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Queen Rania of Jordan Launches Children’s Book at UN Headquarters

Students from UNIS join Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the launch of the children’s book ‘The Sandwich Swap’, at UNHQ.

NEW YORK, USA, 27 April 2010 Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan will visit United Nations Headquarters on 27 April to launch a new children’s book on cross-cultural understanding.  The book, entitled The Sandwich Swap, is a warm-hearted fable about friendship and tolerance across cultural lines.  The story is based on an anecdote Her Majesty tells and which encapsulates, in today’s troubled times, the need for global understanding.  The event will take place in the United Nations Bookshop at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka will participate in the special event to highlight the importance in intercultural dialogue of educating children and youth.  “Tolerance and peaceful coexistence are core United Nations values and essential to progress in the twenty-first century.  I commend Her Majesty Queen Rania for her longstanding commitment to raising awareness about the importance of mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding,” said Secretary-General Ban.

Students from the United Nations International School will join Her Majesty for the launch of the book, hear her read the fable and participate in a question-and-answer session with her.  The beautifully illustrated book tells the story of best friends, Lily and Salma, who play together and stick together through thick and thin.  But who would have ever thought that an ordinary peanut butter sandwich or plain hummus and pita could come between them?  Lily and Salma do not quite understand each other’s tastes, but does that mean they can’t be friends?

The children’s book is inspired by Her Majesty’s own experience.  Co-written by Kelly DiPucchio, with illustrations by Tricia Tusa, it is a warm and gently humorous fable that demonstrates that, in spite of subtle cultural differences, two young people can strengthen their friendship.

Her Majesty was appointed the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) first Eminent Advocate for Children, in January 2007.  She has long been a supporter of UNICEF and its programmes in Jordan and around the world, and remains dedicated to defending children’s welfare.  Since 2009, Her Majesty has also served as the honorary Global Chair of the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, continuing her tireless efforts to expand educational opportunities for all girls and boys.

Demonstrating her keen interest in global issues in various forums, Her Majesty is a champion of cross-cultural tolerance and a campaigner for global education.  Combining the roles of mother, wife, advocate and humanitarian, Queen Rania has also focused her energies on creating opportunities for disadvantaged members of Jordanian society and beyond.  Her Majesty is married to King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein of Jordan.  They have four children: Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem.

The Sandwich Swap is published by Disney–Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.  Disney Book Group is part of Disney Publishing Worldwide, and is a publisher of children’s books and magazines, with more than 400 children’s magazines published and 120 million children’s books sold each year.  The hardcover book will be on sale at the United Nations Bookshop.

Television footage and official photographs of the event will be available from United Nations Television and from the United Nations Photo Library, respectively.  The event will also be webcast live on and archived.

For more information on the book launch at the United Nations Bookshop on 27 April, contact Yvonne Acosta, tel: +1 212 963 7214; Vladislav Vitkovski, tel: +1 212 963 8065; or the United Nations Bookshop, tel: +1 800 553 3210.


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