November 1, 2007
Briefs: Jordan’s Queen reveals hopes for Mideast, Nahai to DWP, Halle Berry’s nose joke
(Page 2 - Previous Page)At CAA, she spoke under the auspices of the Foreign Policy Roundtable, a group that promotes better understanding of world affairs among entertainment industry leaders. Audience members included directors Taylor Hackford and Thomas Schlamme and producer Quincy Jones.
In each venue she visited, the queen, a practicing Muslim born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait, expressed the urgent need to bridge gaps in understanding between Islam and the West.
"When I travel the Middle East and talk to Arabs, they all ask the same question, 'Why do the Americans hate us?'" she said. "And when I come here and talk to Americans, they all ask the same question, 'Why do the Arabs hate us?'"
One way to lessen the mutual distrust, she said, is to be open to sharing one another's culture. The queen's on-stage interlocutor, pundit Arianna Huffington, prompted her to tell a story about how, as a child, she first tried an American friend's peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. "I always felt sorry for her that she didn't have a humous sandwich like me," said the 37-year-old queen, who spoke in impeccable English. "But when I tried it, I found I liked it."
Focusing on more controversial choices, the queen said women are making progress in the Muslim world, and Westerners shouldn't focus all their attention on whether Muslim women wear a head scarf or hijab.
Huffington asked the queen what her ideal of Mideast peace would look like.
"An end to the occupation," Rania said, "and an agreement that will ensure that Israel is fully integrated into the region and has all its security concerns addressed and that ensures that the Palestinians have an independent, viable sovereign Palestinian state, and for those two states to live side by side in peace. That is what we all aspire to. I know there is a lot of cynicism about this, but the day we say this will never happen is the day we sign off on the future of all those children."
To hear Queen Rania's vision of Mideast peace, click here.
-- Staff Report
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