Women of Royalty
Queen Rania of Jordan
       Rania Al-Yaseen was born on August 31, 1970 in Kuwait, where her family of Palestinian origin that moved to. Her father was a successful children's doctor at a Kuwait Children's hospital. Rania and her two siblings, her older sister, Dina, and her younger brother, Magdi, went to the New English School. Rania attended the Kuwait establishment from kindergarten through Year 11 and was said to be a hard-working student and very motivated. She also took part in many extracurricular activities. In 1987, Rania left for the American University of Cairo to study Business & Administrations and Computer Science. In 1991, she graduated from the faculty of business administration with a degree in Computer and Business Studies.
       After college, Queen Rania went to work with computers at a Jordanian company. She was promised the appointment of manager but when the company refused to appoint her, she quit. She found another job at a Jordanian bank, owned by the brother-in-law of Prince Abdullah of the Jordanian Royal Family. One day, Abdullah went to visit the bank and when he saw Rania he fell in love with her, and she with him.
         Rania and Abdullah became a couple, and in 1993, Queen Zain Al-Sharaf, Abdullah's grandmother, asked to see this woman that her grandson would marry. When Rania was presented to her, Queen Zain commented, "You are a diamond that will be added to the Hashemite Family."  Later that year on June 10, 1993, Rania and Abdullah were married, and Rania Al-Yaseen became Princess Rania Al-Abdullah.
          In 1994, Rania gave birth to their first child, named Hussein after Abdullah's father, the King of Jordan. In 1996, they had a daughter, Princess Iman, and in 2000 the couple celebrated another daughter, Princess Salma.
          Like her mother-in-law, Queen Noor, Rania was not familiar with life in the royal household. She had to make adjustments and had to learn the rules, regulations, and consequences of being part of the royal family.
          In 1998, tragedy struck the royal family when King Hussein was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant during a six month stay in the U.S. On January 19, 1999, the king returned to Jordan flying his own plane, one of his many hobbies. Fearing that the end was near, Queen Noor and King Hussein attempted to sort things out in Jordan for the next ruler. King Hussein had named his heir in 1965, his brother, Hassan. However, he decided to change the inheritance. Abdullah was named his heir after Hussein went on a Jordanian radio station and announced the change of inheritance, commenting that Hassan had spread rumors about Queen Noor and interfered with the army. Hussein left for another cancer treatment in the U.S. not long after changing the succession.
           On February 2, 1999, Princess Basma and Prince Mohammad chose to be the donors in Hussein's bone marrow transplant.  However, the transplant was useless. Hussein asked to be taken back to Jordan before he went into a coma. On February 5, Hussein was declared clinically dead. The royal family decided to keep him on life support and during noon prayers on February 7, 1999 Hussein died.
           King Hussein was now dead, and Abdullah was the new Jordanian king. That meant that Rania was now the queen of Jordan. This was the second time in Jordanian history that there were two queens at once. The first time was with King Hussein's mother, Queen Zain, and his first wife, Queen Dina (Hussein divorced Dina and married two more times before marrying Queen Noor). Now there was Queen Noor and Queen Rania.
           Rania found it very hard to adjust to her new role, and found refuge in Queen Noor, who had also married into the royal family from a family like Rania's and had to adjust to her new roles also. Rania looked up to Queen Noor for her impressive skills in charities and organizations and her wonderful charms. Rania herself began to take on the roles that Noor had, and began to join and form charities, organizations, and societies.
          Today, Queen Rania leads a revolutionary movement throughout the Middle East and the world for women. Though a devout Muslim, Queen Rania does not follow the strict procedures that some Middle Eastern countries set for their women to follow, which deeply enrages many fundamentalists.
         Queen Rania's main focus is children. She devotes much of her time to charities, orgainizations, and visiting the children of the world from the schools of Amman to Kosovo refugees. She leads many organizations and charities, much like Queen Noor, and in a way, makes the most of her role as the queen consort of Jordan's king. In a time when democracy is a popular form of government and old-world monarchies are dying out, Queen Rania is showing people that she can make the most of her duties as a queen and a mother to her nation.
        Queen Rania has visited families across the world. From New York City's Ground Zero to Paris to Sweden, Queen Rania and her husband, King Abdullah, are appraised by many for their powerful actions. And although the couple is frequently busy, they still have time for their three children and devot themselves to family life often.
       In fall, 2003, Queen Rania sponsored the 'Petra: The Lost City of Stone' exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
       Once a young, ordinary woman, Queen Rania now lives a fairy tale. Swept off her feet by a prince and now a queen, Rania is set upon modernizing the world around her. Praised for her work in Jordan and in the world and criticized in the Middle East for her strong ties with the Western world and her love of fashions and haute couture, Queen Rania is the image of the modern monarchy.