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Middle East: Queen Of Jordan: Most Forceful Speech Of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (VIDEO)

At least within our green media circle, the consensus was that the Queen of Jordan gave the most powerful speech of all the great speeches at the combined opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit, the International Renewable Energy Conference, the International Water Summit, and coordinated events.

Right from the beginning, it was clear that she, or her speech writer, had a great sense for how to get people’s attention using popular figures of speech:

“I’m humbled to be surrounded by such a distinguished and talented audience: politicians, business leaders, innovators, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. In fact, I half expected to walk in and see thousands of light bulbs above your heads sparking…popping… and burning with brilliant ideas!”

From then on, she had our attention, but she made sure to hold and increase it:

“By being here today, you’re already part of the solution to the global energy crisis. Fueling our future with innovation and humanity. Bringing power, and with it, empowerment, to millions around the world. So, thank you Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abu Dhabi, and Masdar, for bringing us together.

“I cannot think of a better place for us to gather. Abu Dhabi’s bold vision for sustainable energy is transforming this nation and inspiring our region… at a time when the Arab world is at a critical juncture. No one can predict the future, but this much is true: energy requirements will play a vital role in determining it.”

Beautiful words, with deep understanding behind them. But Queen Rania Al Abdullah wasn’t there just to pay praise and make us feel good. She was there to move the world forward.

“The Arab world includes some of the richest and the poorest countries in terms of energy resources. This stark disparity is evident even in countries that share borders. Despite neighboring some of the most oil-rich countries, my country, Jordan, relies on imports to cover 96 percent of our energy needs.

“Our region hosts yet another contradiction. We’re rich in the energy of our overwhelmingly young population, but poor in the opportunities we can offer them.

“And we’ve all seen the result of that. Frustrated energies spilling onto the Arab street over the past two years.

“According to a Gallop poll conducted last year, in the midst of the unrest, the majority of Arab youth still place finding a job as their number one priority. Yet, if we continue with business as usual, too many are unlikely to find one in the next 5 years.

“It was Thomas Edison, the inventor of the aforementioned light bulb, who said that, ’Discontent is the first necessity of progress.’

“Well, we’ve seen the discontent; now let’s work on the progress.“

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