Jordan's Queen Rania Visits Bomb Victims

Jordan's Queen Rania Visits Bomb Victims

updated 11/10/2005 AT 03:05 PM EST

originally published 11/10/2005 AT 02:00 PM EST

After suicide bombers simultaneously attacked three hotels in Amman, killing at least 56 people and injuring more than 100 on Wednesday, Jordan's Queen Rania Al-Abdullah on Thursday paid her respects to victims throughout the capital city, consoling the wounded in hospitals and offering words of comfort to their families.

Expressing her shock at the "cowardly and senseless acts" and saying that that there was nowhere she'd rather be than with the victims and their families, Queen Rania stressed the lack of logic and rationale for such atrocities and vowed that the events "strengthen our resolve to continue on our path for peace."

Of those she visited, the queen said, "This is my extended family."

The Al Qaeda terrorist group led by militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attacks, which hit the Grand Hyatt, the Radisson SAS and a Days Inn hotel.

"We will pursue those criminals and those who are behind them, and we will reach them wherever they are," Jordan's King Abdullah said in a televised address Thursday.

His wife, Queen Rania, at 35, is the world's youngest queen, and presides with her husband over a kingdom that dates back several thousand years. Yet, the Kuwaiti-born Rania straddles modern and ancient worlds. She is called Her Majesty by her subjects, Raina by friends and colleagues, and Mama by her four young children: Princesses Iman, 9, and Salma, 5; 10-month-old Prince Hashem; and eldest son, 11-year-old Prince Hussein.

She "is the epitome of modern royalty," her pal Katie Couric tells PEOPLE. "She is such a terrific spokesperson for her country and the whole region. I'm a full-out gusher when I talk about her."

Rania, who is scheduled to kick off a U.S. visit on Nov. 16 to promote Arab-American relations, has used her Jordan River Foundation to establish the country's first-ever center for abused children and to promote small loans for women starting their own businesses.

To read more about Queen Rania and her good works, pick up PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

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