10 FEBRUARY 2003

Queen Rania of Jordan has been awarded the German Media Prize for her efforts to promote understanding between cultures. Queen Silvia of Sweden was also honoured at the ceremony in Baden Baden, for her work to draw attention to human rights issues.

The prestigious prize is presented annually to world leaders who achieved press coverage of unusual importance. The two queens are the first women to receive the award in its 11-year history.

In a reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Queen Rania praised Germany for having the "courage and resolve" to bring down boundaries of separation.

"At a time when many are immobilized by fear, vulnerability or sheer cynicism, you the media are relentless in your determination to report and document the daily stories of our common humanity," she told an audience of over 600 political, business and media leaders.

She also said that while globalisation has bridged borders between civilizations, it has also been used to the advantage of those she described as "perpetually narrow-minded."

Previous winners of the prize include German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1992), French President Francois Mitterand (1994), Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin (1995), Nelson Mandela (1998), Bill Clinton (1999) and New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani (2001).

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Queen Rania and Queen Silvia pose with their awardsPhoto: © PA
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Rania said that the media played an essential role in building a better worldPhoto: © PA

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