Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton inaugurate new Peace Corps headquarters

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Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton inaugurate new Peace Corps headquarters

Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton inaugurate new Peace Corps headquarters

Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton inaugurate new Peace Corps headquarters

Tuesday 15 September 1998

For Immediate Release:

Her Majesty Queen Noor and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton inaugurated Tuesday the new headquarters of the Peace Corps in Washington DC. The Peace Corps was launched by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as a two year program for American volunteers to "serve their country and the cause of peace by living and working in the developing world." The Peace Corps’ mission is to promote world peace and friendship by providing volunteers who contribute to the social, economic and human development of countries; to provide a better understanding of Americans among the people whom volunteers serve; and to strengthen Americans’ understanding about he world and its people.

In her remarks, Queen Noor quoted the Prophet Muhammad, who said "the best of men are those who are useful to others", noting that "Peace corps volunteers … give two years of their lives being useful to others in ways both practical and imaginative." According to the Queen, Peace Corps volunteers "are currently working all over Jordan in mutually enriching partnerships with government and nongovernmental organizations, on a wide range of projects including eco-tourism development, the marketing of traditional crafts, and care for the hearing impaired, orphans and the mentally disabled." A second group of volunteers will soon begin working with projects ranging from the management of a medicinal herbs enterprise, to research into child health and development and prevention of abuse.

Queen Noor noted that "lessons from our region show that peace must be built between peoples. It derives from understanding, trust and a sense of working toward a shared destiny. It arises only out of mutual and equitable exchange – of skills, of ideas, of cultural values." She emphasized that the important role Peace Corps volunteers are playing by "going where they are invited, bringing open minds, dedication and enthusiasm, living and working side by side with their hosts, and returning with new perspectives to share with those at home, are among the best examples of how that peace will be achieved."

Mrs. Hillary Clinton in her speech said that it was a privilege to celebrate this occasion with Queen Noor, adding that Their Majesties King Hussein and Queen Noor are "two of the finest people you will find anywhere in the world. They are great leaders and strong friends." Mrs. Clinton expressed her pride in the Peace Corps’ World Wise Schools program describing it as a unique global education program that broadens the geographic and cultural horizons of American students through their interaction with currently serving and returned Peace Corps volunteers. She said that in the past six years, she has been honored to meet with volunteers on her trips abroad and at the White House, adding that their enthusiasm and dedication infused her with energy and inspiration.

Jordan represents the 132nd country where Peace Corps volunteers have served since its founding. Volunteers work with the Noor Al Hussein Foundation in eight of its comprehensive development programs, the Ministry of Social Development, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Jordan River Society for Development and Queen Alia Fund. They continue the tradition of the Peace Corps in the Arab World, which has provided humanitarian assistance in Libya, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and Tunisia since 1962. Volunteers currently serve in Mauritania, along with their most recent postings in Morocco and Jordan, working as partners on important projects in education, health, agriculture, the environment, women’s micro-enterprise initiatives, and many others. Currently there are approximately 6,100 Peace Corps volunteers serving 85 countries worldwide. More than 151,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps since its founding, providing assistance in education, health and nutrition, agriculture, environment, and small business development.

Former Peace Corps volunteer Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, First Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, members of the Senate and the Congress attended the inauguration ceremony.


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This page was last edited on Sunday, 24 January, 1999

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