H.R.H. PRINCESS FIRYAL of Jordan
Princess Firyal has been involved from a very young age in efforts directed toward promoting education, alleviating poverty, and promoting cultural activities in Jordan and abroad. She became active in relief work in refugee camps after the wars in the regions. She then chaired the Society of Rural Development in Jordan, working very closely with nomadic Bedouin tribes and farmers, and sought to increase literacy, to establish family planning programs, and to encourage local crafts.
The Princess was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1992. In 1995, she was appointed Special Advisor to the Director General of UNESCO. Additionally, the Princess is involved in many other programs of UNESCO, especially programs for protection of world heritage, medical research and children’s education.
In cooperation with UNESCO, Princess Firyal launched the International Hope Foundation for Street Children in 1994. The Princess has worked with the mobile units of the Children's Health Funds in New York and frequently visits homeless and street children shelters in New York, other cities in the United States, and elsewhere. In 2005, the Princess was appointed a Global Education Ambassador. Princess Firyal participates in workshops, meetings, and fundraising, which require extensive traveling.
The Princess was elected to the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association in March, 2003. Princess Firyal is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Rescue Committee for Refugees based in New York. Her Royal Highness serves on the Dean's Councils of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and is a member of the International Council at Columbia University. The Princess is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library, a Trustee of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and a member of the International Council of the Tate in London. Princess Firyal was appointed a Minister Plenipotentiary by the government of Jordan in May, 2007 at the Jordanian Embassy in the U.S. at ambassadorial rank.
H.R.H. Princess Firyal was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of the late Farid Al-Rasheid, a prominent political leader and land owner, who served as a Minister in the Government as well as in the Senate in Jordan. Her mother, Farida, is Chair of the Red Crescent Society in the West Bank of Jordan.
Princess Firyal attended Berzeit College in Jordan and spent two years at the American College for Women in Beirut.
The Princess married H.R.H. Prince Mohammed of Jordan, the younger brother of the late H.R.H. King Hussein, and had two sons, Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Talal and Prince Ghazi, who both live and work in Jordan.
The Princess returned to pursue her education at Columbia University where she received a graduate degree. At present, Princess Firyal will pursue her Ph.D. in Comparative Religion at Columbia University.