14 March 2007
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan paid an informal visit to the Refugee Studies Centre Library, one of the Oxford University libraries, on Friday 9 March, with his wife HRH Princess Sarvath and their daughter Princess Badiya.
The Librarian, Sarah Rhodes, was on hand to offer a guided tour for the Prince and his daughter. Princess Badiya is a lawyer involved in human rights and refugee issues who read history at Oxford and qualified as a lawyer in London. The Prince introduced himself to the students present in the library, much to their surprise and delight. ‘He was particularly interested in the documents in the archive boxes, and spent some time looking at them’, said Sarah Rhodes.
Prince El Hassan, who was educated at Summer Fields School in Oxford and Harrow, and went on to read Oriental Studies at Oxford University (Christ Church), is Chair of the Refugee Studies Centre patrons; he has been closely associated with the RSC since it began in the early 1980s. He met the RSC’s new Director, Roger Zetter, to be updated on developments for the future, and to renew his support and commitment to the Centre.
Refugees are of particular concern to Jordan as there are about 750,000 refugees from Iraq in the country, which has a population of only six million.
The Refugee Studies Centre was established in 1982 as part of Queen Elizabeth House, the University of Oxford's Centre for Development Studies. It has since won an international reputation as the leading multidisciplinary centre for research and teaching on the causes and consequences of forced migration. It was awarded the Queen's Anniversary prize in 2002. See http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk.