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Queen Rania of Jordan on religion and the role of women in the Middle East

December 04th, 2016

Q: You are known for your philanthropy. Which causes are particularly close to your heart?

A: Education and community empowerment have always been top priorities because without them, a society cannot progress or develop an immunity to threats.

Educating people and giving them the tools to empower themselves is our best bet at meeting the challenges we face today. It allows the poor to stand on their own feet and walk away from the effects of poverty. Sixty per cent of the Arab world’s population is under the age of 25.

This statistic is often referred to as a “demographic gift”, but with a quarter of them unemployed — and that’s double the global average — if it’s a gift for anyone, it’s for the extremists who want to prey on and manipulate the hopeless.

Now, more than ever, the classroom has become our first line of defence against extremist ideology.

I’m sure Australia can relate as it is no stranger to the recruitment of foreign fighters by radical groups in the Middle East and North Africa, and has put commendable measures in place to fight this phenomenon at home.

The Daily Telegraph >

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