Earlier this week, Queen Rania of Jordan visited refugee camps in Bangladesh. In the past two months, the country has received over 500,000 Rohingya people escaping wide-scale human rights violations in neighboring Myanmar, including extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arson, and infanticides. This is genocide.
Too often political figures' appearances with children are simply photo-ops designed only to serve the leaders' other agenda. In contrast, Queen Rania's emotions and nonverbal displays in these images are quite sincere.
Strong signals of sincerity and empathy are sent when a Queen is not afraid to touch children in a refugee camp.
Note that in all three of these photos, Queen Rania is at or below the level of even very young children. It's rare that leaders exhibit this eye-level and eye contact behavior. Queen Rania is not simply bending over at her waist (such body language is too often performed by adults when visiting and/or speaking with children - and in so doing it sends distancing and patronizing emotional tones). When eye contact takes place close to the same physical level, it tends to have a greater effect in building rapport and empathy.
In assuming this beta posture, Queen Rania elevates all the children to a relative alpha status. It's as if to say, "Although I am a queen - today you are my equals - and even my superiors."
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