Home Queen Uses YouTube to Break Down Stereotypes

Queen Uses YouTube to Break Down Stereotypes

Queen Rania of Jordan, the current queen consort of King Abdullah II, has launched a YouTube channel on which she intends to break down Western stereotypes about the Arab world. The Queen, who has been an outspoken advocate of women’s rights and education reform in the Arab world, hopes to use the channel to facilitate a conversation with people in the West to dispel negative stereotypes about the Arabs and Muslims that have become especially prevalent over the past several years.

“In a world where it’s so easy to connect to one another, we still remain very much disconnected. There’s a whole world of wonder out there that we cannot appreciate with stereotypes,” said the Queen in an introductory video that has received over 80,000 views since being uploaded on Sunday. “I want people to know the real Arab world – to see it unedited, unscripted and unfiltered – to see the personal side of my region – to know the places and faces and rituals and culture that shape the part of the world I call home.”

Rania hopes that the video will encourage users to respond and voice the types of stereotypes they have heard. “I will try to break them one by one,” she said. The conversation will go until August 12, which is International Youth Day. So far, Rania, who has previously argued that it is right to question Western governments but also urged Arabs and Muslims to reject extremism and violence, has received hundreds of comments but no video replies.

YouTube is potentially good at facilitating serious discourse, however. For the most recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — where Rania is a yearly fixture — YouTube gave users the opportunity to respond to the question: “What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?” The video inspired hundreds of responses, with the most popular receiving hundreds of thousands of views.

The Queen’s introduction video is embedded below:

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