Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, perhaps, is the only royalty in the world, who is working for the refugees all over the world. From United Nations General Assembly to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Queen Rania has taken up the issue of the plight of refugees.

The reason behind her concern is that Queen Rania herself was a refugee. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Queen Rania was driven away from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein invaded that. Originally from Tulkarm, West Bank, Queen Rania landed in Jordan as a refugee. But as they destiny has its own plans.

Queen Rania received a degree in business administration from the American University in Cairo before joining her parents – who had fled Kuwait during the first Gulf War – in Jordan. Her first job was a marketing position at Citibank, before accepting another marketing job at Apple’s (then known as Apple Computer) Amman office. It was at a party, thrown by the sister of King Abdullah (who was still a prince then), while accompanying an Apple co-worker in January 1993 where she was to meet her husband-to-be. The pair got engaged barely two months after falling in love at the party, and married in a lavish ceremony in June 1993 – two months before Queen Rania turned 23. Eight years her senior, King Abdullah is also the first king of Jordan who has never had more than one wife.

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Crown Prince Hussein, the couple’s oldest child, is 21 and has been the heir apparent to the throne since 2004.He has three younger siblings – Princess Iman, 19; Princess Salma, 15, and Prince Hashem, 15, who shares the same birthday (January 30) with his father.

While famed for her beauty and sartorial savvy as an international fashion icon, Queen Rania is also known as a powerful advocate of causes such as public education, empowering communities and bridging the cross-cultural gap between Western countries and the Arab world. Besides consistently being named in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women, she has also been listed by People magazine as one of the most beautiful.

In recognition of her work, she has received over 20 awards and four honorary doctorates. Among other roles, she sits on the board of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty) and is responsible for several initiatives back in Jordan, such as the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, an annual teaching award.  – Agencies

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Asif Ullah Khan

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