After her debut on YouTube, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan is now courting microblogging service Twitter, allowing the world to catch up with the 140-character messages of the self-described mum and wife “with a real cool day job.”
Not only is she giving us a sneak preview of her private life as a Queen and mother with messages like this and this [see image above], but has also agreed to conduct her first Twitter interview, according to the World Economic Forum Blog:
On the occasion of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East held at the Dead Sea in Jordan from 15 – 17 May 2009 Her Majesty has agreed to answer five questions from the general public via her Twitter account. Since she will not be able to answer all questions we put the questions to a public vote and Her Majesty will reply to the top five questions. Vote on the questions below to be put to Queen Rania here.
With 41,217 followers so far (she is only following 31), reactions from around the region on the Twittering Queen's adventure pour in.
Observations of a Jordanian praised the move, saying:
I have a LOT to complain about when it comes to how our country is run, but one thing I love is how the Royal Family are humble and try to stay connected with the people, especially technologically speaking. First a YouTuber, now Queen Rania has moved on to the next popular internet craze, Twitter […] It's the real deal, in case you're wondering, her account has been confirmed by the Royal Court.
The Arab Observer is evidently ecstatic and writes:
Isn't Queen Rania the coolest Queen ever?
First she establishes herself as a stylish elegant highly regarded Queen among the world leaders, then she creates a youtube channel to address the stereotypes against Arabs in the west and try to open a dialogue among the two sides, then she APPEARS on Oprah and gives a great interview and impressions about Jordan, and now she seizes the change of the Pope's visit of to Jordan to start her twitter account that instantly became an industry news that would give a bigger volume to the visit and to Jordan as a country.
We can listen now to 140 character wisdom messages from our Queen. A great tool for the leaders of the 21th century to use and build on. Well done Queen Rania, we are so proud of you, really so so proud :)
And ArabCrunch, also from Jordan, follows suit:
Moving over to neighbouring Syria, Sasa, from the Syria News Wire, takes the opportunity to draw a comparison between the Queen and Syria's first lady Asma Al Assad:
Queen Rania is on Twitter (@queenrania). She’s been flying around in her husband’s helicopter, meeting the Pope, talking about changing the world. But Syria isn’t far behind.
First Lady Asma Al-Assad may not be on Twitter, but she’s on Facebook. While her southern counterpart has been having fun doing acrobatics in helicopters and calling her husband a “real life action hero” (tell him to put the Playstation down then), Asma has been doing charity work.
She’s just launched the Massar-E project, which helps disadvantaged children learn about technology.
We know which of the two can be seen wondering around their city without hundreds of bodyguards.
I know Rania has just signed up for Twitter so maybe it’s not a fair comparison – but if numbers mean anything, Asma has 9000 fans, Rania has 4000.
And US-based Lebanese Dr Asa'ad Abu Khalil, at the Angry Arab News Service, is just that … angry. He rants:
“Thank u 4 followin! Looking 4ward to hearin ur thoughts and ideas on using social media 4 social change.” Oh, you want ideas for social change? I want to use social media (whatever you mean by that) in order to overthrow the Jordanian government and send you and the Hashemite royal family to exile in some remote European city. You may then chat with exiled survivers of the Egyptian or Iraqi royal families. And please use twitter in exile to amuse me. And somebody on your staff who writes your twitter and youtube texts for you need to tell you how uninteresting and uninspiring you are. Somebody needs to tell you that they only like you in the West because Israel approves of your PlayStation husband.
And that is not all. A controversy is also brewing in the background regarding a fan page created by an Egyptian blogger for Queen Rania on Facebook.
TripleM claims that he has been kicked out as an admin of the page he has created for the Queen. He says:
I was surprised to find out that I’m no longer the admin of the Queen Rania’s fan page on Facebook. The fan page “Queen Rania” is the largest fan page for the beautiful Rania Al Abdullah the Queen of Jordan. The page I created two month ago, attracted more than 17 thousand fans and it has one of highest hit rates among Fb fan pages…
…Anyways, I was a bit shocked to find out that I’m no longer able to edit or share information on that page, that’s when I decided to tweet about it. By the time I tweeted everyone I know was talking about how successful the page is and that they didn’t know that I was the mastermind behind the page.
Jillian at American-Palestinian group blog KABOBfest picks up the story saying:
Queen Rania of Jordan (or as I tend to call her, Queen YouTube) seems to be taking the social media world by storm…and by force. Shortly after joining Twitter, the Jordanian royal hopped on Facebook, having the admin rights of the user who created her fan page taken away.
She also quips:
I guess it's only a matter of time before Qaddafi finds the fan page I made for him and takes over…
And, at Kermit the Blog 2.0, Kamel Al Asmar notes:
After 14 months on YouTube, I was wondering if Queen Rania wants to discover the power of social media and networking tools on the web one after the other when I saw her on Twitter a week ago (now with more than 40,000 followers). Apparently I was mistaken, Queen Rania is working on her online presence using more than one social media at once.
Al Asmar adds:
When I checked HM’s page on Facebook, I figured out that I was missing something that’s happening on the background. A page with more than 21,000 fans who are increasing rapidly. In addition to adding her twitter updates on the page’s status, Queen Rania is starting discussion topics there, mentioning on of them: “How can we build and broadcast cross-cultural dialogue?”. She also uploaded and still uploading some collections of photos on that page.
The interactivity factor on the Facebook page is impressive, and I’m regretting the couple of days I missed without being there. But the question that I and the people around me are asking; who is updating those media tools?! Is she Queen Rania personally who’s doing so or there is a team that is taking care of it, I’m really curious about it and I hope to have the answer one day.
On a different note; today I realized that the Queen’s page on Facebook was owned by my cyber friend, Mohammad Mansour AKA TripleM and one day he found that he’s no longer the admin of that page. Basically Queen Rania stole her page as it’s supposed to be her property