Introducing Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan
Of course, we didn't know that this queen blogs. She does. Last week, on International Women's Day -- the day women bloggers were described as liars -- Her Majesty, known not only for her beauty, but, certainly, her brains as well and her untiring charity work for women and children in Jordan -- blogged about the woman who has inspired her. She wrote about Maha Abdel Waham:
"Last year in Jordan, many remarkable women and girls from all corners of the world gathered together to launch the Global Action Women's Network for Children - a new initiative to tackle some of humanity's oldest tragedies. Chief among them are the needless deaths of millions of mothers and babies every year...and the wasted potential of tens of millions of girls who are kept out of school.
The statistics are seared into our memories; the stories behind them are sealed in our hearts.
Maha Abdel Wahab, is one young woman from the Ibb province in Yemen, who I had the privilege to meet.
Her spirit and her stamina really inspired me. Her tale of courage and determination will, I believe, really inspire you.
In a country where the majority of girls do not finish Primary Education, Maha overcame tremendous odds to complete school... walking many kilometers everyday... suffering physical and psychological hardship... straining relations in her own family and community... she even learned how to sew so that she could earn money to buy her own school books.
Today, Maha is flourishing at university. Maha maintains that she could not have done it without two special women: her mother, whose unfailing love and support, and whose unshakable belief in the power of education spurred her through Primary and Secondary School.
And Donna Shalala, of the Global Action Women's Network for Children, who listened to Maha's incredible story of perseverance and is now generously funding her degree in Psychology at the University of Thamar in Yemen.
Half way through her first year, Maha is already dreaming of a Masters, and how she can use her education to weave together a vibrant fabric of support for even more young Yemeni girls-and I am sure that she will.
The helping hands of her mother and Donna, whose initial stitches helped one very special young lady, are now forming part of a larger, richer quilt of success for many others.
For me, this proves what possibilities abound when we take the time to reach out, pull up, and pass on the gift of strength.On this International Women's Day, I urge you to ask yourself what you are going to do to make a girl or a woman stand taller and stronger. "
Queen Rania, 36, is Chair of the Jordan River Foundation.