AMMONNEWS - The Princess of Jordan and wife of Dubai's Emir says the Middle East is in chaos and a political solution is needed to respond to the global refugee crisis.
In an interview with Lateline, Princess Haya said the war in Syria and subsequent flood of migrants across the Middle East and beyond had put the region in the worst shape she had seen it in her lifetime.
"I remember growing up in Jordan, I was born in 1974 and during the 70s and the 80s Jordan was in a tough neighbourhood, but I never remember it as bad in my life as what the whole region looks like now," she said.
Princess Haya is the chair of Dubai's International Humanitarian City and is a former United Nations Messenger of Peace. She has established her own foundation, Tkiyet Um Ali, to deliver food aid in the Arab world.
She said humanitarian agencies were struggling to respond to the overwhelming number of people in need in the region.
"The Middle East is in chaos. We've got extremism reaping the benefits of that chaos and really using the fact that there's insecurity in food that there's widespread poverty, to use it as a recruiting tool, and you've got this whole problem literally spilling over worldwide," she said.
"I think you have a situation of very, very confused conflict in areas like Syria and many areas in the Middle East and it's time for a political solution that is in the best interests of people."
Princess Haya is the daughter of the late King Hussain and Queen Alia of Jordan. Her half brother is the current King Abdullah.
Princess Haya is the "junior" wife of the ruler of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates' prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
His first wife, Sheikha Hind, is mother to 12 of his children but is never seen in public because she follows the strict Emirates tradition of not interacting with men.
The lives of the two wives are in stark contrast. Princess Haya posts images of the family's activities on her Instagram feed and she travels extensively in her role as a humanitarian, having worked in Haiti, Africa, Syria and Cambodia.
She is Oxford educated and she represented Jordan in show jumping at the Sydney Olympics.
Princess Haya is famously the first Jordanian woman to hold a licence to drive heavy trucks — an accreditation necessary to transport her horses.
Princess Haya said she does not identify as a feminist, but believes in gender balance and the empowerment of women.
"I feel that it's more about gender balance than equality, and with balance there is equality," she said.
"I think change starts from within and I think the best way to drive change is gently."