Queen Noor Receives Woodrow Wilson Award
Queen Noor of Jordan received during Alumni Day on Saturday February 21, the Woodrow Wilson Award at Princeton University. Her Majesty, a member of the Class of 1973, was selected for this award for her humanitarian work around the world.
Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award is given annually to an alumnus or alumna who embody the ideals of the former University President.
During her speech, Her Majesty recalled her time at the University. She remembered that when she arrived on campus, one of her first aspirations was to join the Peace Corps, she said, adding that her experience marching with Martin Luther King Jr. was a defining moment in her life. She pursued a major in architecture and urban planning.
After a visit to Iran and Jordan, she felt frustrated by the problems that plagued the Middle East and the “inadequate and distorted information reaching the rest of the world.” She planned to enroll in Columbia University’s School of Journalism, but her plans changed when she met King Hussein of Jordan, whom she later married in 1978. She became the first American-born Queen of an Arab country.
“Despite our very different backgrounds, we shared the same ideals. We shared similar aspirations for a community…not of one particular culture but for mutually respectable and just societies committed to legal and humanitarian norms,” she said of their partnership. She said that King Hussein “believed deeply and passionately” in the true Islamic concepts: peace, equality, and justice.
Queen Noor spoke about the situation of the women in the Islamic world. She said that “women are the key to progress in the Arab world, with training, education and economic opportunity, women become capable of stabilising nations.”
She also addressed the economic and political prospects of Arab youth. “ISIS are neither Islamic nor a state, and should not be legitimized as such,” she said. “No religion is immune to being twisted to justify violence.”
Queen Noor concluded her lecture with a call to action for both past and present Princeton community members. Quoting King Hussein, she said, “It should never be forgotten that peace ultimately resides not in the hands of government but in the hands of the people.”Filed under Jordan
Tagged Awards, Education, Humanitarian Efforts, King Hussein of Jordan, Queen Noor al-Hussein of Jordan, United States of America, Women's Rights.