Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum expressed appreciation for the impressive work done by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, wife of King Abdullah II of Jordan, to create positive change in the fields of humanitarian work, the development of youth, and the advancement of education both in the Arab region and the rest of the world.
His Highness attended the main session of the third Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS), organised by the Dubai Press Club, at the Dubai World Trade Centre today, during which Queen Rania delivered the event’s keynote address. H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation; and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also attended the main session.
Other dignitaries attending the main session included H.H. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, His Majesty King of Bahrain’s Representative for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC); and Abdelkader Messahel, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria.
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah said she was thrilled to be in Dubai, the city that never fails to amaze by defying reality and racing to build the future, and in the United Arab Emirates, a country distinguished among nations for empowering its citizens with education and opportunities under the vision of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
She also thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) that brought together social media influencers and other stakeholders in the field from across the world.
In her keynote address, Queen Rania urged social media influencers to always make the pursuit of truth a priority. "[In our virtual world] the truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors. So do we blame these technologies and exonerate ourselves - as users and influencers? We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating, but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word," she said.
While emphasising that social media engagement is not a substitute for action, Queen Rania explained that it is useful in mobilising support for humanitarian causes. "A picture is worth a thousand words, but a share and a like are no substitute for action. Over the years, we have seen many succeed in garnering support for humanitarian causes through social media, and changing the lives of many," she said.
She underlined the importance of remaining true to our values. "We all seek the approval of others, but sometimes our values require us to march to a different beat, even if that comes at the expense of our popularity. Because while fame and figures are proof of reach, real influence is the product of actions spurred by our conscience."
"Social media has achieved much of what we had expected from it, but unfortunately, we still managed to transfer our human barriers to this world. We now listen not to communicate, but to respond, closing ranks and isolating ourselves among those who resemble us and confirm our own convictions Sometimes – despite being one of this space’s chief advocates – I have wished it didn’t exist due to its negativity We hoped that social media would change our status quo, but the solutions must come from us, and change must start from within," she told the audience at the Summit.
"I come to you the influencers the people whose voices are heard, to urge you to use your time to break barriers and open communication channels to impact people and rally support for those who need it most to champion the truth and communicate through values So be kind to others, because the simplest expression of our humanity is a kind word," Queen Rania further said.
The main session of the Summit was attended by prominent Arab and international personalities including Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Head of the Municipality and Planning Department – Ajman; HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Vice-President for Development and Planning at the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority; HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed Al Saud, Secretary General and member of the Board of Trustees at Alwaleed Philanthropies; and a host of Arab and international figures.
Earlier, in her welcome address, President of Dubai Press Club (DPC) and Chairperson of the ASMIS Organising Committee Mona Ghanem Al Marri, welcomed attendees of the third edition of the Summit.
The main objective of the Summit, she said, is to identify the best way to use social media platforms to serve Arab communities, and enhance their ability to deal with various challenges and secure a prosperous future. She highlighted the substantial following that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah enjoy on various social media platforms and their use of these platforms to create positive change and spread tolerance and happiness.
She said that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is one of the Arab world’s most inspirational influencers and a role model for leadership. His vision, focused on enhancing excellence, achievement and knowledge-based development, has inspired millions of his social media followers both in the region and across the world.
Al Marri further said that despite the challenges facing the Arab world, there are many reasons for hope. The youth who comprise 60% of the region’s population are its real wealth, she said.
Mona Al Marri stressed that the region’s influencers can convert the love and appreciation they enjoy among people into energy that further boosts the region’s aspirations to achieve a better future.
The third edition of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit, which attracted 70 speakers from 25 countries, featured 20 interactive sessions. Speakers shared their perspectives on social media with an audience of over 1,000 from across the region and the world.