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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 12:41 GMT
Profile: Jordan's Queen Rania
Her Majesty Queen Rania al-Abdullah of  Jordan
Queen Rania: Outspoken about 'honour killings'
Queen Rania al-Abdullah is one of the most visible first ladies in the Arab world, and has become a regular fixture on the society pages of London magazines.

Known for her affection for designer goods, she is also viewed by many as one of the world's best-dressed women.

But the queen who came from a family of Palestinian origin, recently came under fire for leaving the country at a time when Israel is stepping up military operations in the West Bank and Gaza.

King Abdullah II's family
The royal couple have three children
She was travelling abroad in May when her own family's home town, Tulkarm, was bombed to avenge a suicide attack on Israel.

"Her absence inflamed feelings in the [refugee] camps," a businessman from Amman told the UK newspaper the Sunday Telegraph.


But to most people, Queen Rania is a glamorous figure and a champion for women and children's rights. She has founded numerous charities.

She is an outspoken critic of "honour killing" - the custom of men murdering any female relative found to have committed adultery or lost her virginity before marriage.

A doctor's daughter, she was born in Kuwait on 31 August 1970.

Queen Rania and French President Jacques Chirac at a state dinner
The queen is known for her fashon sense
She went to primary and secondary school in Kuwait, then earned a degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo.

From there she went on to a brief career in marketing at Citibank, before taking a job at Apple Computer in Amman.

She met her future husband at a dinner party in January 1993. Two months later, they were engaged and by June they were married.

The king and queen now have three children, including a one-year-old baby.

Jordan's first lady is an active woman. Her hobbies, according to the Queen Rania web site, include water skiing, running and cycling

Suburban home

When King Abdullah Bin al-Hussein and Queen Rania al-Abdullah ascended the throne in 1999, they brought a more populist approach to the Jordanian monarchy.

The royal couple have eschewed palace surroundings in favour of a suburban home outside Amman.

While her husband is known for mingling with his subjects in disguise, Queen Rania prefers to visit remote villages in the kingdom.

Her trips are unplanned and unannounced. She simply gets into her car and drives off with a pair of security guards in tow.

See also:

09 Jun 99 | Middle East
King Abdullah: Jordan's hope
27 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Jordan
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