HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan was honored in Dubai on Monday, presented with the Influential Personality of the Year Award at this year’s Arab Social Media Influencers Summit. by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Queen Rania seized the moment to deliver a stirring keynote address during the third annual summit, urging attendees to use digital platforms for the good of humanity, in an era of “fake news”.
“Online, the plain truth is not appealing enough to be circulated and liked or to command power in the virtual world, despite the fact that it has never been more accessible than today. The truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors,” Queen Rania stated. “We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating, but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word.”
Queen Rania launched her first official social media pages back in 2009, and AOC celebrated it. The royal reminded her audience that it is estimated that the average person will spend over five years of his or her life on social media. “Social media has achieved much of what we had expected from it, but unfortunately, we still managed to transfer our human barriers to this world,” HM added, exploring the ways in which digital platforms have changed from spreading hope and connecting humans in a barrier-free landscape. “We now listen not to communicate, but to respond, closing ranks and isolating ourselves among those who resemble us and confirm our own convictions.”
Moving from the downside to the positive opportunity of social media, Queen Rania urged influencers to maintain a steady focus on positive change.
“You will come across images of people that carry a message; so do not let their pleas go unnoticed,” implored the royal, an advocate for UNICEF and honorary Chairperson for the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. “Empathize with them… and when humanity looks to you with hope, spend some of your precious time in its service. A share and a like are no substitute for action.”
The solutions for change must come from within, HM stated, calling on influencers to “use your time to break barriers and open communication channels” and “champion the truth and communicate through values”. “We all seek the approval of others, but sometimes our values require us to march to a different beat, even if that comes at the expense of our popularity,” Queen Rania sagely advised. “We can all agree that we’d rather have a positive impact on one person’s life than receive a million likes. Because while fame and figures are proof of reach, real influence is the product of actions spurred by our conscience.”
We share again Queen Rania spoofing the then popular US comedian David Letterman Top 10, accepting the YouTube Visionary Award in November 2008. The always witty, always inspiring international voice, Queen Rania showed a decade ago her understanding of the positive possibilities of social media.