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Author Topic: Quen Rania to attend Nobel Laureates Conference in South Africa: 27th March 2009  (Read 3475 times)
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« on: March 24, 2009, 08:54:35 PM »

It seems the Dalai Lama will not be attending so there are calls to postpone the event:

 
The controversy surrounding Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's attendance of the SA Peace Conference has prompted organisers to postpone the Friday event.

"Given that the purpose of the conference is peace... the convenors have decided, in the spirit of peace, to postpone the South African Peace Conference to ensure it is held under conducive conditions," Irvin Khoza, one of the conference's committee members, told a media briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Dalai Lama was expected to address the conference, whose aim was to discuss ways of using football to fight racism and xenophobia ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup
 
The government however refused to grant him a visa, saying his involvement would draw the world's attention from the World Cup preparations.

"We want the focus to remain on South Africa. A visit by the Dalai Lama would move the focus from South Africa onto issues in Tibet," said government spokesperson Thabo Masebe on Monday.

The decision was met with opposition from South African Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk, as well as several political parties.

Both Tutu and de Klerk, whose signatures were attached to the invitation sent to the Dalai Lama in November last year, on Monday said they would boycott the event in solidarity with the Dalai Lama.

Former president Nelson Mandela would also not attend the event, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Monday.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee had indicated it would also not send a representative, said Khoza.

Conference committee member and Nelson Mandela's grandson Chief Mandla Mandela, said the visa saga was "very disappointing... as the whole peace conference was organised around the laureates".

"This rejection by the government to not issue a visa, is really tainting our efforts at democracy.

"I am very saddened that somebody like the Dalai Lama is being turned down... I don't think that as sovereign democracy country, we need to succumb to international pressure," Mandela said.

He slammed the government for refusing to grant the Dalai Lama a visa just days before the conference as they had been notified as early as October last year.

"We started planning as early as September last year and we sent a list of those we wanted to invite to the government as early as October last year... We feel we should have been warned as early as December last year because this whole thing would have been avoided," Mandela said.

Others invited to attend the conference included South African born actress Charlize Theron, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Anan, Queen Rania Al-Yassin of Jordan and American president Barak Obama.

The group was expected to start arriving in the country on Wednesday ahead of a guided tour of Soweto on Thursday and the main event at Constitutional Hill on Friday.

It was not known how much money had been already spent on the event.

"The Royal Bafokeng people were financing the event so it'll be unfair of us to comment on that," said Khoza.

He said however that he "remained optimistic" that they would be able to host the conference later, before the World Cup.
http://www.iol.co.za/inde...w20090324172627201C387997
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 02:10:20 PM »

The conference may have been called but Rania's visit is still taking place.:


Johannesburg
, March 26 (Petra)--Queen Rania started a three-day working trip to South Africa by holding talks on Thursday with the South African statesman and Nobel Prize laureate Nelson Mandela.

Members of the Nelson Mandela organizations, during meeting, briefed the Queen on the various legacy projects currently underway, including the planned Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which will be one of three such facilities in the African continent.

Queen Rania, after talks with Mandela, visited the Phefeni Secondary School in Soweto, where UNICEF and the South African Ministries of Education and Health support the "Girls and Boys Education Movement" dedicated to bring about positive change in the lives of African youth.

Upon Her Majesty’s arrival at the school, a lively celebration was held to honor the Queen, who joined local women and children eager to demonstrate a few steps of their wonderfully empowering dance.In her role as UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Majesty then met with UN representatives and school teachers who explained how ambitious educational programmes promote girls' empowerment by tackling three inter-related threats to girls’ education: gender inequality, and violence in schools.
In an effort to eliminate gender biases and discriminatory policies within the school, these programmes also boost youth’s participation in clubs which include boys as ‘strategic partners’ in the organization of school-based gender-sensitive activities.

During the visit, Queen Rania asked children on how these programmes positively changed their attitude towards their peers.

After the visit to the Phefani School, the Queen headed to the "Kid’s Haven" shelter situated in Gauteng Province.

In partnership with the Nelson’s Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) and the Oprah Winfrey Angel’s Network in Africa, "Kid’s Haven" supports over 300 children between the ages of 6-18 who have been abused, abandoned or have spent most of their life living on the streets.

Queen Rania was welcomed by Mpaki Pule, Director of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, who briefed Her Majesty on the rehabilitation services provided by the centre.

Touring the shelter’s facilities, Her Majesty visited the "Bridging School," the "Multi Purpose Centre," which houses dormitory style accommodation and the "Village".

Pule explained the rehabilitation process can last a period of 6 months depending on the requirements of the child.

Life skills and therapeutic programmes are also conducted with all children on a weekly basis and include music, drama and art therapy.

Her Majesty then visited the "Village" which consists of six homes accommodating 16-20 children per unit including a library, kitchen and recreation room.

Accompanied by two girls, Queen Rania stopped by the "Young Girls House" where she attended a brief musical performance organized for the occasion.

Additional services offered by the Kid’s Haven include a "Drop in Program" which caters for children who are not yet committed to rehabilitation and still live on the street.

Peer recruiters assist in introducing new children to the shelter providing them with two meals a day, blankets and clothing.

The Kids Haven shelter is part of the Nelson’s Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF), originally established in 1995 by former President Mandela as a grant-making organization promoting a humanitarian response to the plight of South Africa’s children and youth.

After an extensive evaluation of its portfolio of projects, NMCF later became a funding development agency seeking to improve the well-being of children and changing the way in which society treats youth.
http://www.petra.gov.jo/A...ction=1&Artical=95937

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 02:13:56 PM »

Photos from the "Kid's Haven" shelter in Soweto:
http://i50.photobucket.co...oyalty%202/News-95951.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...oyalty%202/News-95948.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...oyalty%202/News-95947.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...oyalty%202/News-95946.jpg

Photos from the Phefeni School in Soweto:
http://i50.photobucket.co...2b640e4aa6b3232d69dc2.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...63f4bdc859335bfaa15da.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...f8244bfb43aec00dbdbe6.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...oyalty%202/News-95945.jpg
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 02:17:33 PM »

IMRIC this is Rania's 2nd or 3rd visit to South Africa.she's been once before as part of her UNICEF role.

A few more photos I really liked:
http://i50.photobucket.co...s/Royalty%202/610x-15.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...s/Royalty%202/610x-17.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...s/Royalty%202/610x-16.jpg
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 02:26:58 PM »

More photos from the "Kids's Haven" orphanage visit:
http://i50.photobucket.co.../Royalty%202/85656464.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...y%202/85656432_medium.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co...y%202/85656426_medium.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co.../Royalty%202/85656439.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co.../Royalty%202/85656443.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co.../Royalty%202/85656457.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.co.../Royalty%202/85656413.jpg
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 07:56:52 PM »

Today-27th March 2009
http://petra.gov.jo/Temp/...s/Original/News-96011.jpg
http://petra.gov.jo/Temp/...s/Original/News-96012.jpg
http://petra.gov.jo/Temp/...s/Original/News-96013.jpg

Johannesburg, March 27, (Petra)--As a staunch advocate for increasing access to quality education, Her Majesty Queen Rania on Friday announced her role as Honorary Chair of the Global Action Week on Education in anticipation of the "Big Read" event organized by the Global Campaign for Education.

Before reading her story to a group of curious children surrounding her in the Sandton Public Library in Johannesburg, Queen Rania addressed the need to provide "Education for All" by calling on millions to join the "Big Read" campaign.

Children from Soweto and Thembisa as well as Africa’s popular women leaders then gathered closely around the Queen to hear her narrate, "Maha of the Mountains".Before reading the short story, which tells of a young girl’s determination to become a school teacher, Queen Rania asked children to tell her why going to school is so important.

In a sudden outburst of enthusiasm, Gcina Mhlope, South Africa’s popular poet and inspirational storyteller suddenly intervened: "No one can ever take education away from you," she said in a charismatic tone to the children.

"Education gives you respect, and respect takes you to many places." Mhlophe, who never entered a library before the age of 20, currently focuses on taking books to South African rural communities and provinces in an effort to encourage children to read and write.

"My father, my family, my customs, my culture taught me to put down the weapon, and pick up our pens" she said proudly.

The Queen then carried on describing Maha’s struggle with family and friends who believe her desire to learn how to read and write- is a dream not worth pursuing.

Reaffirming the value of education as a means to achieving life’s deepest aspirations, Her Majesty finally asked children to guess the tale’s happy ending.

With 774 million illiterate adults and 75 million children out of school, the Global Campaign for Education puts pressure on all governments to deliver "Education for All".

Every year the campaign launches an event during "Action Week" which brings to light the importance of a particular aspect of education.

This year’s "Big Read" campaign compiles different stories written from influential global leaders.


The stories will be read and signed by millions of people around the world in an effort to collect names in demand of governments to take action in defense of the right of education for all.

The list of names added to the "Big Read" in South Africa will be delivered to the new President and Minister of Education on June 16th.

The "Big Read" event will take place in over 100 different countries during the week of the 20-26th April.

Other contributors to the "Big Read" include Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Chimamanda Ngozi and Paulo Coelho.

After lending her support to the "Big Read" campaign, Queen Rania visited the renowned Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg dedicated to illustrating apartheid and 20th century history of South Africa.


Her Majesty toured the museum’s rooms which are set out by means of blown-up photographs, artifacts, cages, newspaper clippings, and film footage, to graphically animate the apartheid story.

The museum, opened in 2001, represents a beacon of hope showing South Africa is working towards a brighter future which all South African people can call their own.
http://petra.gov.jo/Artic...ction=1&Artical=96014
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2009, 08:47:34 PM »

Queen Rania attended the opening of the South Africa World Cup stadium
http://petra.gov.jo/Temp/...s/Original/News-96246.jpg

Johannesburg, March 28 (Petra) -- Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah took part on Saturday in the official opening of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, which will host the World Cup 2010 matches.

Queen Rania, who wrapped up a working visit to South Africa today, attended a football match between South Africa Norway within the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
http://petra.gov.jo/Artic...ction=1&Artical=96248
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 01:36:14 AM »

I came across this video of Queen Rania reading to children in South Africa. She is reading the story she wrote "Maha of the Mountains"

http://www.youtube.com/wa...52KyY&feature=related
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