The English Literary Association (ELA) of Jamia screened a 45-minute video lecture by the Queen of Jordan, Rania al-Abdullah, held at the Yale University, USA, on the topic of the Palestine and Israel conflict and the role of the USA as a leader on the issue.
The video screening was held at the English department on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
“If someone can inspire you or motivate you in any manner, then that someone is a true leader.” These were the words that the president of Yale University, Richard C. Levin, used to introduce Queen Rania to his students. And by the end of the lecture most of the students, in the video and watching the video, completely agreed with his words.
Queen Rania wasted no time in winning the hearts of her audience. Her stunning personality and confident humorous style caught everyone’s attention in enough measures for her message to be drilled in.
She began her talk by appreciating President Obama’s approach in the matter of Palestine-Israel conflict: his timely studying of the issue. However, she objected to the very prominent delay in action. She stood in front of Americans as a voice that has failed to reach their ears.
She narrated the condition of the Palestinians, especially in Gaza, with a good example. She says to the Yale students and faculty, “When you have left Yale you will carry an identity which will speak for you a lot more than you yourself can tell. Hence this identity will give you a better access to all the resources in the world. In Gaza the only identity the citizens have is that of limitation.”
She tried to nail down the fact that each claim over Palestine’s shrinking land is like a blow to their very existence. She further adds that the Israelis too need security and a future; life needs to be more than attack orders and danger sirens.
What is to be done? She asks the million dollar question and answers herself: At the political front there is a need of firm and quick action and negotiation. President Obama is probably right in taking his time to understand the conflict but after having waited for so long and having seen so much destruction, people are now impatient. 64% of Palestinians and 40% of Israelis have agreed to give peace a chance. This notion needs to be promoted. America needs to show total commitment to the issue and reach out for humanity.
She ended her talk by hoping that peace comes true for good in the Middle East and around the world. It’s not like these issues and the consequences were being heard for the first time, but maybe because they were coming from an independent, strong and willful woman, her well constructed expressive language had a powerful impact on her audience.
The talk was followed by a 15-minutes question and answer round. Here we learned that Queen Rania has a personal interest in women rights and development in the Arab world. Her priority lies in education and employment of women.
Relevant to the topic, she was asked of her opinion on what America should do. She boldly answered, “There is no perfect plan and the state of limbo is good for no one. America will have to make a choice sooner or later. The U.S. status in the world is based not on just economy but on morals and values. Hence there is a need to maintain these values. The consolation for fair justice and no bias judgment needs to be promised. The U.S. has an extremely important role to play due to its status, power and leadership.”
In order to strengthen relations between the Queen and Yale, and as an honor, it was announced that the Yale University has started a Queen Rania fellowship for Contemporary Studies of the Middle East, this year.
In this interview Queen Rania-al-Abdullah tries to appeal not only to the U.S.A for better support and stronger action but also to the humanity within us. As J.K. Rowling has said, “Being willfully unimaginative seeks more monsters!”
Mr. Roomy Naqvi, the student advisor for the ELA, is of the view that it is important for us to come out of textbooks and take a look at the contemporary realities and form opinions about them. Hence, he chose to share a talk outside the syllabus with his students and he is willing to continue the idea of such programs. What the students thought to be yet another boring documentary turned out to be very inspiring.