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JORDAN: Queen Rania receives YouTube award

November 15, 2008 |  8:36 am

Queenrania

She may be queen of an ancient land. But this week word emerged that Queen Rania of Jordan was winner of a distinctively 21st century honor. She has been given YouTube's first-ever Visionary Award for launching an interactive online channel to combat stereotypes and misconceptions associated with Arabs and Muslims, Jordan's Petra news agency reported.

The news was announced Thursday by YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley:

Queen Rania sets the standard for breaking down stereotypes and her YouTube videos are nothing short of inspirational. It is both a pleasure and an honor to present her with this much-deserved tribute.

The Visionary Award celebrates active and motivated users of YouTube whose aim is to utilize the service as an open platform to foster dialogue, highlight social and cultural issues and work for positive change in their communities and around the world.

This is what her majesty started a year ago by beginning an online discussion on sensitive issues including Islamic women's attire and women's role in the Middle East workplace. She strove to repel stereotypes that stain Arabs and Muslims, especially women, because of what she described as a gap in understanding between East and West.

Queen Rania said:

YouTube encourages us to be active participants in a global conversation, making our voices heard, giving us the power to broadcast ourselves, increasing knowledge of each other, breaking down the barriers between us clip by clip.

Her video, "Send me your stereotypes," was viewed by more than 1 million online users. Another video received 1.4 million page views within weeks, prompted 83 video responses from other users, and generated nearly 6,000 comments.

YouTube will hold a ceremony honoring Queen Rania on Nov. 22.

And of course, the 90-minute event will be a live webcast.

-- Khaled Hijab in Beirut

Photo: Queen Rania al Abdullah, the first lady of Jordan, attends the opening of the second conference of the Arab Women's Organization in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates last week. Credit: Ali Haider / European Pressphoto Agency

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