On Monday, HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan presented Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Victoria Honorary Award for Political Leadership at the Publisher’s Night of the Association of German Magazine publishers (VDX) in Berlin. For the occasion, the royal radiated elegance wearing a maroon-colored, demi-couture gown by Russian fashion designer Ulyana Sergeenko. Her Majesty elevated the silk dress with a pair of strappy, Bottega Veneta pumps and dainty hoop earrings. Speaking at the event, the Jordanian royal paid tribute to the German Chancellor for her handling of the refugee crisis.
“Despite her many years in office, her brand of leadership seems more unique today than ever. It is also more desperately needed, and more valuable,” said the Queen, lauding Merkel’s leadership style, in particular, her commitment to resolving global issues, such as the refugee crisis, financial turmoil, and violent conflicts. “Her calm resilience and resolve have enabled Germany not just to chart a safe course but to help guide the global community through the storm.”
A global advocate for children and refugees, Queen Rania went on to express her gratitude, as well as that of the Jordanian people, to the Chancellor for welcoming in over 1 million displaced refugees fleeing war and persecution into Germany in 2015. “We too have opened our neighborhoods, our hearts, and our means to those in need. Today, one out of every seven people in my country is a refugee. We could not shoulder this duty without Germany’s solidarity and support,” she remarked.
The Jordanian royal then urged all the journalists, politicians, diplomats, and dignitaries in attendance to imagine for a second a world where everyone shared Merkel’s outlook on the global refugee crisis. “Imagine the rights that might have been protected… the suffering that might have been avoided… the crises that might have been averted… the lives that might have been saved,” she said, adding: “She leads as she lives: trusting her intellect, experience, and conscience to light the way. In the process, she has helped this extraordinary country reveal the best of itself to the world.”
Since 2006, VDZ has annually presented Golden Victoria awards in three categories, including entrepreneurship and press freedom. Addressing the journalists in the room, Queen Rania added: “Bigotry and hatred are not new ideas, but they have gained new momentum and reach in our digital age, where outrage sells and is amplified and spread with every click.” She went on to thank members of the press for the vital role they play in giving a voice to the voiceless.
Other honorees at this year’s event included Nestle CEO, Beatrice Guillaume-Grabisch, as well as the late Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak, two European journalists who recently lost their lives.