Queen Noor, Let Us Follow You.
“It should never be forgotten that peace resides ultimately not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of the people.”
His Majesty King Hussein
Prior to my move to Georgetown, I lived in Aspen, Colorado. I consider the Rocky Mountain town home for many reasons. While Aspen is touted as a luxury resort destination, what resides right beneath the powdery (pardon the 80’s pun) surface is a town made up of caring individuals that consider insight and good conversation the first step to friendship. Aspen’s official motto, “Mind, Body, Sprit,” was given to the area by Walter Paepcke, founder of the think tank organization, The Aspen Institute. The “Institute” is responsible for bringing world leaders to this small town, and it is here at 8,200 feet above sea level that many people were introduced to HM Queen Noor of Jordan.
According to the Aspen Institute, “Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke (1896-1960), chairman of the Container Corporation of America, first visited Aspen, Colorado in 1945. Inspired by its great natural beauty, he envisioned it as an ideal gathering place for thinkers, leaders, artists, and musicians from all over the world to step away from their daily routines and reflect on the underlying values of society and culture. He dreamed of transforming the town into a center for dialogue, a place for “lifting us out of our usual selves,” as one visitor to Paepcke’s Aspen would put it… Paepcke created what is now the Aspen Institute.”
It is because of Paepcke’s work that I have found myself at lunch, on hiking trails, and at concerts with individuals ranging from an executive-turned-ski bum and publicist-turned dog walker to a writer-turned sheriff and royalty relaxing. One one occasion, I visited the boutique Max, where I went to find a classic black blazer for work. I tried on what I liked, twirled a bit looking for bad angles, and caught another woman twirling in the same blazer. It was Queen Noor of Jordan. She was stunning, regal, elegant, and wore the same size as me.
I learned that Queen Noor was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in the U.S. She married and is now the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. King Abdullah II, the current leader, is King Hussein’s son from a previous marriage; therefore, HM Queen Noor of Jordan is the official title, as opposed to HM The Queen of Jordan, given to Queen Rania.
Queen Noor is the Chairperson of the King Hussein Foundation and Her Majesty “plays an active role in promoting international exchange and understanding of Arab and Muslim culture and politics, Arab-Western relations, and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty and disarmament.” She speaks to and for the citizens of Jordan while connecting Jordan to the world and the world to Jordan. She has a unique vantage point and is respected in Jordan. Much of Queen Noor’s work is a process of progress rather than any sort of quick fix claim. She plans “to build on King Hussein’s humanitarian vision and legacy in Jordan and abroad through national, regional and international programs” by:
Providing access to innovative education and capacity building to pave the way to progress and human development.
Empowering disadvantaged individuals directly through loans, grants, and the establishment of income generation enterprises at the grassroots level to combat poverty and unemployment.
Enhancing sustainable community development and participatory decision-making in Jordan and the region.
Promoting cross-cultural understanding , tolerance and human rights in cooperation with regional and global institutions.
Conducting research and making policy recommendations in the fields of social and cultural development, with an emphasis on the well being of women and children.
Queen Noor was speaking at the Aspen Institute at the time of the blazer incident, and makes appearances around the world addressing the amalgam of multi-layered issues surrounding Arab-Western relations. Her schedule is booked, rooms are packed, yet what about the citizens of Jordan (and people like me in the U.S.) who want to hear and learn more about Queen Noor’s message? What about the fact the the King Hussein Foundation needs donations? What about the positive, residual effects of following Queen Noor on her passionate voyages around the world? We can’t all show up at the Aspen Institute, the Global Water Awards Ceremony in Paris, or the Dubai International Film Festival to hear her speak.
Many of us know that Queen Rania of Jordan is mastering the use of social media to reach Jordanians and people around the world. The success of Queen Rania’s social media outreach to Jordanian citizens can be a model for Queen Noor.
According to www.internetworldstats.com, the country of Jordan boasts 1,741,900 Internet users as of June 2010, which translates to 27.2% of the country’s 6,407,085 population. The U.S.boasts 59,096,800 Internet users as of December 31, 2009, which equals a 76.2% penetration rate. Without an aggressive, or even active, social media strategy, vital messages aimed at creating awareness, fundraising, social change, and understanding is missing millions of people.
So now what? How and why should Queen Noor address audiences in Jordan, the U.S., and around the world via social media? Personal appearances are the backbone for Queen Noor to implement social media in to her work.
1. Queen Noor needs to identify an official Facebook page.
Why? Queen Noor seems to have a Facebook page with 524 members. This seems to be the “official” page, yet it needs to be cited and utilized with more regularity. Make sure the people of Jordan and the general public knows the Facebook pages is official. Link the Facebook page from www.kinghusseinfoundation.org. Update Facebook regularly with upcoming speaking engagements, highlights of recent engagements and calls to action.
2. Queen Noor needs to create a Twitter account.
Why? Keep the citizens of Jordan and the world engaged and informed by announcing upcoming speaking engagements or to share part of a speech.
3. Create a Youtube channel.
Why? Videos from several different speaking engagements have been posted by individuals, organizations, and televisions stations. The King Hussein Foundation needs to centralize videos to create order and structure for key publics to follow Queen Noor’s messages, calls to action, and progress.