While visiting refugees stationed in Lesbos, Greece who had fled the crisis in Syria, a series of photos emerged that showed Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan swarmed by eager women. In the Middle East and beyond, Queen Rania is a celebrity, but her role in visiting with refugees is part of her personal campaign to make the world a better place. In the photos, her compassion is radiantly clear as she looks into the face of each woman with intent, listening carefully to their haunting stories.
There’s no faking that level of sincerity. In fact, this is the same face you’ll see when she gives impassioned speeches about the crisis to rooms filled with seven-figure donors and Manhattan socialites at the International Rescue Committee Dinner. It’s also the same face when she’s advocating for education, human rights, and more at the hundreds of political and philanthropic events that she attends each year.
In person, and at the highest political and social levels, Queen Rania is a force of nature. On paper, she is a former banker who ended up marrying King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein on June 10, 1993. Over the years, Queen Rania has become a mother to two boys and two girls, and aims to leave them with a lofty legacy filled with acts that benefit humankind. Her enlightened stance on women’s rights, gender roles, community empowerment, education, and microfinance has given a voice to the progressive sectors in the Middle East.
Education for children is of particular importance to the Queen, who once stated, “Every Jordanian girl and boy, and all children, should have access not only to stimulating classrooms and modern curricula, but also inspiring teachers and technology that can connect Jordan’s children to the world, and the world to Jordan’s children.”
Her initiatives and tireless efforts have earned her dozens of awards, titles, honorary positions, honorary degrees – the list goes on ad infinitum. She has won the Peacemaker Award from non-profit Seeds of Peace, the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from The Tech Museum of Innovation, the Arab Knight of Giving Award from Arab Giving Forum, and more.
In addition to being an outstanding humanitarian, an outspoken advocate for human rights, and a dedicated activist, Queen Rania is also a style icon who is capable of upstaging even the biggest celebrities with her polished ensembles and impeccable beauty looks. Although she is just as comfortable delivering speeches behind a podium and meeting with foreign dignitaries, she is no stranger to the red carpet. For her public appearances, the Queen favors polished workwear, embellished gowns, and traditional looks updated with modern accessories.
As Her Highness turns 51 years young today, we celebrate her many accomplishments. For more information on Queen Rania’s global advocacy work, initiatives, and more, visit her official website and follow her on Instagram.