10 Questions with Queen Rania...Time Magazine
Thursday, May. 10, 2007
think that women will ever truly have equal rights in the Middle East?
Absolutely, I believe they will. I think that mind-sets are changing in the Middle East. Poll after poll is showing that men see the value of greater female participation and empowerment. We still have a long way to go, but Islam should not be used as a scapegoat. The obstacles that face women today are more cultural. It's not about the religion.
My daughters are being abused by other Muslim students at school for not wearing a veil. Your advice?
Meetha Lund, STOCKHOLM
For many, the hijab represents modesty, piety and devotion to God, and I truly respect that. But the hijab should not be used as a means of applying social pressure on people. In Jordan, for example, a woman cannot be forced to wear a veil against her will.
What are you doing to eliminate honor killing--the murder of women who allegedly have brought dishonor to their family--in Jordan?
Nuha Mousa, SEATTLE
As a woman, as an Arab, as a Muslim, I would like to state very clearly that this is a heinous and totally unacceptable practice. It is not condoned by Islam, and honor killings are not limited to the Arab or Muslim world. In Jordan, we are challenging this disgraceful practice. Progress has been slow because we need to build awareness, and that takes time.
Will the Arab world ever be free of the kind of mindless violence occurring in Iraq?
Joseph Southern, BANGKOK
The Middle East is not just about Iraq. The Middle East has both challenges and opportunities. Many countries in our region are experiencing a massive economic boom. It's a very youthful region, and the young by nature are hopeful, optimistic and innovative. The world shouldn't overlook our successes and achievements.
Is democracy a good thing for Jordan, and if so, what are you doing to achieve it?
Tareq Salem, AMMAN
Of course democracy is good, but it is a process, not a prescription. If it is going to be effective and long term, it has to be made in Jordan. That's really the starting point. Democracy and monarchy can coexist very peacefully as long as the monarchy believes in democracy. In our case, we certainly do.
What is the biggest negative about the U.S. invasion of Iraq?
Christian Paquette, BOSTON
The civilian suffering. This conflict has spared no one. It's incredibly sad to see such a proud and great country broken.
Does the average Jordanian consider the average American an ally?
Ryan Wells, SAN FRANCISCO
The average Jordanian has much in common with the average American in terms of the values that we share, the fact that we all value the family unit, our work ethic. If more of us realized this, I think we would all be better off.
What's the solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
Teri Elmaleh, TEL AVIV
First, start with will on both sides--not just the political kind but the kind that comes from the conscience and the heart. To achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East takes guts, not guns.
How will the world benefit from the "village banking" microfinance campaign you are supporting?
Chunqin Hua, BEIJING
I believe in microfinance because it isn't just a path out of poverty. It's the road to self-reliance. By allowing people to team up and literally become their own bank, you can mobilize people and resources and alleviate poverty on the global scale.
What can the average American citizen do to solve the crisis in the Middle East?
Josh Larkin BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WASH.
Start by learning more about the real Middle East. Challenge your own assumptions about the Middle East. Lobby for diplomacy and dialogue in foreign policy. And simply reach out to your Muslim neighbor.
· To read more from Queen Rania and submit questions for upcoming interview subjects, go to time.com/10questions
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Friday, May. 11, 2007
More Questions with Queen Rania
TIME's interview with the Jordanian royalty continues on Time.com. Read these extra questions with Queen Rania
the changes that you have seen in women in your country since your husband
became a King and you a Queen? —Donaldo Villalobos in Los Angeles
change can you effect, and how fast, given that religious extremism and aversion
to the West is so entrenched in the culture you are trying to alter?
—Mohammad Shamsuzzaman in San Bernardino, Calif.
you think about hijab [veil, or headscarf], in relation to Islam and modernity?
—Nese Yilmaz in Madison, Wis.
you think the role of the Jordanian Queen has changed over time, and do you
expect it to change greatly in the future? —Latu Lolohea in Salt Lake
would you say is the single biggest challenge Jordan must overcome in the next
decade and how would you address it? —Waheed Din in Houston
clash between cultures stressful for you and how do you cope? —David Colclasure
in Conway, Ark.
role should a Muslim woman play in reducing tensions between the Muslim world
and the West? —Asghar Mayo in Lahore, Pakistan
"easy" or how "hard" is it to be Queen Raina? —Anand Srivastava in Hyderabad,
misconceptions about your life in any of your roles would you like to erase so
that we can better understand not only you, but also your culture and values?
—Nalini Saxena in New York City
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