QUEEN RANIA: INNOCENT UNTIL…

Despite ongoing rumours about the conduct of Queen Rania, such accusations remain without real substance. Her … supporters claim it is her role as an educated example of contemporary 21st century Arab womanhood that is her real enemy among some of the more conservative, traditionalist Jordanians.

The more progressive membersof Amman society point to her involvement in raising the awareness of thorny issues such as honour killings and gender inequality, as well as her ongoing support for improving the situationof children and her role in promoting educationas a tool for reform in the Middle East region.

One Amman professional told The Middle East this week: “It is not Queen Rania personally they are against, it is a modern, forward looking womanin a position of power these people cannot stand the thought of. They say she is pro-Palestinian.So what? More than 50% of Jordanians also have strong associations with Palestine. So far, it isthe only thing they have accused her of that they have been able to prove. Jordan does need political reform but its people do not want to overthrow the monarchy. The Arab Spring has been a wonderful thing for countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya but the waves of discontent have spread far and wide and this is what we are experiencing in Jordan at the present time. We need change but controlled and measured change. Anything else would be a parody.”