A distinguished address by Queen Rania at the Web Summit

Submitted by munir on Mon, 03/04/2024 - 12:05

Last Tuesday, groups of participants in the worldwide Web Summit began proceeding towards the main hall at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). I could hear their whispers saying: "The Queen of Jordan, or Queen Rania, will speak now." So, we were waiting for a distinguished address at this summit, which took place for the first time in an Arab country. When I looked from the first row into the huge hall, and I found it filled with thousands of people as most of whom were young while the number of people standing was greater than those sitting, I took great Jordanian pride.


By the way, this Web Summit gathering is technical, as it deals with technology, modernity, digital inventions, investment in the technology sector, and everything that is technically and artistically new in the amazing world of communications. More than 15,453 people from 81 countries have registered for it. Hundreds of inventions and technical solutions were displayed. The summit was more about the future than about the present.


Yet in her speech, Queen Rania Al Abdullah broke the rule and had the tables turned upside down by the interrupting long periods of applause.  O technical world, the inventions you are making are worthy of praise and joy, but there are “novels” that you receive which are incomplete and consequently call for the humanization of these modern means, and for providing them with appropriate furniture, namely the ethical one. I believe this is the only address at the summit that did not shed light on the inventions that dazzled the world from Doha, but rather on looking at the content and composition of the digital world, namely the human dignity, the respect for human life, and the fairness of considering  people’s rights with full equality.


The Queen said: ‘Why does killing certain people have a value and killing others have no value in today’s digital world?’ These were the words uttered by the Queen, and whoever was seated in the front rows could see the passion and great feeling with which the dear Umm Al-Hussein spoke. She stopped all talks and programs about technologies and their pioneers, to call in an explicit and frank voice for an immediate ceasefire, not merely confined to a ceasefire, but rather for a “cessation of destruction, an end to displacement... and a stoppage to deliberate deprivation.” She shouted in a loud and clear voice: “This war must end now.” She also called for the introduction of aid to the afflicted Palestinian people. How appropriate and consistent was the timing of the speech with the provision of aid to the people whose children are being ravaged by hunger. From the shores of Doha, Umm Al-Hussein’s voice calls out to the digital world: Stop the war on Gaza and do justice to the world with your tweets. On the shores of Gaza, on the same day, Abu Al-Hussein, His Majesty King Abdullah II, was air-dropping food and medicine into Gaza, sending with it his love and the love of his companions from the Royal Air Force and the Arab Army, and even the love of all the Jordanian people and their friends who love justice and peace.


Her Majesty the Queen spoke clearly and gave moral messages to the participants and remote observers who focused in their interventions on the world of three dimensions, namely in human communication in the future. The Queen added a fourth dimension, namely the moral dimension. The focus is not on the effectiveness of inventions, innovations, pioneering, organization, as well as the rapid, digital, and cyber transition to advanced stages. It is due time to focus, though late, on the value of the moral effectiveness of these means as well as on making them look with an eye of equality between one people and another. I think this lesson deserves to be taken into account in schools and universities that teach media education into their schools and universities. It is important to remind the world, about the good use of it, its humanity, and always with the aroma of noble and sublime morals, rather than on the method of use.


This is my humble reading of Her Majesty Queen Rania’s address at the Worldwide Web Conference in Doha, which I was honored to attend personally, and to read the Hashemite passion in the delivery of this address which emerged from the heart. After Her Majesty departure, several attendees spoke to me about the impressiveness of her address and its global impact, and I responded to that with great pride and admiration. Thank you, Your Majesty!

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Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader