I have had known Queen Rania of Jordan only as a beautiful woman from lifestyle and celebrity magazines. Then somehow started following her on Twitter and gradually learned of not only her relaxed way of communicating about her life and unconventional selection of events to attend (for example, big blogging event etc), but also of her activities in the sphere of education and development. Among other, she established an organization called 1Goal, with the aim to provide education for every child in the world by 2015. In promoting these activities, she actively uses social networks: Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook. Explaining in an interview for TechCrunch (technology focused site) why and how she uses Twitter she said:
"Twitter’s a great way to tell people across the world what I care about and, hopefully, motivate them to join me in furthering my causes. It’s also a fantastic medium to hear the ideas and opinions of people I might not otherwise get to meet.
I want to tell people more about Jordan, about my life and work, but also to campaign for quality, global education. Not many people know that there are 75 million children out of school in the world…and two thirds are girls. And there’s just no excuse for that. We know what to do, we know how to make it happen, but we lack momentum from the masses to push politicians into action. It’s only when we have a critical mass of supporters behind this issue that we will put every child behind a school desk.
Twitter’s one way we can do that. It’s about using social media for social change: creating a community of advocates who can use their voices on behalf of the voiceless, or leverage their talents, skills, knowledge, and resources to put more children into classrooms, or pressure their elected representatives to get global education top of the agenda.
Who am I tweeting? Anyone who wants to learn more and help make a difference."
To say that Queen Rania is ahead of many royals in using technology to help raising awareness is an understatement. She is ahead of many NGO and other activists and organizations as well.
In April International Center for Journalists has announced that one of the winners of X-Cultural Reporting Award is "Hijabskirt Project".
Asmaa Fathy (Egypt), Aleksandar Milosevic (Serbia) and Tarek Mounir (Egypt) produced a multimedia Web site analyzing the difference in cultural perceptions, starting with the Muslim hijab and the Western miniskirt.
On the web site of the project, the authors write:
"Given the fact that ignorance is the root of all conflicts, wars and social phobia, the authors have designed this website as a unique educational and social platform for reconciliation West and East through the symbolic process of reconciliation hijab and skirts."
Thus, through examples, stories and personalities, there are information and analyses on hijab and skirt, and their meaning and uses within the cultures they originated from and cross-culturally. I like the way that these everyday objects were used to explore differences (in perceptions) and similarities (in prejudices), and that this has been done on the web site, thus creating an opportunity to further expand the scope and reach of the contents.