Livin’ la vida
Back when I was growing up in Puerto Rico I was “raised proper”; as such, I was told that when your host publicly gives you a gift you accept it as graciously as possible, almost enthusiastically (with enthusiasm but remaining within the bounds of decorum). I believe the singer Ricky Martin was probably “raised proper”. What little I’ve seen of him shows him to be polite, and calm — I read somewhere he’s a Buddhist.
Unfortunately for him, he’s been played for propagandistic purposes by his hostess, media-savvy Queen Rania of Jordan. Queen Rania just last month was on the cover of ¡Hola! magazine which featured a 10-page color spread and interview of her, immediately followed by a 10-page color spread advertisement of Jordan. Rania knows her PR. (via Chrenkoff. Emphasis mine):
The LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOCA singer was in Jordan yesterday (25JUL05), where he attended the silver jubilee of the Arab Children’s Congress, which was set up 25 years ago by the country’s QUEEN NOUR to promote creativity, peace, cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.
And at one point while posing for photographs with fans, he draped the kaffiyeh over his shoulders, without being able to understand the statement it carried.
The kaffiyeh had the slogan “Jerusalem Is Ours” written in Arabic on it.
I’m certain that photo will be making the rounds of the anti-Israel media for a long time, thanks to Queen Rania. Nothing like the-hostess-with-the-mostess to creatively make an idiot of her guests in the name of “peace, cross-cultural understanding and tolerance”.
Martin’s trip to Jordan was for the purpose of trying to change negative perceptions of Arab youth in the West, and, before the scarf was planted on him, had declared he will become a spokesperson for the Arab youth in the West.
On his way to Thailand, where his organization, the Ricky Martin Foundation, has built 225 homes to protect children orphaned by 26 December’s (04) Indian Ocean tsunami, Mr. Martin apologized for the incident.
Web India quotes Israeli general consul in New York, Arye Mekel, who said, “This incident proves once again that singers should stick to singing, and leave politics to those who really understand it”.
Listen to Mr. Mekel, Ricky.