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Jordan's Queen Rania launches YouTube forum

Tackles "Jack Bauer" stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims

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Jordan's Queen Rania has launched her own Internet channel on YouTube in a bid to encourage young people to help tackle stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs, her office said on Tuesday.

"In a world where it's so easy to connect to one another, we still remain very much disconnected," Rania said in her YouTube video. "If what most people know about the Arab world and Arab people they've known through programs like 24 and Jack Bauer, I think they are in for a very big surprise."

"I want people...to see the personal side of my region, to know the places and faces and rituals and culture that shape the part of the world I call home."

Rania, the wife of King Abdullah II, urged viewers to respond with their opinions of the Middle East "and to acknowledge stereotypes they've heard of Arabs and Muslims".

The queen said she would work towards breaking down these preconceptions one by one over the next few months, on the popular website.

"I will be also encouraging YouTubers to help me address some of these common stereotypes, so I will be relying on your skills and creativity ... to get this right," she said on her YouTube channel.

So far the first video has been viewed almost 150,000 times and received 500 comments. The online conversation will continue until International Youth Day on August 12.

Last year, Rania told an annual economic forum in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah that Muslims should reject extremism if they want to be taken seriously by the West.

"We are right to question Western governments when their actions only make it easier for radicals to recruit new followers. But our moral authority depends on our willingness to reject the voices of extremism and violence in our midst," she said.