force for Arabs around the world?

It would be one thing to say that giving an audience to the Jordanian throne at an American university (an audience Jordanian students are rarely afforded) is a matter of diplomacy and dialogue. But it’s entirely another to confuse this monarch’s message in America, as Sana of KABOBFest has eloquently pointed out, with her lack of message or action in Jordan. It is quite apparent that al-Abdullah is renowned in the United States for what she says rather than anything she has done. Furthermore, insofar as the monarch’s “activism” is concerned, it could seem rather peculiar that someone in political power–a queen–is relegated to the realm of NGO work rather than substantive political reform.

It would only be strange, though, if we disregarded the possibility that her humanitarian image is a propaganda cover for her family’s authoritarian rule. Indeed, in much the same way that the United States drops “humanitarian relief” on the lands of Iraq and Afghanistan while also dropping murderous bombs, al-Abdullah is a “humanitarian” monarch. It is true that she did not create the repressive Jordanian regime that last year charged a University professor with “disparaging the King” for refusing to hang his holy portrait, but she certainly benefits from it, and stands to lose a lot from an equitable re-distribution of political power in Jordan–as true social activists in Jordan demand.

Much of the reaction to al-Abdullah in the States is informed by a sense that she is special, a unique voice, a light in the darkness of the Middle East. If by special we mean she has her pedestal by virtue of the fact that the King is backing her, the idea is not so problematic. But if by special we mean that she offers a compelling perspective for an Arab woman, we are probably racist, sexist, orientalist, or all of the above. You see, for all her hypocrisies, imagining Rania al-Abdullah in this light says a little bit about what we (don’t) know about her, but it also says quite a bit more about what we think about the rest of them– I mean, of course, the other Arabs.

Is it true that the Arab world has no better (a) leaders (b) women and (c) activists to show for itself than the queen of Jordan? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding no, but it just so happens that the foreign policy preferences of the United States find a happy constellation of tokenized criteria in the queen’s touchy-feely and compromising persona. Yet for some reason, perhaps due to some fantastic mystique of the crown, Americans rarely challenge the queen (perhaps because there is little substance to challenge), and we forget that in praising and admiring her from America, we commend a style of governance that we would never accept for ourselves.

Some people, including Arabs among them, praise al-Abdallah for working hard to dispel stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims. Let us make sure we distinguish between stereotypes and discrimination, because the problem for Arabs and Muslims in America and Europe is not exactly stereotyping but a hostility to plurality. What is the difference? The queen’s response to stereotyping is: no, we are not all crazy, covered terrorists wielding AK-47′s. Some of us can look beautiful, some of us can operate in the corporate business world, some of us speak perfect English, some of us do well according to your cultural standards. In other words, we can be like you. Look at me. Don’t you wish all Arabs were like you, I mean, like me?

I would have to say that such a message is not bold, courageous, or commendable. For one thing, what does this response do to challenge the logic of discrimination and intolerance? Nothing, it simply re-affirms it but re-defines Arabs so that they fit within the intolerant one’s image of himself. I would even argue that her image of herself as proof of a stereotype’s falsity is meant to prop up her position as “mediator” between the Arab rabble and the American political elite.

For another thing, is it really the fact that the kid in the refugee camp can be as glamorous and photogenic as the pampered queen of Jordan? What does al-Abdullah say or do that actually improves her American audience’s ability to empathize with those Arabs who actually are different, except to offer some offensive neo-liberal paradigm that “they are just poor and need your charity/pity”? What about those other Arabs, like the one Mahmoud Darwish writes about, the one with eight children, the one who toils in the quarry, has no prestigious name or title, whose grandfather was a peasant, who is from some forgotten village, has no address and wears a kuffiyeh on his head? Does that Arab not exist? What does al-Abdullah’s obeisance to narrow-minded “liberal” American standards do for this kind of Arab man, woman, or child?

Nothing. Instead he is the backwards Other that Rania needs your help to “develop,” to lift him up from his Godforsaken place in the world. So can we really say that this monarch’s YouTube and Twitter “activism” is actually positive for Arabs and the Arab world, or is it, in reality, violently disempowering?

That, I suppose, is an important question for Arabs in the United States to confront. Would it not be better instead to expose and challenge the racist, sexist, and orientalist underpinnings of Americans who are enchanted by the queen and her regime? Would this not be more liberating and empowering for us as a community, in a political and social sense? It would, and co-sponsorship or promotion by Arab student groups of images like the queen is actually counter-productive and should be avoided.

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Discussion

84 Responses to “Queen Rania’s personality is not positive for Arabs”

  1. you realize that other Arab students echoed your sentiments in the same newspaper the day of her speech?

    Posted by anon | September 23, 2009, 11:23 pm
  2. Asma al-Assad FTMFW

    Posted by SanaKF | September 24, 2009, 4:25 am
  3. Good work Yaman. A male friend was on the support staff of an event a few years ago where different leaders come to the US and "the Queen" was there-I asked him what he thought of her after interacting with her (albeit briefly)-his first reaction: "She is even more beautiful in person." I responded by saying that isn't what I meant-but found it fascinating that it was his initial reaction and I think that sums up how she is perceived in the US & Europe. Something she has done little to discourage-she and her handlers hope to portray her as an Arab Princess Diana. And make no mistake there are a number of Arab and Arab Americans who like the person quoted above who are so enamored by perceptions of celebrity, glamor, power, and maintaining their proximity to them that they don't realize that they aren't contradicting Western exocitization and Orientalist perceptions but playing into them.

    Posted by Osamah | September 24, 2009, 5:42 am
  4. BTW, because Arabs on campus are a topic of discussion, please take a look at In Re: The persistence of the Massad question, and please consider writing an email to Columbia Provost Claude Steele (cs2816@columbia.edu).

    I suggest recommending that he stop pandering racist Jewish Zionists and that he give the local Columbia racist Jewish Zionist conspiracy directions to the nearest lake.

    Posted by ThorsProvoni | September 24, 2009, 10:00 am
  5. BTW, because Arabs on campus are a topic of discussion, please take a look at In Re: The persistence of the Massad question, and please consider writing an email to Columbia Provost Claude Steele (cs2816@columbia.edu).

    I suggest recommending that he stop pandering racist Jewish Zionists and that he give the local Columbia racist Jewish Zionist conspiracy directions to the nearest lake.

    Posted by ThorsProvoni | September 24, 2009, 10:00 am
  6. BTW, because Arabs on campus are a topic of discussion, please take a look at In Re: The persistence of the Massad question, and please consider writing an email to Columbia Provost Claude Steele (cs2816@columbia.edu).

    I suggest recommending that he stop pandering racist Jewish Zionists and that he give the local Columbia racist Jewish Zionist conspiracy directions to the nearest lake.

    Posted by ThorsProvoni | September 24, 2009, 10:00 am
  7. Funny how people attack …she is a queen ..this is her job …as a member of a royal house she has to deal with media and use it to promote Jordan…as for her wardrobe ..designers and fashion houses give her items for free…check it out and you’ll know …

    How about Assads wife wardrobe ?how about Assad family in Syria and al-Akhras influence and growing fortune …why can’t we hear the same song here ?

    How about poverty and human rights in Syria? Care to shed the light here Sandra ?

    Posted by lilly | September 24, 2009, 10:05 am
    • My criticism is targeted just as much at her audience and their perceptions of her and other Arabs as it is directed towards her. Obviously Jordan is not unique with rights violations, or with the use of women to promote the regime's image in general.

      Posted by yaman | September 24, 2009, 12:20 pm
  8. This is exactly what I think.
    I think that the queen is more interested in being a global figure than being a queen that cares and serves her own country and her own people. And by that, she won't accomplish what she is searching for.
    If she concentrates and focuses on helping and improving the conditions of her own people in education, health, economy, she will be a credible international and a global figure. She will attend international conferences and meetings where people would listen to her, to learn about the reform that she did, and put her as an example for the Arab world and other developing countries to imitate and learn from. She will be respected global figure.
    If not, then I think, with time, people in the west and elsewhere will figure her out and she will lose all credibility.

    Posted by Tarek | September 24, 2009, 1:48 pm
    • Yea i agree with you tarek .. and the key to all this is BLOW JOBS … thats the only way she'll get the short bastard to do anything

      Posted by Ali | September 24, 2009, 9:27 pm
      • erm…. way to push this debate to a new intellectual level.
        What do you mean? How is this related to ANYTHING in this article.

        And then they ask for better Arabs to represent us on the international level.

        Posted by Yazan | September 27, 2009, 12:15 pm
    • That doesn't mean she can't do both at the same time. She has been working hard with the UN to provide for people sticken with poverty here in Jordan, leading several institutions for women and children's rights. She can't pull the whole nation out of poverty. No one can. But she can improve the quality of life that people have got.
      But writing articles complaining about the attention she's getting can only be explained by jealousy of some sort. I don't see what's wrong here. And the article didn't help open my eyes to an apparent problem of any kind.

      Posted by Yazan | September 27, 2009, 12:13 pm
  9. I had a conversation with my wife the other day and she LOVES Queen Rania!!! I was so distraught!

    I just about poohed my pants, I could not believe what I was hearing!

    True story!

    Posted by Muhammad | September 24, 2009, 6:51 pm
  10. does anyone else find a problem with the very fact that she's a *queen*? just thought i'd point out the fact that she is a scion of an oppressive monarchy. i find her advocacy for any kind of progressive rights laughable due to her title. the woman is a walking contradiction.

    also, we need to be careful about separating "arab" and "muslim." while "queen" rania can say she is a representative of an arab government, she has no right whatsoever to speak for the world's 1.5 billion muslims, 90% of whom are not arab.

    people like "queen" rania and her husband are as much of an anathema to real progress in the arab world as osama bin laden is to islam.

    Posted by zeinab | September 24, 2009, 8:06 pm
    • The Arabs in the Muslim community reporesent more than 10%. According to Wikipedia, at least 20% of Muslims live in arab countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country). Also add all of the Arab-Muslims across the world. Looking more at something like 30%

      I

      Posted by Ramie | September 25, 2009, 1:19 pm
      • ramie,
        if you bothered to actually run down the wikipedia link you posted, you'd realize "north africa" isnt neccessarily arab and the most populous middle eastern countries (Iran and turkey) arent arab either. you can go through the arab populations of both regions (country by country) and the total number doesnt exceed 150 mill (including 22 million sudanese) — and for the sake of arguement lets throw in 80 million egyptians who self-identify as EGYPTIANS. 230 billion "arabs" out of 1.6 BILLION muslims is not even 15% let alone the utterly nonsensical 30% u just pulled out of your rear.

        Posted by Haidar | September 26, 2009, 2:43 am
    • Oh yes of course a king and a queen is so backwards, such an oppressive monarchy. what do you want a 30 year presidency ?? 8 year idiocratic presidency for the gains of fat wallets.

      The difference between a king and a president is that a president only has to worry about the country the length of his term, rob as much as he can while he can. a king has to worry about running the country all his life and promote its progress forever.

      Posted by Mah | September 30, 2009, 9:41 am
      • That's bullshit for two reasons. One, you assume all monarchs are interested only in "progress" and not in being luxuriant or sadistic assholes. Two, you assume there is only one definition of "progress" that will suit the interests of everyone under the monarch's rule. These mistakes unravel your entire notion that there could or should be such thing as an "enlightened monarchy" but they are moot when it comes to the Royally Obtuse leaders of Jordan.

        Posted by yaman | September 30, 2009, 1:09 pm
  11. I've refrained from commenting, since I am an American. That said, I've have five years living in an underprivileged community in Jordan and believe it safe to say I have been closer to Jordanian poverty issues than some of the commenters.

    It is very easy for you young people, from Yale or other privileged places in the US, to criticise what she is doing from the comfort of your places of privilege. As a fifty year old mother, I will tell you what I have told Palestinian advanced degree seekers complaining about the plight of their people while sipping Starbucks: how about getting out of your comfort zone, coming home, and doing something about it? Not just a summer trip to help out, like several KF writers have done,which is a great start, but live alongside those you advocate for from laptops?

    I would also suggest you ask the children of Jordan what they think. Those who have meals, education opportunities, trained teachers, as a result of her investment. Kids in Baqa are pretty excited to have a Palestinian Queen. Would you remove even that dignity from them?

    "That, I suppose, is an important question for Arabs in the United States to confront. Would it not be better instead to expose and challenge the racist, sexist, and orientalist underpinnings of Americans who are enchanted by the queen and her regime? Would this not be more liberating and empowering for us as a community, in a political and social sense?"

    While you are all discussing the merits of 'exposing American underpinnings', kids still don't have what they need to move forward. The Queen is providing some needs and lots of vision. There is a group of American Muslim women are on the ground here doing the job. They aren't whining about a regime.

    Posted by kinzi | September 25, 2009, 5:56 am
    • No offense, kinzi, but "coming home, and doing something about it" is not an option for most Palestinians whether they are educated or not or hold passports from other nations. The Israelis (whether you cross from Jordan or fly through Tel Aviv) will hold you to your 3 month visa and are more than willing to deny entry (I've had family and friends deported the same day they flew in) so that "summer trip" is sometimes our only option.

      Perhaps you haven't experienced the complete violation that Arabs (and non-Arabs doing aid work) experience traveling to and around the Palestinian territories, but it's not pleasant. The Israelis do track your movements, they do monitor your e-mails (they require you provide your e-mail address when entering the country) and they do take your cell phone number and go through any data on the phone.

      Posted by Miriam | September 25, 2009, 5:03 pm
      • What the hell do "the Israelis" have to do with Jordan?

        Posted by programmer craig | September 25, 2009, 7:40 pm
      • Miriam, your note about travel restrictions is very true. But the context of my response was Jordan, You can come to Jordan, and there Palestinians here who can travel. It was not my intent to disparage summer trips, which I wish all American youth should do.

        In our over fifteen years in Jordan, we have chosen not to visit the 'other side' until our Palestinian friends, who should have greater freedom to do so than we do. A friend recently encouraged us to go on her behalf, and I think we will.

        Posted by kinzi | September 26, 2009, 4:55 am
    • Exactly what "needs" and "vision" is the "Queen" providing? And what percent of the royal budget is it? Does her many gifts to the Jordanian people include the lavish gifts that were showered on Condi Rice or other American leaders and dignitaries? Including a $140K necklace given to Rice? At the same time poverty in Jordan has increased under her and her husband's "reign" not to mention the level of oppression under the regime. Why is the royal budget a state secret for that matter? Ignoring the obvious of the political and moral sensibility of giving gifts to members of the Bush administration, how is it that a country and a royal family that survives only on aid from the United States (incl. secret military and intelligence financial support dating to the lat 1950s) and subsidies from the Gulf States (incl. oil and natural gas) can afford (or should) give such lavish gifts-considering their poverty, illiteracy, infant mortality rates, etc.

      As others have pointed out, "They aren't whining about a regime," because they can't-like Egypt and Syria it's a mukhabarat state-except one that the US wholly approves of. The country has been under "emergency rule" since the mid-1990s-and the activities of (and latitude given to) the mukhabarat have increased over the past decade to the point that any dissension is essentially state sanctioned and is focused outside not inward. But you are there working on the ground so you should know that.

      Posted by Osamah | September 27, 2009, 12:58 am
      • You said it. Where do we get the money to give gifts to the Bush administration? When they give us millions of dollars in aid, I think a few thousand dollars won't harm. At the end of the day it's a gift from the Bush administration to the Bush administration. Basically.

        Furthermore, the increase in poverty in Jordan can't be blamed on the current regime. If you have any knowledge in economics you would realize that the economy of a country such as Jordan that has no resources of its own whatsoever, depends largely on international events. The war in Iraq, the million immigrants that crossed the border into Jordan, the GLOBAL financial crisis, the war of words between Iran and the rest of the world. All had its toll on our country, in terms of affecting poverty. It's not King Abdullah's fault nor is it the Queens. And if you believe for one second that if our great and decent opposition (the Muslim Brotherhood) took control of our country, things would be much better, I'm sorry to say that you are truly naive and maybe a little bit ignorant.

        ("They aren't whining about a regime," because they can't-like Egypt and Syria)

        WTF?! Are you serious?! So you're saying there is more freedom for the press to criticise the government in Syria and Egypt than in Jordan?

        Clearly you know nothing.

        Posted by Yazan | September 27, 2009, 12:26 pm
        • What is impressive "All Knowing Yazan" is your capacity to read but not understand basic points. You quote from posts and comments but then draw a completely different conclusion-that would be gift in more adept hands but here it reveals that you are little more than a propagandist attempting to disrupt and incite. From your comments above one would be lead to believe that Jordan's poverty is a recent event-as you state above due to the war in Iraq, "tensions with Iran," etc. But that's not the case at all-the “All Knowing Yazan” should have a better understanding of history and economics than is revealed by those comments.

          "When they give us millions of dollars in aid, I think a few thousand dollars won't harm." Except it is not a few thousand dollars. The "All Knowing Yazan" with his extensive knowledge of economics, history and public policy should know that between the gifts and military hardware (that is isn't needed and is used only for internal repression) the recycled aid dollars accounts for hundreds of millions annually-almost equivalent to the aid that is given-leading to the question who really benefits from that aid? But you answered that question with your point that the gifts are essentially a “thank you for keeping us in power” – in local politics there is a far uglier term for such presents-it is called a “kickback.”

          I am absolutely intrigued by your comment that the ruling Hashemite regime (in power since the country was created) has no responsibility or agency for the country and its policies and problems. Leaving one to ask who is responsible? According to the “All Knowing Yazan” nobody is responsible, the regime and its people are similar victims of global forces beyond their control. The only difference (and it is but a subtle one) is that the King and Queen see no reduction in their lifestyle and royal budget-that has to be borne by the people. But fear not because the “Queen” is on YouTube, and Twitter and wears Chanel. All is well in the Hashemite Kingdom and in the world of the “All Knowing Yazan.”

          Posted by Osamah | September 27, 2009, 6:26 pm
  12. I'm pretty sure no one has denied the things that Rania has done. We all know what they are. They've pointed out the irony in the fact that criticising the royal family in Jordan is a punishable offense, but she's out advocating things like free speech.

    While we’re pointing out all the “privilege” us Arabs living in the US have, let’s not forget your privilege as an American CHOOSING to live abroad or Rania’s privilege as a QUEEN.

    Posted by Miriam | September 25, 2009, 5:03 pm
    • Miriam, speaking s a mom here, life is full of irony, hypocrisy, corruption. Mankind is not getting better in masking it's selfish intent in spite of better education and technology. People just us it to oppress one another. One would think after the Holocaust, the Jews would have learned not to inflict such suffering on others. If the Palestinians get their land back, you can count on the fact they will do the same. It's a bani-Adam thing.

      There is no perfect system. There never will be. So you have to work with what privilege you've got, in the window of time God gives you.

      The irony is not lost on me. That is why I am here trying to encourage you all not to be bound by it, but work around it in any way you can. You are young, and you cannot let the energy of your youth to change be sucked away by the disappointments and ironies and hypocrisy.

      I will leave my laptop and go do what I can with the privilege I have been given to live here. I want to be faithful to fulfill the role I have been given in it. The Bible says "Do not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart".

      Miriam, don't lose heart.

      Posted by kinzi | September 26, 2009, 5:20 am
    • Let's forget the lies in this article about the punishments enforced on the University professor.

      We can point out privileges all day, talking about your privilege and mine, but how would that help anyone? The queen knows that she's lucky for being in that position. And she's using it for the better of all of us. She doesn't claim to be one of the 'people' living in the refugee camps. Nor is she claiming to be one of those stricken with poverty.

      At least she's using her privileges to do something, rather than some people here, using the technology they have to criticize other Arabs than focus on much much more important issues.

      Posted by Yazan | September 27, 2009, 12:29 pm
  13. Hey, if I was a student overseas and Michelle Obama came to my university to make a speech I'd be pretty upset too, because I don't feel she represents me or my values, culture, etc. But such is life. At least she gets a receptive audience in the US, which is more than American first-ladies get in most parts of the world. Quit crying about everything. You should be happy that people want to hear what she's got to say. Would you rather be represented (in the West) by nobody? Yeah yeah. I know. You want everyone to listen to some smelly bastard who doesn't bathe and has the mentality of a rabid dog. But we want that imaginary guy dead or in prison, not speaking to our youth at American colleges. Deal with it.

    Posted by programmer craig | September 25, 2009, 7:47 pm
  14. Programmer craig your argument makes no sense ……..

    Posted by ali | September 25, 2009, 8:52 pm
  15. Yes she is beautiful. Yes she is eloquent, articulate, and glamorous. Yes, the West is obssessed with her. Yes, she has put some of the Hashemite clan's money to good use. One thing that she is not, and will NEVER be, is a legitimate Queen. She belongs to a Western-installed monarchy, that in itself should be end of discussion.
    PS. For the record, I actually like her. But as someone else said above, she's doing her job. Her job is to put on an image, an appealing, exotic, and mesmerizing icing for the Hashemites whose history of treachory speaks for itself!

    Posted by Nour | September 26, 2009, 10:04 am
  16. Like the use of steroids in sports, discussions of her "beauty" should come with an asterisk. She has had more plastic surgery than there are comments on this post. Of course as most Hollywood starlets learn, this only works for so long and is a fool's errand. She clearly had a new round of "touch ups" before coming to the US for her different appearances and it didn't go well. Moreover, discussions of her looks has created such insecurity in her predecessor "Queen Noor" that she decided to have successive surgeries and is starting to resemble Jack Nicholson's Joker. Rania is not far behind. As an aside, Noor similarly relied on her looks when Queen and used to cite as evidence of her "modernity" that she was born in the U.S., educated at Princeton, and from a wealthy family whose money was from PanAm. Noor, like Rania, also "helped the poor in Jordan"-including establishing a foundation. One wonders why a foundation is needed by a member of the monarchy to help the country address its internal issues-when there is a rubber stamp parliament and little or no internal dissent on policy issues and money could therefore be sent directly from the state coffers (not to mention the creation of an actual governmental institution responsible for such efforts). It is in short, like her appearance, a ridiculous constructed facade.

    Posted by Osamah | September 27, 2009, 1:23 am
  17. I heard about your critique of the queen through a friend, who said I should read the article, that it was, and I quote, 'insightful'. But I was really disappointed, and actually offended, by the quality of the arguments you provided.

    First and foremost, your analogy of the way the regime treats the Jordanian people and the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, is offensive. Do you actually believe that the killing of millions of Iraqis can be compared in any sense to the enforced hanging of a portrait in a government office? Really?
    Furthermore, twisting facts and deviating them from the truth is the definition of lying. No?
    And with all due respect, that's what you used to support the argument mentioned above. The university professor wasn't charged because she refused to hang the 'holy' portrait as you claim. You can go around many Jordanian universities, and find out that the portrait is NOT hung in every office. It is a personal freedom that everyone is entitled to. But the university professor banned her employees from hanging the portrait of the king, enforcing her own political thoughts and affiliations onto her workers. Something which goes against personal freedom, and hence the charges.

    Second of all, what's wrong with the queen being on twitter/youtube. You seem to resent that in your article, calling her the 'twitter queen' and such. What's wrong with showing the west that some Arabs are similar to people in the west, in their lifestyle, culture, jobs and mindset. That is, contrary to what you said, the definition of breaking stereotypes.
    How do you break the stereotype that Arabs have of western women? The stereotype that they are all slutty, cheap, and 'easy'? By showing them that some of them are decent women who hold family values close to heart and don't simply live to sleep around. I.e. showing them that they are like Arabs.

    The queen in her position isn't supposed to take a political role. No queen of Jordan ever did. Her role is a humanitarian one. No, not to cover up for the 'repressive' regime. Although I'm not sure where you came up with that.

    I'm writing all of this, still baffled by the whole point of your argument. What's the purpose of this article? Why do we Arabs whine when the west have such interest in an Arab leader? That interest that can make us do something in this world. You claim that there are better leaders to take this role. To go and talk at the University of Yale, but I ask you, where are those leaders? Can you please provide me with some examples?

    Posted by Yazan | September 27, 2009, 12:08 pm
    • I think it is rather obvious that the point of mentioning the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is not to equivocate between the Jordanian regime's treatment of its own people. That would be absurd and, indeed, offensive. My point was different (and it is clear in the original post): for the Jordanian monarchs to posture themselves as humanitarian angels at the same time it coordinates various repressive and oppressive activities, is as inconsistent and paradoxical as the US to pretend that it is concerned about human life and welfare by dropping aid relief at the same time it is dropping bombs. The point was not to equivocate the actions, but to point out that doing "some good"– if you want to call it that–does not absolve the Jordanian regime of its crimes.

      As for the story about the Jordanian professor. Let us say that I am wrong and that the version I presented was inaccurate at best, or worst, the case never existed. Then would you seriously be claiming that the opposite is true, that in fact the Jordanian regime is not anti-democratic and repressive? You would seriously be claiming that Jordan is in fact a haven of free speech? Please just browse over this list of stories about threatened press and student freedoms. If in fact my story is false, that does not give any weight to your implicit claim that the Jordanian government does not punish people for criticizing the monarchy. But, in any case, my story is not false, it is based on this report. I am willing to accept that the report may be in error– I leave room for such mistakes. But I won't tolerate the illogical conclusion that you drew, which is that the Jordanian monarchy is not repressive or oppressive.

      Your use of the terms "the West" and "we Arabs" is highly problematic and is actually part of the problem here. It could very well be the case that there is more diversity– political, social, cultural, whatever– within the so-called Arab world, between Arabs, than there is between the so-called Arab world and the West. And yet you still feel that it is appropriate for Twitter Rania to be the exclusive "proof" (why is it so important to you to prove this?) to "the West" that stereotypes are false?

      You say her role is humanitarian. If that is the case, why pay any special attention to her? Anyone can be a humanitarian. You don't need to be a queen. Besides, her role is not to be a humanitarian, but to be a propaganda cover for other stuff.

      The point of this article is pretty obvious: to dispel the unjustified image that the Queen's handlers draw of her for America audiences; to criticize the racism and sexism that underlies her positive reception in the United States; and to criticize Arabs like you who believe she plays a positive role. She does not play a positive role, at best she is a way to distract attention from the regime's true character and at worst she promotes a type of dialogue that secures her and her regime's power and position while disempowering Arabs in general and Arab women in particular.

      Posted by yaman | September 27, 2009, 2:50 pm
  18. Love her or hate her, she is good for the "image" of a modern progressive monarch.
    I won't go into the budget for the clothes (and FYI to some of you she actually does pay for her clothes & accessories, where the money comes from is another matter, ain't nobody's business but her own, or so we are told).
    To those of you bitching about the gifts to Condi and the bush administration, US law states that all gifts should be stated, and that means if you want to find out what the hashemites have given as gifts, well, its there in black and white and accessible to everyone.

    Posted by Walid | September 28, 2009, 9:40 am
    • This is just an excerpt of a longer reply but it was too long to fit here, if you want the full response contact me here:
      dtoxina@hotmail.com

      Posted by Walid | September 28, 2009, 9:51 am
    • "Love her or hate her, she is good for the "image" of a modern progressive monarch."

      The "Modern Progressive Monarch" which is an antonym for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A "Modern Progressive Monarch" doesn't operate under "emergency powers" and only has ceremonial functions. A "Modern Progressive Monarch" has free and fair elections, they don't preside over a mukhabarat state in which "opponents" are routinely arrested and/or disappeared and tortured in state prisons. A "Modern Progressive Monarch" is interested in the welfare of their people-not to use them as a prop. A "Modern Progressive Monarch" allows freedom of the press, political dissension, and independent political parties and debate within parliament not a rubber stamp backed by the truncheon's of the mukhabarat and his praetorian guard. A "Modern Progressive Monarch" doesn't parade around in designer dresses pretending to represent a "moderate" face to the world while her husband wears army uniforms with medals for battles never fought or won to cover up one of the worst human rights records in the region and crony-capitalist economic policies-that is what a fraud does and that is what the "King and Queen" are down to the ridiculous English accent and botox smile.

      "US law states that all gifts should be stated, and that means if you want to find out what the hashemites have given as gifts, well, its there in black and white and accessible to everyone."

      Which is exactly how we found out about the lavish gifts given to condi rice and others. A surprise since one would expect a "Modern Progressive Monarch" to have more transparency about their budget and expenses. But yet again there is what a "Modern Progressive Monarch" would do and what the "Hashemite royal family" does.

      While we are on the subject of gifts, lets deconstruct the 140K necklace given to Rice. Was that a symbolic baby shower gift for the "New Middle East" she gave birth to? Was it a symbolic token for the millions of Iraqi refugees and hundreds of thousands killed-when the "smoking gun" wasn't a "mushroom cloud" at all but a bundle of lies and deception. Or was it a token of the number of Lebanese killed in 2006 or the number of Palestinians starved and killed in Gaza for the past 3 years?

      "where the money comes from is another matter, ain't nobody's business but her own, or so we are told). "

      And so we are told. Were you always so obedient or were you trained that way by your "Modern Progressive Monarch"?

      One would say that after nearly a century of corruption, collusion, incompetence, and treachery the Hashemites and their apologists should be ashamed, but they don't have that capacity.

      Posted by Osamah | September 28, 2009, 9:28 pm
  19. blah blah blah

    Posted by bored | September 28, 2009, 9:57 am
  20. so now we are knocking rania for being able to speak fluent english, operate in the corporate world and basically looking good? what is rania saying and or doing that is detrimental for the arabs? she single handedly launched projects ranging from education to empowerment of women , eradication of poverty, to better health care , why on earth would we want some one like her to speak to audiences about our challenges? our efforts to solve these problems? its not like she is involved in any of these things now is she?

    and for nour, not a legitimate monarchy ? really? have you forgotten that the hashimites were leaders of these lands for more than 1700 years before any western powers stepped foot in the region? the hashimites were only removed from power in saudi via western support to AL sauds .

    the shallowness of the original post is remarkable, most educated , cultured women in the region are exactly like rania , they speak good english , they can operate in the modern world . they share her sentiments in regards to women and children rights, health care, education , poverty and the like. nothing in her projects and or programs contradict the needs and vision of your average young arab woman who is seeking a better future for herself, her family, her society and her country . the fact that she is rich , beautiful and a queen does not change the fact that her vision is intone with the majority of Jordanian women .

    Posted by nasser | September 28, 2009, 12:28 pm
    • Yeah, I suppose we should all fall in love with her and allow her to speak on our behalf simply because she "single handedly" married the King who "single handedly" was born into the right family which "single handedly" was awarded a country that it "single handedly" carved out of thin air after "single handedly" losing its rein over the Arabian peninsula.

      Can you please share, oh Nasser, the empirical proof that women in the Middle East are "exactly" like Rania (that doesn't make sense– if they're exactly like her, why is she so special?)? Do you have proof that a "majority of Jordanian women" agree with her "vision"? If you are so confident let her win power by an election not by marriage or US aid dollars.

      I already explained that Rania is detrimental because she arouses sexist and racist attitudes in the West regarding Arabs and because she protects the power of the crown rather that allow the Jordanian people to decide for themselves their own fate and interests. Worse, she has not even been elected by Jordanians as their representative, and yet she not only purports to speak for them, but for ALL Arab and Muslim women–around the world! Wow!

      Posted by yaman | September 28, 2009, 6:18 pm
    • Yeah, I suppose we should all fall in love with her and allow her to speak on our behalf simply because she "single handedly" married the King who "single handedly" was born into the right family which "single handedly" was awarded a country that it "single handedly" carved out of thin air after "single handedly" losing its rein over the Arabian peninsula.

      Can you please share, oh Nasser, the empirical proof that women in the Middle East are "exactly" like Rania (that doesn't make sense– if they're exactly like her, why is she so special?)? Do you have proof that a "majority of Jordanian women" agree with her "vision"? If you are so confident let her win power by an election not by marriage or US aid dollars.

      I already explained that Rania is detrimental because she arouses sexist and racist attitudes in the US regarding Arabs and because she protects the power of the crown rather that allow the Jordanian people to decide for themselves their own fate and interests. Worse, she has not even been elected by Jordanians as their representative, and yet she not only purports to speak for them, but for ALL Arab and Muslim women–around the world! Wow!

      Posted by yaman | September 28, 2009, 6:18 pm
      • I already explained that Rania is detrimental because she arouses sexist and racist attitudes in the US regarding Arabs…

        Queen Rania makes Americans sexist and racist against Arabs? :o

        You must be joking, because any sensible person would say she does the exact opposite. Americans see her on TV and think "See? Arabs are just like us! Only better looking!" and "See? Arab women are well educated, articulate and care about human rights, just like American women". But that's not what Yaman sees, because Yaman doesn't know any Americans except for the crazy white women liek Jillian who have never found anything they liked about their own country, and would tell any lie to make their country and their countrymen look bad. But why take her word for it, Yaman? She's already said on this blog that she feels she has more in common with middle-eastern Arabs than she does with Americans. What does she know about American attitudes?

        Posted by programmer craig | September 28, 2009, 8:06 pm
        • That's precisely my point. Treating her alleged education/articulateness/concern for human rights/whatever fawning superlative you want to use as an EXCEPTION is based on a racist idea about Arabs and a sexist idea about Arab women.

          Posted by yaman | September 28, 2009, 8:08 pm
          • So, you weren't joking? lol.

            Dude, you don't overcome a stereotype by playing into it. And you don't overcome a stereotype by just complaining that it exists. Everyone stereotypes. It's a fact of life. People modify their views when they encounter individuals who don't match their preconceptions. Queen Rania does that for Arabs in general, and for Arab women in particular. I therefore am completely at a loss to explain how it is in your pea-sized brain you have come to the conclusion she is feeding racism and sexism against Arabs. Is there any chance at all you can get a refund on all that tuition money your parents wasted on you?

            Posted by programmer craig | September 29, 2009, 12:02 am
      • what do women want ? arab women? dont they want the same basic needs as any human from the right to health care to education to careers to security for themselves and their families?

        is not the queen spearheading these sorts of efforts in the country? there is not question that she is and thus her efforts are representatives of that of Jordanian women, and dont give me that bullshit about being elected , we saw how well that went with Bush , twice!! hitler and others, the point is that someone is not elected does not mean they are not worthy to speak on behalf of a certain people, Chomsky , Edrawrd Saeed, Jesse Jackson, Arafat ,hell even MLK were not elected yet they spoke on issues related to their people , countries and ideologies.

        no I am not comparing MLK to rania nor am I discrediting the concept of elections however your arguement that she is not worthy nor representative of arab women simply because she is not elected is worthless and flawed , specially when her position does not require to be elected, no one elected the queen of england , its a postion you get through marriage or blood, the queen does not have any sort of executive power and so to require her to be elected for that position is simply silly.

        is rania educated? is she well spoken? is she well versed on the issues she speaks on? yes she is and that is all that really matters

        Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 2:52 am
        • "the point is that someone is not elected does not mean they are not worthy to speak on behalf of a certain people, Chomsky , Edrawrd Saeed, Jesse Jackson, Arafat ,hell even MLK were not elected yet they spoke on issues related to their people , countries and ideologies."

          Yes Rania is Chomsky, Said, Jesse Jackson, Arafat and MLK all in one — except in heels! You forgot to mention Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Nelson Mandela, Lady Di, and Angelina Jolie. I usually talk about all of them in the same breath. But personally I agree with you Rania eclipses them all with her achievements and is second only to Obama in greatness-ok I take that back she is more accomplished than Obama.

          And her husband is even more accomplished than she is-we can all be thankful his acting career wasn't successful so he could lead Jordan and the rest of the Arab world when we so desperately need him.

          I hate to break it to you but Arafat was elected-both within the PLO and the elections of the Palestinian Authority. Jesse Jackson ran for president twice-and won multiple presidential primaries and caucuses.

          Chomsky and Said are and were scholars-they wrote their own works they didn't have speechwriters and handlers (and stylists and PR staff, etc.)

          And the monarchy in England is ceremonial only they have no political authority. That is not the case in Jordan-where all authority rests in the hands of the ruling family. Again something I would have thought you would know.

          Seriously aren't you ashamed to even mention these people in the same sentence as Rania? Do you have no sense of proportion or people's accomplishments and achievements and how she pales in comparison? Are you that brainwashed? Or are you so desperate for the approval of the West that you make the most ludicrous analogies possible? I pity you and your ignorance.

          Posted by Osamah | September 29, 2009, 4:03 am
          • dont know why you get so worked up on things when i clearly mentioned the following in the original post

            NO I AM NOT COMPARING MLK TO RANIA.

            Posted by NASSER | September 29, 2009, 10:59 am
          • also a side point about arafat , he was chosen and approved by arab nations as the sole representative of the Palestinian people long before any elections were held.

            Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 11:37 am
          • I don't know what is more troubling your lack of historical knowledge and basic concepts or that you are absolutely tone deaf to sarcasm and mockery. You (not me) put your queen in the same sentence as MLK-you can claim you are not comparing them but you were comparing them.

            Now time for a little historical lesson. The PLO was chosen as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974. Arafat became the head of the PLO by 1969-forcing out the old leadership (many of which were from notable Palestinian families) that were selected by Gamal Abdel Nasser. The rise of Fatah and Arafat was due largely to their promotional efforts surrounding raids by the fedayeen (which were almost all unsuccessful) and the "victory" at the Battle of al-Karama in 1968-they and other groups (like the PFLP and later DFLP) were able to recruit out of the Palestinian refugee camps and exile communities based on these acts. In contrast, the old PLO and its leadership esp. Ahmad Shuqayri were discredited esp. after Egypt was so soundly defeated in the 1967 war.

            Did Arafat and the PLO have to rely on the different Arab leaders for financial and political support? yes. Did they attempt to play different Arab countries off of each other? Yes. Why? Because they were a national liberation movement, not the only ones in history who did this. While I understand that the concept of "national liberation" is foreign in certain segments of Jordanian society (present company included) a basic reading of the Vietnamese and Algerian revolutions just to start would reveal a similar dynamic. The major difference is the core base of the Palestinian population were either refugees or in exile and not inside the territory they were attempting to liberate. Moreover, the PLO would not have been able to be declared the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people without the support of the Arab regimes. But guess which one was reluctant and resistant? If you guessed it was the one led by the midget king you may actually be learning something.

            By the way, Rania is also a lot like Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara as well. (Again sarcasm).

            You're welcome by the way now seriously dude, closer your internet browser, go kiss the picture of the king and queen you have on your computer desktop, and go read a book — you are embarrassing yourself.

            Posted by Osamah | September 29, 2009, 6:12 pm
    • "have you forgotten that the hashimites were leaders of these lands for more than 1700 years before any western powers stepped foot in the region? the hashimites were only removed from power in saudi via western support to AL sauds ."

      And who drew the maps creating the country and installed and kept the "lollipop guild" of "Hashemite Kings" in power in "Transjordan" and later "The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan"? The Power Rangers?

      Only 1700 years? You must not be up on the latest "official" history of the Hashemites-the one I read said 5000 and they were responsible for building the pyramids and inventing the wheel.

      And when you say that they were leaders of "these lands for more than 1700 years before any western power" -what lands? Do you mean the Hijaz? or do you mean the Jordan River Valley area? or the entire Arab world? I hate to burst your bubble, but the Hijaz kingdom was limited to the coast and the holy cities-it didn't extend all the way to the Jordan river valley and include Salt (and Amman was little more than a village well into the 1920s) or Palestine or Syria. And nobody except the British considered them leaders of anything.

      Please enlighten us when you say "before any western powers stepped foot in the region"? Which western powers are you referring to and when? Because it sounds like you are implying that the Hashemites were "leaders" of the region before Islam? Which would be news to everyone.

      But I am sure you already knew that, from the level and depth of your historical and geographical knowledge one can only assume you work for Jordan's Ministry of Education.

      "the fact that she is rich , beautiful and a queen does not change the fact that her vision is intone with the majority of Jordanian women" Yes she is "rich" in a country wholly dependent on military and financial support and subsidies from the US and the Gulf. Quite an achievement. What does it say about the ruling monarchy that it is the richest family in a poor country? What does it say about those who defend it?

      Posted by Osamah | September 28, 2009, 9:03 pm
      • the hashimites were a political regime before the western powers intervened in the region, they ruled mecca and the hijaz in that capacity , so to say they became a monarchy because of western powers is flawed , that is the simple fact that i was pointing out , why you got so worked up is beyond me, or perhaps its that this facts annoys you?

        or is it perhaps that the people of iraq , syria, and jordan initailly accepted the idea of being ruled by hashimites before domestic and regional factors changed that direction?

        Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 2:57 am
        • I am not making an argument about the virtues of democratic selection here. I simply referred to an election as one way to offer empirical proof for your assertions that (a) women in Jordan are "exactly" like Rania and (b) Rania "represents a majority of Jordanian women." You still haven't given any proof for these two claims, instead you keep regurgitating your opinion without any evidence. Why should we take your word for it?

          The English monarchy is ceremonial without formal political power, unlike the Jordanian monarchy which in addition to hoarding the national treasury has total control over the political system.

          Rania is unsophisticated, uninteresting, and attempts to tell stories that simply aren't hers to tell. As Osamah mentioned below she uses poor, suffering people as "props" to build her own image. In fact I defer everything to Osamah's comments, I think he has said everything that needs to be said quite succinctly.

          Posted by yaman | September 29, 2009, 3:51 am
          • ask any Jordanian women what she wants for herself and her country and she will answer you with better education, better health care, better job opportunities for themselves and for their families, there is no ifs or butts about this, this is a fact, you want to dispute it then pls tell me what you think Jordanian women want .

            Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 11:41 am
          • Ok, I will ask one, and maybe she will give me those exact answers. Then I will ask her "how do you want that to happen?"

            It's possible she will say: I hope that the King will marry a kind Queen who will rain on us an infinitesimal share of her wealth, so that I can buy 2 slices of bread rather than one each day.

            It is also possible she will say: let the King and Queen return the country's wealth to the people, and let it be distributed fairly.

            Will you now proclaim that you are 100% certain that they will all answer the former, and that all I have to do is ask "any Jordanian woman" because they are all the same?

            Posted by yaman | September 29, 2009, 12:16 pm
          • as i said before , she does represent the : majority of jordan women: if you dont believe that the majority of women in Jordan seek a better socio-economic conditions then there is no point in wasting my time on this .

            maybe the lady will answer as such, 2 slices of bread for her family, and like most arabs the majority of us would think that distribution of wealth and elections will solve all our ills, however we will overlook the fact that this lady was married at the age of 16, the fact that she is most likely to have 5 kids living on her husband salary of 500 jods , the fact that she never got medical advice on how to raise the kids , how to take care of herself during pregnancy, the fact that 65% are over weight and 75% of us smoke and hence our medical services suffer more each and every year. interesting fact: almost 50% of jordanian women agree with the right of a man to beat up his wife should she disobey him, but hey as long as we have elections and 2 slices of bread we should be fine and dandy .

            the fact is , u can distribute 1 million dollars to each Jordanian citizen and have free elections tom and yet you will not solve even one of these problems.

            Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 1:20 pm
  21. Again how are you defining western intervention and where? Because if you think Western intervention began with World War I, you are sadly and sorely mistaken.

    They were not a "monarchy" in the Hijaz-that would be news to the Ottoman Empire. The title of Abdullah and Feisal's father was Sherif Hussein of Mecca-he wasn't a prince or a king he was local ruler who had some autonomy from the Ottoman Empire. Since you are an apologist for the regime why don't you know their history? Or do you only know the history that they want you to know?

    "or is it perhaps that the people of iraq , syria, and jordan initailly accepted the idea of being ruled by hashimites before domestic and regional factors changed that direction?"

    when did the "people" of iraq, syria and jordan accept their rule? When was the election? Or were they installed after WWI w/ British troops and a league of nations mandate? You do know that don't you or don't they teach you that in the approved texts in Jordan.

    You do know how Transjordan was created don't you? As Winston Churchill said "with the stroke of a pen"-he is the father of Jordan not Abdullah. And you know how Abdullah ended up there? The story is well known and not a secret except apparently in Jordan. Do you know what the British used to call the mighty King Abdullah? Did you know they used to mock him secretly in their telegrams from Amman to London-and he thought they were his friends and he trusted them because to his face they told him he was a great leader, and would be King of the Arabs, and modernize his people-sound familiar?

    Or were you told that there has been a "Jordan" since time immemorial led by the light and genius of the Hashemite family-who were the true Arab nationalists and defended the Arab nation and Islam from the western invaders. Ignoring that the Arab legion was recruited, trained, led and funded by British soldiers. That your "King Abdullah" desperately wanted to rule Iraq and then Syria but was left with "Transjordan" instead after Feisal was expelled from Syria by the French and "given" Iraq by the British.

    But you would know that because you are from Jordan and you love your "king and queen" and you are an "expert."

    Posted by Osamah | September 29, 2009, 3:36 am
  22. there were no elections to install the hashimites as rulers in Iraq and Syria, there were conferences of national leaders and representatives that had agreed to install them in Iraq and Syria, later and due to outside interference and domestic objection that hashimites were removed .

    The early history of the Hashemites saw them in a continuous struggle against the Umayyads for control over who would be the caliph or successor to Muhammad. The Umayyads were of the same tribe as the Hashemites, but a different clan. This rivalry eventually would lead to the split between the Sunni and Shia. After the overthrow of the Umayyads, the Abbasids would present themselves as representatives of the Hashemites, From the 10th century onwards, the Sharif (religious leader) of Mecca and its Emir was by traditional agreement a Hashemite. when a family has religious ( sharif) , political ( emir) and an economic power over a region that stretches almost all the westen coast of Saudi its a god damn monarchy.

    got to love how you need to personalize the debate here, first i am worker in the ministry of education, now i am a lover of the queen and the king , a person who got his education through govt texts only, why? because i believe that a certain lady is qualified enough to speak to a certain audience on a certain topic.

    oh well nothing new here, anti regime characters tend to use that tactic , to be proregime to them then you must be from a certain tribe, not very well educated, have personal ties to the royal family or are benefiting from them. pro regime ones use the you are not patriotic or nationlest enough if u criticize the king , and in the midst the real debate is lost.

    Posted by nasser | September 29, 2009, 10:55 am
  23. Are you taking the lord’s name in vain in the same sentence as discussing the royal family? For shame. I hope the mukhabarat doesn’t hear about this-they might take it the wrong way.

    Again basic concepts time. How do you define "monarchy" because a "monarch" has political independence NOT political autonomy. A monarch's power is not based on a political arrangement with a larger and more powerful political body-which has similar claim and title to the territory you hold. You do know that among his many titles the Ottoman Sultan was considered the keeper of the Holy Places. Again a time for a little historical lesson. The most valuable territories to the Ottoman empire were in Southern Europe ("the Balkans" and "Greece") not the Hijaz and def. not what is currently called "Jordan". However, as they started to loose more territory in Europe in the 19th century and Egypt eventually came under British control, they started to turn toward the Arab territories and started to emphasize the Muslim nature of their territories more incl. the role of the Sultan as the keeper of the holy places.

    Now that wonderful kindergarten history you recounted above, which I have neither the time nor patience to pick apart, was used by who to legitimate the Hashemites? The British. And for what? a revolt against the Ottomans. Why would a "monarchy" need to "revolt" against a larger political force who claimed "authority" over the same territory? Because it's not a monarchy!

    But that is not my favorite part. This one is, because it so revealing:
    "there were no elections to install the hashimites as rulers in Iraq and Syria, there were conferences of national leaders and representatives that had agreed to install them in Iraq and Syria, later and due to outside interference and domestic objection that hashimites were removed ."

    So Iraq which was under British mandate and the presence of British troops held a "conference" of national leaders which "selected" Feisal to lead them. But he wasn't "installed" by Britain he was only "removed" by "outside interference."

    Do you actually believe this? I am fascinated because I wonder if you are really so naive? Let me guess when you get emails from "Nigerian princes" do you believe that an exiled Nigerian prince just needs a bridge loan. Seriously get a grip. I am really sad for you that this is the level and depth of your understanding of your history as a Jordanian and as an Arab. Show some pride in yourself and your history-and go read a book and take a history class or two (or 5).

    Now my other suggestion is that you get off the internet and go change your alias and your IP address before the mukhabarat misinterprets your comments about the royal family (you cursed god and by extension them in the same sentence) and insulted the queen (what do you mean she is not like MLK? She is better than MLK! She is the queen!!)-and we all know how that will go. But then again it is a progressive monarchy and she speaks for Jordanian women so I am sure they will understand.

    Posted by Osamah | September 29, 2009, 6:34 pm
    • HAHA got to love them Arab liberals, they preach about political reform and yet any slight difference in view will result in cursing , mockery and insults, ironic is not it then that they practice what the regimes they oppose do . i have two degrees in politics yet when I offer a different point of view the answer is go take some history classes .

      Mohammad the prophet established a political order , one that covered political , economic and religious affairs, Mohammad the prophet is from the same tribe as the Hashimites, how is this not a political regime? who ruled Hijaz and Mecca prior to Islam and did so for centuries? before the Turks ? it was a the hashimites, fast forwarding 1000 years to get to the turkish empire rule and the british to suite your argument is simply flawed ,

      when the Hashimites ruled Iraq there were 23 newspapers in Basra alone, there was a decent level of political freedom , expression and participation but I guess since the press and political freedom are western inventions just like the hashimites then obviously we have no need or use for them . Saddam was obviously the better choice as millions of Arabs will attest to. but hey its all about what the people want is not it? I mean imagine the horror of being ruled by a royal family who at the time had considerable less power by law , and the PM's that got elected freely by the people in the begin of political life in Jordan and Iraq. oh no we dont want that because at the end of the day its wrong to use western alliances against the just and magnificent rule of the Turks. imagine the horror of all these arabs ( 70 million in todays world) living in one federation , its not like the arabs have done that before, oh wait they did and because of Islam , the religion of the hashimite prophet. not that I am a religious person or anything of that sort .

      a female relative of a certain african king contacted the royal court during Hussein life, she needed help in a medical emergency and the king's response surprised his staff . he made the issue a top priority , when asked why, his answer was did u forget who hosted muslims in the first hijra and protected them from prosecution?

      thats an african princess story that the likes of you wont read in history books nor get in an email. Diplomatic ties that go back 1500 years back because of the political order established by the hashimites. but i guess islam and mohammad and Ali were also Turkish and British inventions too.

      on a side note your take on Arafat is very limited, the US and Israel refused to hold peace talks with him until the PLO changed their mandate, the land the PLO was fighting for was technically Jordanian . When Arafat changed his attitude and rightly so ( perhaps his biggest achievement ) then it became possible for the Jordan to give up the right for these lands to the PLO.

      Posted by Nasser | September 30, 2009, 1:35 am
      • …seriously?

        Posted by yaman | September 30, 2009, 1:40 am
      • "i have two degrees in politics yet when I offer a different point of view the answer is go take some history classes"

        Yes and you clearly graduated at the top of your class. By all means continue to embarrass yourself with your ridiculous (and easily refuted) historical claims and now fake degrees. You likely don't realize this (frauds rarely do) but your statements don't reveal a "different point of view" but an utter poverty of understanding and comprehension of basic historical facts, political concepts, and even geography. Really quite pathetic actually but I expect that from anyone who would defend and sing the praises of the Hashemite monarchy.

        "then it became possible for the Jordan to give up the right for these lands to the PLO."

        Just another quick historical lesson for you. Your dwarf king gave up the "rights" to the West Bank in July 1988. The 19th session of the PNC was held in November 1988 when the PLO declared independence, signaled acceptance of UNSC resolutions 242, 338 (and UNGA 181). Which subsequently led to the US agreeing to hold limited and inconsequential talks with him. So the PLO's "change in mandate" as you so crudely put it occurred after King Hussein relinquished his claim not before-and it was because of the first Palestinian intifada. But you have two politics degrees so you would (or should) know that.

        And just a side note for you, the US's refusal to talk to the PLO was public only and was based on a "not-so-secret" agreement between the US and Israel. Yet, there were private talks through the 1970s including attempts to get the PLO to accept 242 and 338 in order to attend the Camp David Accords among other things. But I am sure you knew that as well – two politics degrees and all

        Of course none of this answers why Jordan had "rights" to the West Bank anyway. I am sure you know this as well-the collusion of King Abdullah with the Zionists and the British. Which was matched by his grandson's collusion. A proud bunch they are the Hashemites. Mabruk!

        Honestly, I tire of these basic history and politics lessons-reviewing things you should have learned with your two degrees anyway-seriously you should get a refund.

        Posted by Osamah | September 30, 2009, 10:50 pm
  24. Queen Rania is great! She's the bomb-diggedy!

    Posted by Achmed | September 29, 2009, 8:44 pm
  25. what you dont understand is that i am fully aware of the history of the hashimites and the zionists what you dont understand is that I agree with these policies, thus what you see as betrayal is not seen as such by me. Jordans and Israel role in the creation of Hamas is well known, it was not that long ago that their headquarters and leadership were living here in Amman, Israel allowing hamas to operate its social programs to rival the PLO and others are just examples of this, in that context one would understand why Jordan gave up the claim to these lands at that particular time.

    you make it sound like you just found the dead sea scrolls and threatening the vatican with it , relax dude what you state above is common knowledge, hashimites members would not sit down with avi shalom research for his latest book if they did not admit to that part of their history. I happen to agree with these relations because i think they were the right thing to do. simple as .

    Posted by nasser | October 1, 2009, 2:55 am
  26. I was wondering when you were finally going to admit that you are a Zionist posing as a Jordanian. Explains your "different views" and Orientalist understanding of Arab history. Pathetic.

    Posted by Osamah | October 1, 2009, 3:50 am
  27. waaal , zionist marra wa7deh , da kalam bardo ya ragil.

    Posted by nasser | October 1, 2009, 10:06 am
  28. "ya ragil" I thought you were "Jordanian" not "Egyptian." Glad to see that you are putting your semester of Arabic at AUC to good use-or am I being too generous and was it just hanging out at Sharm al Sheikh getting baked with your "boyz"-or did you pick it up while serving at a checkpoint on the West Bank? Yet, even with "two politics degrees," you never learned the Arabic word for Zionist. Pathetic. Again.

    Posted by Osamah | October 1, 2009, 6:49 pm
  29. I’m joining this quite late, but I just want to comment on one little thing regarding Queen Nour.
    Although I don’t think that any representative of the monarchy in Jordan is worth the attention they get, I still believe that Nour is a significantly more accomplished woman than Rania. Both come from the same social strata, so there is no point in discussing the silver spoon aspect of it all. Nevertheless, Nour has a good deal more going on between the ears, and I would argue that much of her social programs were a success before they had to be destroyed so Rania could make her own. My 2 fils.

    Posted by Nidal Bahjat | October 13, 2009, 4:12 pm
  30. Excellent article..I especially agree with your point about her message on discrimination. I was offended by her attempts to tell the west "please accept us, we can be like you. ' He message is very apologetic and is not at all intended to challenge discrimination. But as you she is part of a regime that has been doing the same for decades so this should come as no surprise

    Mira

    Posted by Mira | October 29, 2009, 1:39 am
  31. So as I see it, she has no personality. she hides behind the facade of beauty. She was married for her looks, her family position (trophy Palestinian wife) and her looks. Trophy wife to the ultimate!!!!

    Posted by Bla | March 15, 2010, 6:04 am
  32. Yaman,
    You are so naive and uninformed about so many matters that I would not know where to begin. For that reason, I simply will not dignify your attack on Queen Rania with a response except to say, my how unbecoming is your jealousy. :)

    Posted by Mohammad | April 1, 2010, 5:58 pm
  33. Jordan receives $1/2 billion in US aid each year. This explains most of Jordan's policies, especially having to do with Israel. Egypt receives about $1 billion each year. This is why Egypt is helping to blockade Gaza. Other Arab states want US dollars in exchange for oil, keeping their populations ignorant and illiterate. Iran doesn't want to play that game, and look what's happening. There is hope in Iraq and perhaps Syria.

    Posted by Jamal | April 2, 2010, 4:27 pm
    • Perhaps you've heard of a little thing called the "Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan"? The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes between them.

      The Gaza Strip has been under a blockade since the militant group Hamas seized control in June 2007. This is supported by the governments of Egypt and other nations. Israel has declared Gaza a "hostile entity", and argues that it is not legally responsible for Gaza and not obliged to help a "hostile" territory beyond whatever is necessary to avoid a humanitarian crisis.

      The firing of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns itself is internationally regarded as violating the Geneva Convention prohibition on attacks aimed solely at civilians. That does not stop the rockets.

      Gaza: Hamas Report Whitewashes War Crimes | Human Rights Watch
      Hamas's latest claim that its rocket attacks against Israel are not war crimes is factually and legally wrong, Human Rights Watch said

      Iran wants money for oil… they repress their people, keeping them subservient, and rig elections to stay in power… while developing nuclear weapons in the face of the world and leading their country towards conflict.

      Yes, there is hope in Iraq. There will be freedom for the Iraqis… freedom from the Islamist extremists and freedom from criminals and hate groups.

      Posted by Humanitarian | April 2, 2010, 10:31 pm
  34. Excellent article. She is a fake queen.

    Posted by Jennine | April 12, 2010, 7:06 am
  35. Hi,

    We've had a very interesting debate as well on the Queen: is she a postcolonial Arab or does she actually have the potential to 'bridge' cultural barriers? Here are the two perspectives argued: http://errwhateverz.com/2010/05/25/queen-rania-op
    http://errwhateverz.com/2010/05/25/queen-rania-op

    Posted by sysh | May 25, 2010, 1:24 pm
  36. One thing is undeniable. Queen Rania is an excellent ambassador of Arab and muslim people. she combats the 'violent' 'unprogressive Arab and Muslim' images that non-muslim nations think is the real deal. I'm always being told by people that they are 'surprised' I am a muslim because I am 'modern' and 'educated' and "emancipated'. I just send them photos and clips of Rania, and they shut up. Queen rania presents herself in a way that helps Arabs and Muslim people all over the world. Thank God for her! I am grateful. I've lived through a ethnic cleansing. I know how important Rania is.

    Posted by chris | July 16, 2010, 7:59 am
  37. "What does al-Abdullah say or do that actually improves her American audience’s ability to empathize with those Arabs who actually are different?" –> Raising this question makes sense only if she could in fact say something that actually improves the American audience's ability to empathize. Americans are more likely to empathize with a pretty poor child than with the guy Mahmoud Darwish writes about. That is a fact and is likely an expression of human nature. Do you think it is possible for her to say something which would increase empathy with the guy Mahmoud Darwish writes about? Tell me what it is! If you have no idea, why raise the question? And even if you know what she could say, would you – in light of the humanitarian goals that she claims to pursue – advise her to focus on increasing American's empathy with such people? Would you claim that this is the most effective thing for her to do?

    Posted by Robert | November 9, 2010, 5:10 am
  38. Queen Rania: me, myself and I.

    Posted by JordanMan | March 2, 2012, 12:46 pm

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  1. [...] Source: http://www.kabobfest.com [...]

  2. [...] Rania is an interesting character to explore. There has already been criticism about her image and portrayal of what it means to be Arab on other blogs. We asked two Jordanians to talk about their perceptions of Queen Rania’s media image, and we [...]

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