As Queen Rania of Jordan celebrates her 50th birthday today, learn more about Jordan’s queen with the 50 facts below:
- Rania al-Yassin was born, with Jordanian citizenship, on 31 August 1970 in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
2. Rania’s father is Faisal Sedki Al-Yassin, and her mother is Ilham Yassin.
3. Queen Rania’s family are of Palestinian origin.
4. Queen Rania is Muslim.
5. Queen Rania received a degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo in 1991.
6. Before becoming royal, she worked for Citibank and then for Apple Inc in Amman, Jordan.
7. Queen Rania met her future husband then-Prince Abdullah, the son of King Hussein of Jordan and his second wife Princess Muna, at a dinner party in August 1992. They dated for six months before they were engaged.Embed from Getty Images
8. Rania and Abdullah married on 10 June 1993. Her title became HRH Princess Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.
9. Rania’s husband is part of the Hashemite Family who have governed Jordan since 1921. Abdullah is a 41st generation descendant of the Prophet Muhammed – the founder of Islam. They governed Mecca for over 700 years until 1925 and are the world’s second oldest dynasty after the Imperial House of Japan.
10. Rania and Abdullah have four children: Crown Prince Hussein (born 1994), Princess Iman (born 1996), Princess Salma (born 2000) and Prince Hashem (born 2005).
11. Rania is fluent in Arabic and English.
12. On 22 March 1999, Rania was proclaimed Queen after her husband ascended the throne upon the death of his father. This title is not automatic for the wife of a Jordanian king but must be bestowed by him. Rania then became Her Majesty the Queen of Jordan.Embed from Getty Images
13. King Abdullah proclaimed his and Queen Rania’s eldest child, Prince Hussein, as the Crown Prince of Jordan on 2 July 2009.
14. In 2013, Queen Rania founded the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development to improve opportunities for children and young people and equip them with the knowledge, skills, strategies and values that will enable them to succeed in a fast-paced world.
15. In 1995, Queen Rania founded the Jordan River Foundation which has a focus on child safety and community empowerment.
16. In May 2014, Queen Rania launched Edraak (meaning realisation in Arabic). This organisation provides online quality education in Arabic and is accessible to all internet users and promotes lifelong learning.
17. In 2007, Queen Rania opened interactively the Children’s Museum, Jordan where children learn through play and interactions with indoor and outdoor exhibits. It is open to children all over Jordan and of all socio-economic backgrounds.
18. In 2005, Queen Rania launched the Royal Health Awareness Society which raises health and safety awareness in Jordan. They have programmes to change unhealthy habits and lifestyles.
19. In 2008, Queen Rania launched Madrasati which means “my school” in Arabic. This organisation connects individuals, private companies and organisations to provide support for improving the physical and educational learning environments of Jordan’s most neglected public schools.
20. Rania founded the Queen Rania Teacher Academy to raise the quality of teaching in Jordan through continuous training and development in 2009.
21. In 2005, Queen Rania began the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education which honours distinguished educators across Jordan. The award is presented annually.
22. In 2006, Queen Rania established the Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans. “Al-Aman” means security in Arabic and its goal is to help young people who have come out of orphan care at the age of 18 to pursue higher education for themselves.
23. The National Council for Family Affairs was established by law in July 2001 and is chaired by Queen Rania. Its goal is to connect government and non-government agencies in the field of human and social development and family affairs.
24. In November 2000, in recognition of her commitment to the cause of children and youth, Queen Rania was invited by UNICEF to join its Global Leadership Initiative. She worked alongside other world leaders, including former South African President Nelson Mandela, in a global movement to improve the welfare of children.
25. In August 2009, Queen Rania was made Honorary Global Chair of the United Nations Girl’s Education Initiative.
26. On 20 August 2009, Queen Rania co-founded and led the”1 Goal: Education for All” initiative which is a call on world leaders to ensure the 75 million children out of school worldwide can receive an education.Embed from Getty Images
27. In 2011, Forbes Magazine named Queen Rania as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
28. A strong believer in microfinance as a way to help people in poorer countries establish businesses, in September 2003, Queen Rania joined the Board of Directors of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA).
29. In 2005, Queen Rania was made an emissary for the United Nations International Year of Microcredit.
30. In March 2008, Queen Rania launched her own YouTube Channel inviting viewers to give their opinions of the Middle East and talk about stereotypes they may have encountered.
31. Queen Rania is a user of Facebook. She uses her page to engage with people to discuss cross-cultural dialogue, education and, more recently, she began using social media to create social change. More than 16 million people have “liked” her page.
32. To coincide with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Jordan, on 8 May 2009, Queen Rania launched her own account on Twitter with the username @Queen Rania. She has around seven million followers.Embed from Getty Images
33. On her official website, Queen Rania has the following words of introduction: “We shouldn’t judge people through the prism of our own stereotypes.”
34. As a tribute to her late father-in-law on the first anniversary of his death, Queen Rania wrote The King’s Gift – a book for children about King Hussein. The proceeds from the book went to underprivileged children across Jordan.
35. Queen Rania’s second book was entitled Eternal Beauty, which she wrote in celebration of Mother’s Day in 2008. It tells the story of a young girl’s conversation with a little sheep as she searches for the most beautiful thing in the world.
36. In 2009, Queen Rania wrote Maha of the Mountains, which tells the story of a young girl’s determination to get an education and the challenges she faced.
37. Queen Rania’s 4th book was called The Sandwich Swap and was inspired by an incident in her own childhood. It tells the story of Lily and Salma, two best friends, who argue over the ‘yucky’ taste of their respective peanut butter, jelly and hummus sandwiches. The girls then overcome and embrace their differences. In May 2010, the book went to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List for children’s books.
38. The World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2007 named Queen Rania as UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children.
39. In early 2002, Queen Rania joined the Board of Directors of the International Youth Foundation based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
40. In September 2002, Queen Rania became a member of the World Economic Foundation Board. She is also on the Board of the Foundation of Young Global Leaders and has been the Chairperson for the Nominations and Selection Committee since July 2004 when the forum was established.
41.In September 2006 Queen Rania joined the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors.
42. Queen Rania is Co-Chair of the Arab Open University.
43. On 9 June 1999, Queen Rania became a Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of Al-Hussein bin Ali.
44. Queen Rania has received foreign honours from the following nations: Bahrain, Brunei, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
45. In 2002, Queen Rania received the Gold Medal of the Italian President from the Pia Manz International Research Centre Italy.
46.In 2008, Queen Rania received the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award from Synergos University USA.
47. In 2010, Queen Rania received the Arab Knight of Giving Award from the Arab Giving Forum UAE.
48. In 2015, Queen Rania received the World Childhood Award from Queen Silvia of Sweden’s World Childhood Foundation USA.Embed from Getty Images
49. In 2016, Queen Rania received the Andrea Bocelli Humanitarian Award, Italy.
50. In 2018, Queen Rania received the Influential Personality of the Year Award at the third annual Arab Social Media Influencer’s Summit in Dubai.