Princess Rym Ali
Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali founded in 2007 the Jordan Media Institute (JMI), a non-profit institution whose aim is to establish an Arab center of excellence for journalism education with a Master’s program at its core and training-modules in parallel.
Prior to marrying HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Princess Rym worked extensively for international broadcasters including CNN, where she began as a producer in 1998 and later worked as a Baghdad correspondent from 2001 until 2004. She had developed her portfolio working for the BBC, Dubai TV,
Radio Monte-Carlo Moyen-Orient, and United Press International-UPI. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Princess Rym Ali also holds a “Diplôme d’Etudes Avancé” ” in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and a MA in English Literature from the Sorbonne.
She has been honoured as a French Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government.
In September 2021,The Anna Lindh Foundation, appointed Princess Rym Ali, as president of the foundation, succeeding French politician Elizabeth Guigou.
In her talks, Princess Rym Ali discusses:
• How does the media impact Freedom of Speech
• What role does higher education play in building democracy and why?
• Why the firehouse of information does not make us smarter.
• Decoding Ubuntu and how it’s the key to our success
Princess Rym Ali delivers actionable content wrapped up with fascinating stories
What if the tool that frees you is the same one that binds you?
The media age was hailed as a most promising era for freedom of expression. But it doesn’t always quite feel that way. It also feels like we no longer know who really decides what is OK to publish in today’s media. There are so many media outlets, and so many media platforms, it can be dizzying to make sense of the reality around us, who is really expressing themselves behind a screen and whether they are talking freely.
We were told by many that Facebook and Twitter were bringing democracy to the Arab world.
As a former journalist, I am acutely aware of the role that the media plays in a democracy. As the Founder of an NGO that depends on funding for projects, I also hear the word democracy thrown around at almost every project proposal, aimed at “building democracy.”
As an educator, I know that democracy doesn’t happen in well-intended projects, or over Facebook, or Twitter. Democracy comes as the result of having built a culture of democracy. And that begins in school.
I stepped into the newly designed control room, an entire wall panel of little screens, each showing a different video. My host proudly explained to me what the future of news was going to look like – and his company had the technology: the personalization of information and programmes has been coming to us for years. On your own TV, at home, you will no longer be subjected to content dictated by editors anywhere. Based on your likes and dislikes, you can be shown only things you like to see. But what does that mean for humanity when we no longer share information, or certain interpretations of this shared reality? How do you make the case for Climate Change and urge fellow humans to do what is right by Mother Earth if part of the world’s population doesn’t share the same awareness about the issue?
As I watch today’s teens juggle learning and sharing through their fingertips, I can’t help but wonder how their understanding of the world compares to ours at their age.
They can, if they want, access the same amount of information I can today, as quickly -maybe even faster because they are more digitally literate: before I even step out of the house, I have read a variety of news articles of my own choosing and opened links sent to me on various topics that have to do with everything from how to be a parent to how to make a given recipe to why the price of fuel is up again and who is winning in the war in Ukraine – courtesy of the great algorithms that rule my on screen life.
In many ways, that means our teenagers and us are just as wise.
But among all that information my brain downloaded, how much of it have I truly absorbed so it is useful? Maybe being wiser is about knowing how to use that information. Have my teens learned that too?
If the Pandemic taught us anything, it is that we do not exist as individuals in a vacuum.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights tells us we have rights as individuals, and we do, of course.
The African Unions’ Charter of Human and People’s rights reminds us that the enjoyment of our rights are tied to the performance and duties of all our fellow humans.
Or, as Nelson Mandela famously said, that none of us are free until all of us are free.
That is Ubuntu.