The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

Go Back   The Royal Forums > Reigning Houses > Royal House of Jordan

Join The Royal Forums Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
  #41  
Old 01-12-2005, 09:59 AM
suria's Avatar
Courtier
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: , Jordan
Posts: 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipper
well said, Mary, I think the problem started when Hamzah was born, as Ali could not compare QN to his own mum, as he did not even remember her..... I think he got jealous, being the youngest of all had made him so close to QN- I also think it was wrong to send Hayah and Ali to college so early in their time, I have pix of QN, KH and their 4 kids during a winter holiday ,but Ali, Hayah and Abir were not with them- that was in '87. Anyway, it was a shame only QN was missing at Ali and Hayah's weddings- ali even invited Muna at his own wedding, but not the very person who helped to raise him up since he was 2 and a half-
this would be a shame if QN was a real mother for him who knows why PA would do something like this their must be many resones to do such a thing, PA+PH were not with QN everytime its her family her own kids don't you think that they were rule out from most of the pictures look to her when she goes some place its only her own kids look to the pic a bove i dont think PA said no i dont want to take a photo with you. maybe he couldn't feel her after she had her own kid maybe he saw the diference and couldn't live with it maybe he felt how much he is barren when he saw QN playing and going out with her own kids you can't plam a little kid
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-12-2005, 05:57 PM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
I guess we will never know what drove the rift. I will say QN--according to staffers--tried again and again to create a "family"---even inviting ex-s of KH's to events to possibly win over their childrens' favor. I don't know if the ex's attended---if they did, it might have been out of respect for KH.

Time and again, QN and those around her use one word to describe her: Idealist. Idealists are great; I wouldn't want a world w/o them but I'm sure it hurt QN when she was rebuffed. As an idealist, you think others are like you and want the best outcomes. Over time, she definitely became hurt and resentful. "Perhaps the King should not have married yet again so the family would not have another wife to use as a convenient scapegoat!" she wrote in her journal in the late 80s. And, re: stepkids, maybe she gave up. Getting a list of complaints of all the things you are doing wrong must have been daunting--and it was all along the lines of "she got that and I didn't" and "he did this and you wouldn't let me" and whose bedroom was nicer, etc. I can see her throwing up her hands and saying fine, whatever!!!!!!! It would be interesting to learn what Muna said to her kids re: Noor. Feisal is close to Noor. I suspect one of the stepkids who called her, upset about the journalist, was either Zein or Aisha. Abdullah? I don't know--they seemed to have a good rapport for awhile but an article summed it up "once KA married QR, it did not bode well for Noor--particularly after the children arrived. Their children got in the way of Noor's children." I do know this: If KH were still around, QN would've been at every wedding and all related events. You don't snub the "founder of the feast." And all are clever enough to know that; that's what makes me ill. She's been disenfranchised because she is a widow. The fact she was their beloved father's choice as wife should be reason enough to treat her with some modicum of respect. Ahhh, my friends who believe in the afterlife would have a field day with this one as KH greets KA and the rest......Interestingly enough QN "doesn't know what she thinks of an afterlife" though she "feels KH's presence." Does Islam support the concept of an afterlife? I genuinely don't know and am curious if it is addressed as so much of islam is about the here and now and how you live your life today--which I love. Anyone know?
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 02-06-2005, 11:50 PM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Queen Noor, Standing Alone 1--excellent article from Washington Post

This is an excellent article, written shortly after King Hussein's death. Because of its size, I've had to split it up but it addresses issues many of us have had questions on: finances, family solidarity and what did happen in the end??? I think the way she describes it: A man was dying, worried about country and family, decided to name his eldest son King and died is likely the most accurate explanation as it is human and we can all relate to that. I hope you enjoy it! Mary Shawn

Queen Noor, Standing Alone
Just Months After King Hussein's Death, His Widow Ponders The Formless Future Her Hands Will Shape


By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, June 19, 1999; Page C01

AMMAN, Jordan—The thoughts tumble freely, a stream moving in a general direction but improvising a course.

The speaker is Queen Noor, widow of King Hussein, still shy of 50 and now trying to redefine her life inside the Arab kingdom where she has been a centerpiece for 20 years, a "resource and a sounding board" for the man whose decisions helped shape the Middle East.

The topic is her religion, and specifically whether, raised by Christian parents in an open-minded 1960s fashion, she converted to Islam primarily as a matter of convenience, to make possible her marriage to a man who was not just a Muslim monarch, but also a Hashemite, a descendant of the founding prophet, Muhammad, with all the weight of history and piety that entails.

The short answer is yes, but that alone sounds rudely shallow. So her thoughts spin deeper, and in spinning deeper run to a point where honesty, tact, the demands of her adopted culture and reverence for a departed husband collide, to a point that illustrates the constraints even queens face in defining themselves.

"How do I say this? Maybe because the world is constantly changing and therefore people, we are all constantly having to respond to changing circumstances. Islam provided a framework, a very clear, very enlightened . . . concrete framework . . . for understanding one's responsibilities and obligations in life, that, of course, depending on interpretation, has created, as you find in other religions, a variety of different perspectives. . . . I saw my husband--for me, I would not liken him to the prophet or any of the messengers that are part of the three Abrahamic religions, but I see him as someone who carried the message and made it real in this day and age.

"And it is really important that you not express that as badly as I did."

This then is the riddle: No longer Lisa Najeeb Halaby, an American-raised urban planner, and no longer the consort of a world-renowned leader, who is Noor? Full-time matriarch? Advocate, without portfolio, for world peace and a clean environment? Widowed queen of a land whose people don't look, talk or think like she does? "It is different," she says of this new phase. "It is going to be very different. And it is going to take time to figure it out."
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 02-06-2005, 11:54 PM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Noor Standing Alone--Part 2

IN TRANSITION

She is a queen still but not the queen, an honor that belongs now to Rania, wife of King Abdullah II.

Nor is she, as some mistakenly have said, the Queen Mother: Abdullah is the child of Hussein's English-born second wife, Muna, a somewhat reclusive figure.

But Noor is the mother of the popular crown prince, 19-year-old Hamzeh, a position that gives her a kind of derivative standing, particularly if Hamzeh emerges, as many expect he will, as a strong understudy for Abdullah. She has three younger children as well: Hashem, who graduated from the Maret School in Washington this spring, and daughters Iman and Raiyah, who were enrolled there but are likely to move closer to home to finish high school.

She also has shown an ability to stand on her own in Jordan, where she intends to stay. Viewed disparagingly by some here as an outsider, her bearing impressed Jordanians throughout the king's final days, especially during a public mourning period in which she seemed to be consoling the country as much as the country her.

She has pushed at cultural borders without offending, attending her husband's funeral, for example, even though it went against tradition. Likewise, she has been working quietly to ensure that "honor killings"--the murder of wives, daughters and sisters who have had affairs--are punished like any other crime.

After 20 years at Hussein's side, it may be, as she says, that her relations with Abdullah and Rania are good, that her relations with Jordan's political and social elites are good, and that she will simply operate as usual, giving moral support inside the family, offering advice if asked and sustaining a handful of outside projects.

She will, for example, be organizing a foundation in her late husband's honor. She may pick up a cause here and there that needs a face and a voice, as she did with Princess Diana's efforts to promote a global ban on anti-personnel land mines. And she is tying up the loose ends of her husband's life by honoring invitations he had accepted, including one to speak at Brown University's commencement recently.

But professionally, publicly, Noor is scaling back, telling some organizations she patronized over the past two decades that it is "time to disengage."

She also says she is economizing, laying off household staff and adjusting because her home is no longer a hub for the hundreds of dignitaries and staff passing through for business meetings or banquets or lunches or cups of tea.

She says she may be freer now to speak her mind but, concerned about upstaging the new king, she then has her staff ask a journalist not to publish anything about her during Abdullah's recent visit to Washington.

She utters an aw-shucks, I'm-the-same-as-I've-always-been reply to one question, then speaks of the job of being royalty as potentially "soul-destroying."

Again the thoughts tumble:

"The people of the country and the king have made it clear to me from the beginning, and it has been constant, and this is not by comparison to anyone else, and has little to do with the title, that they want me to continue, that they need me, and at the same time also now there will be more of a role played by the new queen, but there is no reason why that should be in any way anything but a very positive development and hopefully one that will bring us all closer together."


THE MODEST MONARCHY

The odd impression is that, despite a life amid regal trappings, despite the fact that she has given up her U.S. passport, the former Lisa Halaby has lived a very American success story. She just happens to have done it as queen of an Arab country.

Smart, attractive, idealistic, she graduated from Princeton University and pursued a career in urban planning and design. Her father, an aviation official in the Kennedy administration and later an airline executive, was Syrian, and she was drawn to the Middle East. In the 1970s, she began working with Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Lightning struck. In the small social world of a small country with a notoriously sociable king, she eventually met His Majesty, a widower since his third wife, Alia, died in a helicopter crash. He was smitten. She brushed up on the Koran. They were married in 1978.

One might imagine that this was the start of a life of privilege, but to hear her tell the tale it is much more complicated.

It is mid-May, slightly more than three months since her husband succumbed to lymphoma, and she is sitting in a parlor in the palace known as Bab al Salam, "the Door of Peace," the home she shared with Hussein. It is a modest building, as all of Jordan's palaces are, made of the same glittering limestone that characterizes much of the rest of the country's architecture. There are more ostentatious places in Montgomery County.

The lawn outside is golf-course green, the rooms full of memorabilia: the flag that was draped on Hussein's casket, Bedouin weaponry, portraits of the country's three previous kings.

She is wearing black slacks, and a black-and-white striped pullover, though she has forgone the locket with Hussein's picture she had worn during an earlier meeting. She looks more Swedish than Arabian, after her mother's side; talks the lingo more of America than the Middle East. She is gregarious, welcoming, self-assured. She is that rare item, a monarch who eschews the importance of her title.

"What is important about me is independent of all that. What is important of everybody in life is independent of all that. And what was important about my husband was also independent of that," she says.

Indeed, what was important about Hussein, she says, is also what made life as a Hashemite queen more of a job than a sinecure.

In his 47-year reign, he survived palace intrigue, assassination attempts, wars, civil strife and ostracism by other Arab leaders, particularly after signing a peace agreement with Israel. Other monarchies, regimes, ideologies came and went in the Middle East. Colonialism. Nasserism. Arab unity. Secularism. Political Islam. Hussein weathered them all to become a mainstay of pro-Western politics in the region, a stance that won him lots of U.S. aid and lots of good press in the West, but left him regarded as something of a poseur by other Arab leaders, a king whose country was invented by the British as a consolation prize when his forefathers were kicked out of Saudi Arabia early in the century.

Compared with Egypt, Jordan is a country without a past. To Saudi Arabia, whose leaders took their territory by conquest, it is a country with no logical historical or military reason to exist. To Saddam Hussein, Jordan's monarchy is of the same family line as the one his Ba'ath Party evicted from Baghdad. He once called King Hussein a "throne dwarf," in reference to his diminutive stature.

In surroundings like that, to survive is to succeed, and it is that context, Noor says, that made life in the Royal Court of Amman less a fairy tale than a daily struggle for balance.

Keeping the family together, keeping the country together, upholding what he felt was a moral mission as part of the prophet's line constantly threatened to consume Hussein and those around him, she says. "He never fully let go."
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 02-06-2005, 11:58 PM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Noor Standing Alone--Conclusion

Hussein felt he had a country resting on his shoulders, as well as a spiritual history spanning 1,400 years. It was demanding emotionally and financially. Oddly enough, though the idea of monarchy conjures images of commanding wealth, in a resource-poor country like Jordan, Noor says, her husband was perpetually overspending and forced to seek aid from the oil-rich monarchies in the Persian Gulf.

Renowned in Jordan for paying hospital bills, college tuition and other expenses for those who sought his assistance, Hussein "overextended himself financially on a regular basis, and the challenge was always to try to pay the accumulation of debts that would mount because of all these needs that he was addressing," she says.

Though she is rumored to have inherited hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars, she laughs at the idea, saying that their budget was so stretched that Hussein delayed for years building the new, more secure, palace that his guards had pestered him to construct.

"I would not call him a spendthrift. This is part of our tradition--an Arab and Muslim tradition--you look after those in need. . . . My husband was the last resource for people who had no other options in a country of limited resources. So he tried never to turn anyone away and that is not always a sustainable position," Noor says.


A REDEFINED ROLE

The final days of King Hussein's life were writ large around the world, and the facts did make a compelling narrative, from his dramatic appearance, bald and frail from chemotherapy, at the conclusion of the Wye River peace talks last fall, to the tumultuous winter days in which he returned to Jordan from his cancer treatment, stripped his brother of his title as crown prince and successor, then flew back to Minnesota's Mayo Clinic with his disease in full rage.

The drama produced such a welter of sidewalk innuendo in Amman that it seemed almost certain that Jordan would disintegrate. The only question was whom to hold responsible--the CIA, the Israelis, some group of other Arab countries or some murky, Machiavellian in-house gang.

No matter how open and Westernizing Jordan may present itself to be, no matter how much Noor and others insist that the family dynamics are healthy and the transition of power seamless and untroubled, this country remains a knotty, tribal monarchy, a place where changing alliances and jealousies, blood ties and wasta--connections--are often more important than merit.

Noor was alternatively:



* The mastermind of a plot whose ultimate design, to have her son Hamzeh on the throne, is still unfolding.



* The mastermind of a plot whose ultimate design, to have her son Hamzeh on the throne, backfired.



* The unwitting dupe of a cabal of U.S. security officials who have co-opted Abdullah.



* The unwitting dupe of a cabal of Jordanian security officials who felt the king's brother, Hassan, would interfere with their perks.

After all, something deeper must have been at work. People don't just die, do they?

While gossip accompanies crisis in any political town, "it can be taken to extremes here," she says. Jordan "is very small and intense. The whole region can be that way."

From Hussein's bedside, from inside the family, however, what happened was a much more intimate and human event, she says. A man was worried about his family, worried about his country, decided after months of thought that his eldest son should replace him, and died.

There was little sense in those final days, in the hours the family spent praying and comforting each other, that they were in the middle of anything epic or more largely human than the simple fact of mortality.

"I tend not to stand outside of myself when I am in the middle of something that fundamental," she says. Despite the biting language Hussein used in dismissing his brother, despite the gossip that the royal family was split into camps, she says "there was a unity of love. A loving spirit that everyone was trying to share with one another for him, as an expression of him."

The days after the funeral were among the family's busiest. Abdullah opened one palace for the men to pay condolences, while Noor received women at another.

Day after day, the lines extended from Zaharan Palace, outside the gate and along the sidewalk of one of Amman's busiest roads.

It was then that she so impressed the people of her country, as if for the first time she was fully accepted as part of a society that at its root remains a touch superstitious and very traditional. The fact that this tall, blond American was their queen had always rankled some, particularly among those families who felt such an honor should have been reserved for one of the locals.

If the public mourning was her duty, it was in a sense her curtain call, too. If she had won full and final acceptance as Hussein's "light"--the Arabic meaning of her adopted name--it came as a bittersweet blessing, at a time when attention inevitably shifts to the new king and queen, the causes they promote and the people they favor.

The stream keeps flowing:

"It is more through my personal effort and involvement or accomplishments or projects--that is my pulpit. It did not come from the title. Now my ability to draw people together to get things going was in large part because of my role and my position. But the actual issues and the ways that we have gone about trying to effect development had to do with our own efforts and work, not with the Royal Court. That is not explaining it well.

"I first of all will be supporting the king and the queen in their work in the country. I see my continuing efforts in the areas that I have been involved in as very-- I see them as complementary."

If, as Noor says, titles don't matter, she has the prime of her life to prove it, on her own.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 02-07-2005, 12:33 AM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Noor in McCleen Article-Pt. 1

Queen Noor tries to find a proper role for herself
By Roxanne Roberts
The Washington Post
March 7, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The house in suburban McLean, Va., is modern, tasteful and spacious, the river view lovely. Queen Noor strides into the kitchen wearing blue jeans and a sweater. She's sophisticated but informal, very Town & Country.

She sips ginger tea at the kitchen table. At 52, she is striking: blond, slender and tall. She talks thoughtfully of being a widow and a single mother, of shepherding her kids through college, of her work, of trying to live a "normal" life.

Nothing here screams "royalty" -- no tiaras, no bowing servants -- except for the family pictures in the kitchen. For 21 years, Noor was King Hussein's wife and Jordan's unofficial ambassador to the world. It's been five years since he died, leaving her with a title but no throne, a regal past but an uncertain future.

The public Noor is a world-famous advocate for Palestinian rights, women's and environmental issues, and peace in the Middle East. Her autobiography, "Leap of Faith," is an international best seller. She commands $60,000 per speech on the lecture circuit. She dines with Nelson Mandela, consults with Kofi Annan, is serenaded by Sting.

She jets around the world, followed by cameras and gossip. Her homes, her four children, her dates are discussed in newspapers in Washington, New York, London and Amman. She is admired, envied and dissected in two different cultures.

Based in Washington, her hometown, she's carefully crafting a complicated new life.

"I have been trying, and I admit very awkwardly, to try to strike a balance where I can live a normal, natural life here, where I don't do anything here or in Jordan that I would not be comfortable with in either place," she says.

This is the inherent paradox of Noor: She's between a crown and a hard place.

A credible voice

Noor became a media sensation the day she got married in 1978 at 26. Twenty-six years later, so much has changed -- and so little. Noor has implemented ambitious plans to improve the economic, educational and cultural lives of Jordanians. Her Web site lists reams of charitable interests around the world: Refugees International, Landmine Survivors Network, Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund. She makes 70 to 100 speeches and appearances annually. But she is also a queen, a title that overshadows everything else about her. (Jordan actually has two queens: Noor and Queen Rania, wife of King Abdullah.)

"I'm always going to be instinctively a private person and also motivated to be a public servant," she says. "So I'm always going to be trying to reconcile these two essential parts of me. Obviously, it works well sometimes, and it can be somewhat awkward on other occasions. I'm learning my way slowly through all this."

"She's extraordinarily effective," says friend, James Kimsey. "First of all, she's got an enormous amount of charm. But in addition, her intellect is very precise and is able to cover points in detail. I got much more accomplished as a result of having her in these meetings than I would had I been by myself."

"She's smart, she's eloquent, she's gracious, and very direct and sincere," says James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. "Over the years, she developed a gravitas. When she spoke, she spoke like a leader."

The former Lisa Halaby was the eldest child of Najeeb Halaby, a Navy pilot of Syrian descent who had the top job at Pan Am and wealthy, influential friends all over the world -- including King Hussein.

Noor grew up in privilege: elite private schools, ski trips to Austria and Switzerland. In her book, Noor describes herself as a loner, bookish, happiest in serious conversations. By the time she entered Princeton University, where she graduated in 1974, classmates had labeled her snobbish and haughty.

But her reserved bearing was a natural fit for a queen, and she embraced her new life and her new name (as a wedding gift, Hussein renamed his fourth wife Noor al Hussein, or Light of Hussein).

She originally intended to stay in Jordan after Hussein's death but has ended up spending most of her time here. Her children -- Crown Prince Hamzah, 23, Prince Hashim, 22, Princess Iman, 20, and Princess Raiyah, 18 -- attended schools in the United States and England. Noor's ailing father and her sister lived here, and a family trust owned River House, Hussein's 10-acre estate on the Potomac. (The property was sold in 2001 to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.)

Her first public appearance in Washington after the mourning period was at Hashim's 1999 prep school graduation. She later was seen around the city, usually with Kimsey at A-list events: the National Symphony Ball, the Corcoran Ball, opening night of the Washington Opera.

Washington was star-struck, curious and eager to welcome Noor back home. But the woman who is so skilled in her public roles has proved surprisingly awkward. Guests seated near her at formal dinners describe her as serious but not engaged, rarely sharing personal information or observations.

She is seen as bright, gracious and glamorous but uncomfortable in large groups and impatient with small talk.

Esther Coopersmith, a longtime friend of Jordan's royal family, says: "Perhaps some people think she's cold. She's not. She's shy and reserved."

At parties, Noor says, she simply tries to spend time with friends, support the organizations and "disappear into the wallpaper." She says she's always been socially awkward. "I'm not good at chitchat. Not because I look down on it -- because it's a very important way of connecting in our world -- it's just that I've never been good at it."

There's been speculation about a romance with Kimsey, the America Online co-founder and multimillionaire whom she met in 2001. Both deny it, and Noor says she has no plans to remarry.

"He's like a big brother," says Noor.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 02-07-2005, 12:43 AM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
I had heard Noor was shy and her first speeches were "pure terror" because she felt she carried the "weight of the whole presentation of the region on (her) shoulders." She has been noted for speaking her mind but also, in a 1991 Vanity Fair article was described as "humorless; very serious." This was attributed to the Gulf crisis and the bleakness of the refugee situation. In "Town and Country" 1988, Noor says her mother found her shy "to the extreme" and "considered counseling." But she has clearly overcome this to the extent her speeches are excellent yet she still likes to "blend into the wallpaper" except with close friends. An interesting woman--complex blend of introverted yet courageous enough to take on a very public role. It cannot have been easy. Queen Rania, on the other hand, strikes me in all that has been written, as a far more extroverted personality plus carries an ease which perhaps stems from being from the ME. Both women have been praised for their excellent, well prepared and delivered speeches and persuasive tactics with people of influence and power throughout the world. Two fine assets for Jordan!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 02-20-2005, 10:42 PM
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryshawn
I had heard Noor was shy and her first speeches were "pure terror" because she felt she carried the "weight of the whole presentation of the region on (her) shoulders." She has been noted for speaking her mind but also, in a 1991 Vanity Fair article was described as "humorless; very serious." This was attributed to the Gulf crisis and the bleakness of the refugee situation. In "Town and Country" 1988, Noor says her mother found her shy "to the extreme" and "considered counseling." But she has clearly overcome this to the extent her speeches are excellent yet she still likes to "blend into the wallpaper" except with close friends. An interesting woman--complex blend of introverted yet courageous enough to take on a very public role. It cannot have been easy. Queen Rania, on the other hand, strikes me in all that has been written, as a far more extroverted personality plus carries an ease which perhaps stems from being from the ME. Both women have been praised for their excellent, well prepared and delivered speeches and persuasive tactics with people of influence and power throughout the world. Two fine assets for Jordan!
She was a cheerleader in college, so I'm not sure how she could be shy!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 02-24-2005, 07:19 PM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Noor as cheerleader

Good point! And she wore pants instead of a skirt to make a statement--which drew even more attention. OK. Hadn't thought about that and it makes sense. Do "pathologically shy" (her words) women try out to be Ivy League cheerleaders? Well, put it this way: it's how she describes herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbette
She was a cheerleader in college, so I'm not sure how she could be shy!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 02-24-2005, 08:04 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
I am shy and I tried (emphasis on tried) for cheerleading. SHy ppl like us aren't afraid to go out and do what we are good at. It is what we are not good at like convo.'s with ppl we don't know that well and other stuff. I think some ppl have complete misconceptions about shy ppl. And I am not afraid to make a statement when I relaly believe in something.
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 02-25-2005, 10:35 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: n/a, United Kingdom
Posts: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbette
She was a cheerleader in college, so I'm not sure how she could be shy!
it isnt strange to becoming shy with such a childhood like hers - but now shes many years queen and learned to change something.
she has to do such things as queen - and she has special views - like wearing trousers and beeing cheerleader - but nobody can look behind her face - and there maybe you will find a shy person?!
when you listen to her speeches - you hear the first time always a nervous voice!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 02-25-2005, 11:50 AM
abir's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: , Canada
Posts: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by closesttoheaven
it isnt strange to becoming shy with such a childhood like hers - but now shes many years queen and learned to change something.
she has to do such things as queen - and she has special views - like wearing trousers and beeing cheerleader - but nobody can look behind her face - and there maybe you will find a shy person?!
when you listen to her speeches - you hear the first time always a nervous voice!
I noticed that as well ... I heard 2-3 times Noor' speeches.
I believe anybody can avoid being nervous in speeches by practising and repeating. I read some stories about politicians/CEO/... who subscribe in theatre clubs. They say it’s one of the best ways to develop communication skills, confidence and public speaking.

From pictures, QN shows a confident woman :)
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 03-13-2005, 01:22 AM
maryshawn's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Green Bay, United States
Posts: 1,214
Have you heard her speak? You are lucky! I am limited to her TV experiences but since your post, I see the initial hesitancy and discomfort. I didn't know if it was being shy or worrying about how to be politically correct and not reveal too much of herself or royal family.....very interesting--your comments, I mean. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by closesttoheaven
it isnt strange to becoming shy with such a childhood like hers - but now shes many years queen and learned to change something.
she has to do such things as queen - and she has special views - like wearing trousers and beeing cheerleader - but nobody can look behind her face - and there maybe you will find a shy person?!
when you listen to her speeches - you hear the first time always a nervous voice!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 03-17-2005, 03:02 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
Queen Noor: Articles, Interviews & Speeches

I found this article about QN from 1991. It is from the "Ten Years Ago in 'Spy'" Journal. I got the idea to start a thread about old news of the JRF-I guess before the 21st century. Enjoy.
Ten Years Ago in ‘Spy’ (January–February 1991)

Mules or clogs, Your Highness?

A tremendously juicy profile, by Harriet Barovick (later to write for Time and CNN), of Lisa Halaby, renowned the world over under her nom de mariage, Queen Noor of Jordan. His Highness the King, by all accounts, is not only shorter than Tom Cruise but shorter than his lovely American bride (fourth to accompany the churlish dwarf potentate up the marriage aisle).

Queen Noor has frequently referred to herself as a “humble civil servant,” a “working queen” with a “modest” way of life and “no time to worry about [our] own safety.” In addition to the palace in Amman, the palace in Aqaba and a new lavish private residence outside Amman bought this year [1991?], the royal couple also own a country estate in the hills above Vienna – this is thought to be the future residence-in-exile, and they have poured some $5 million into restoring the place, in the process equipping it with an elaborate security system that includes guard dogs, a video camera at every entrance, and a wraparound electric double fence. [...]

A queen must look right, and Noor’s taste in clothes runs toward Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin. At the palace, a chambermaid is employed to attend exclusively to Her Majesty’s wardrobe, which is distributed through several rooms and includes – is this the fin-de-siècle indicator of imminent exile? – hundreds of pairs of shoes. Every item has been photographed, and the photographs are organized into albums to make packing easier.

You mean Her Highness is not preparing herself like a nail-biting kidney-transplant candidate, with an entire LearJet loaded on the tarmac and ready to go?
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 03-17-2005, 06:24 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
I did not read this yet, but it looks like an interesting read. It is too long to post in one post, so I will do it in separate posts.

Title:THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL WHO BECAME QUEEN , By: Rompalske, Dorothy, Biography, 10927891, Sep97, Vol. 1, Issue 9
Database:Academic Search Premier

Section: ROYALTY

THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL WHO BECAME QUEEN - PART 1

Lisa Halaby went to the Mideast to work. Next thing she knew, she was married to a king.

American Lisa Halaby was leading a charmed life in Tehran in 1975 when someone read the grounds at the bottom of her coffee cup and predicted that she would have a remarkable future. The striking 24-year-old Princeton graduate with the cascading mane of honey-blond hair had moved to the capital of Iran after obtaining a position with a prominent British architectural firm under contract there. The job was perfect: It combined her degree in architecture with her taste for travel and adventure, but more importantly, it allowed Lisa to explore her Arab ancestry.

And while her fair hair and blue eyes reflected her mother Doris' Swedish origins, it was her father Najeeb's roots in Syria and Lebanon that Lisa found intriguing. Even the coffee grounds seemed to agree--their pattern foretold that she was destined to return to her Arab roots and marry an important leader. "It was the strangest thing, accurate to the last detail," she would remark many years later about the prediction. By then, she was no longer known as Lisa Halaby, but as Noor al-Hussein, Queen of Jordan, the name given to her in marriage by her husband, who was indeed an important leader-Hussein Ibn Talal, King of Jordan.

Lisa Halaby had been formally introduced to King Hussein in January 1977 at the dedication ceremony of new airport facilities she'd helped to design in Amman,Jordan's capital. In the spring of 1978 the king renewed Lisa's acquaintance, whisking her off for romantic moonlit rides through the hills of Amman on the back of his BMW motorcycle. After a secret six-week courtship, the monarch proposed and Lisa accepted, brushing aside her reservations about marrying into his royal family. As she told the New York Times Magazine, "I was unsure I would be exactly what he needed, that I wouldn't be a hindrance, being relatively new to Jordan and because it happened fairly quickly." True love, however, ruled the day and the couple were married in a small, private ceremony in Amman on June 15,1978.

Shortly before the marriage, Lisa, who had been a nonpracticing Protestant, converted to Islam. The Arabic name the king chose for her, Noor al-Hussein (meaning "light of Hussein"), seemed appropriate beyond the obvious allusion to her crown of golden hair. Lisa's presence had indeed become a light in Hussein's life, lifting the king, at age 40, from the depression he'd fallen into while mourning the loss of his third wife, Queen Alia, who'd died tragically in a helicopter crash in 1977. When she became queen, Lisa also took on the responsibilities of stepmother to Alia's three young children, plus five others from Hussein's first two marriages, which had ended in divorce.

The whirlwind courtship between the willowy beauty and the dashing, intense king, set against the backdrop of one of the world's oldest and most picturesque cities, captured the imagination of the American public. There were frequent references in the press to another U.S. blond who'd made a royal match, Princess Grace of Monaco. Queen Noor, however, was said to be annoyed by the comparison, and she made it clear in several interviews that she was not living a fairy-tale existence. Unlike Grace Kelly, who became princess of a peaceful resort kingdom, Lisa Halaby had married into a troubled country at the center of a volatile region.
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 03-17-2005, 06:26 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL WHO BECAME QUEEN - PART 2

For Jordanian conservatives, the American-born Noor was a controversial choice for queen. Before her, by tradition, only full-blooded Arabs had held the title of Queen of Jordan, while other women who married into the royal family, including King Hussein's first two wives, were awarded the lesser title of Princess. Noor's determination (with the king's encouragement) to be the country's first queen with an active role in her husband's government defied still more conventions. She is the first one to have an office on the grounds of the royal palace, from which she works full time on the issues that concern her most--community development, education, women's rights, the environment, and world hunger. Her role as spokesperson in the West for her husband's sometimes unpopular political positions has made her a lightning rod for criticism both in this country and in Jordan, where the people love King Hussein and are hesitant to criticize him directly.

At first glance, there doesn't seem much in Queen Noor's privileged East Coast background that would prepare her to take on such a weighty role. The oldest of three children, Lisa Najeeb Halaby was born in Washington, D.C., on August 23, 1951, into one of this country's most prominent Arab-American families. Her father, attorney Najeeb Halaby, worked at that time for the U.S. Department of Defense. He would later head the Federal Aviation Administration during the Kennedy administration, and then serve as president of Pan American Airways before starting his own venture capital firm, Halaby International. While growing up, Lisa attended some of the most exclusive private schools in the country: National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., Chapin School in New York City, and Concord Academy in Massachusetts. She entered Princeton University in 1969 as a member of its historic first coeducational class.

Tall, athletic, and beautiful, Lisa was also one of Princeton's original women cheerleaders, yet it was her keen intelligence, ambition, and curiosity about the world that her college friends recall as her most striking attributes. Like many students of her generation, she was passionate about the antiwar movement and she seriously considered joining the Peace Corps. Game to explore all her options, Lisa took a leave of absence after her sophomore year to move to Aspen, Colorado, where she worked as a waitress to support herself while studying photography and spending her free time on the ski slopes.

By the mid 1970's Lisa had begun to develop an interest in her Arab ancestry and when she returned to Princeton a year later, she began to study architecture and urban planning, convinced that a degree in those fields could help her land a job overseas. After graduation, she worked briefly in Australia before securing a job as a draftsman in Tehran. When that position ended in 1976, Lisa returned to the United States and considered switching to a career in journalism. Then her father offered her a job with Arabair Services Corporation, a company he'd started in partnership with the Jordanian government. Lisa was working for one of that firm's clients, Royal Jordanian Airlines (Alia), when she met King Hussein.

After their wedding the royal couple took a honeymoon at Aqaba, the king's resort home by the Red Sea. Then the brand-new bride, stepmother, and queen immersed herself with enthusiasm in the culture of her adopted country. She quickly learned to speak fluent Arabic-the only language she uses while performing her official duties. When at home at the royal palace, which is set within a heavily guarded compound of gardens and low office buildings at the center of Amman, Queen Noor and King Hussein, who was educated in England at Harrow and Sandhurst, usually converse in English. Their four children together--Prince Hamzah, born in 1980; Prince Hashim, born in 1981; Princess Iman, born in 1983; and Princess Raiyah, born in 1986--speak Arabic as their first language, but are also fluent in English.
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 03-17-2005, 06:26 PM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 1,505
THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL WHO BECAME QUEEN - PART 3

The queen has adopted a distinctly casual style of dress, yet she maintains a straightforward, regal demeanor. Those who meet her frequently comment on her unusually formal way of speaking. After interviewing Noor for a 1991 profile in Vanity Fair, Dominick Dunne observed, "So deliberate is her prose style that at times I had the ridiculous feeling that she was translating in her mind from Arabic to English ... Every sentence is thought out and spoken in a modulated, complicated, sometimes convoluted manner."

Of course, as the modern-minded queen of a country largely populated by Islamic fundamentalists who believe that women belong only in the home, Noor has to be conscious of the impression she makes with her words and her clothing. While she refuses to dress to suit the radical elements in her country, she respects Middle Eastern standards of modesty. For work she favors below-the-knee khaki skirts and simple blouses or suits, and she never wears a veil. (Jordan, one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East when it comes to women's rights, does not require women to be veiled, although many there still maintain the ancient Islamic tradition.) For trips to the desert countryside, the queen is often seen sporting traditional clothing-American traditional, that is blue jeans and cowboy boots. She enjoys driving her own jeep, though Noor is always accompanied by a caravan of security vehicles.

Security is a serious issue for the royal family. King Hussein, the 38th-generation descendant of the prophet Muhammad, has been on the throne longer than any ruler in the Middle East, despite more than 25 attempts by assassins to end his reign. The first one occurred in 1951 when he was only 15 years old. An assassin fired at Hussein and his grandfather, King Abdullah, during an official visit to Jerusalem. The king was killed, but young Hussein was saved by chance when a medal pinned to the front of his military-school uniform deflected the killer's bullet. He ascended to the throne two years later, after a brief reign by his father, who was removed from power after being diagnosed with a mental illness.

Jordan's strategic geographical position, smack in the middle of Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, adds significantly to its security concerns; King Hussein, conscious of his country's vulnerability, has long been seen as a stabilizing force for peace in the region. His role as friend to the West was jeopardized during the Gulf crisis, however, when he failed to support the Bush administration's decision to send troops to the Middle East to defend Kuwait against the invasion by Saddam Hussein (no relation to the Jordanian monarchy).

With more than half his country's population made up of Palestinians, who supported Saddam Hussein and vehemently opposed any Western presence in the Gulf, King Hussein found himself in an untenable position during the crisis--he could either alienate more than half his people, or anger the Americans, who had refused to allow him the time he believed he needed to negotiate a peaceful withdrawal of Saddam's troops. Queen Noor took on her most important role at this time. At the king's request, she traveled to the United States and embarked on a diplomatic effort to make her husband's difficult stance understood. While she garnered a fair amount of press for her efforts, she made virtually no impression on the Bush administration.

When asked in March 1991 by the New York Times if she had ever felt torn between the two cultures that had framed her life, Queen Noor responded as the Arab she'd truly become: "I don't think I've ever felt any contradiction or any struggle there."

With the Gulf War ended, Jordan has forged an improved relationship with the Clinton administration. Queen Noor can again focus on the internal problems that affect the lives of her people; her crusade to promote democracy in Jordan has been particularly effective.

Recent rumors of discord in the royal marriage, and reports that the king has what the press euphemistically calls "a wandering eye," may be painful for Noor, but she has handled them with the characteristic dignity and discretion she's demonstrated since the beginning of her reign. For while fate may have chosen a beautiful all-American girl to be queen of an Arab nation, this brilliant woman is wise enough to know that life, after all, is not a fairy tale.
__________________
*Under Construction*
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 04-28-2005, 12:30 PM
Amina's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 494
Queen Noor Interviews & Articles

Thought i would post this interview with QN done in 2003 from Englands Daily Telegraph saturday magazine. FEEL FREE TO POST ANY OTHER ARTICLES ETC THAT U HAVE ON QN

THE KING AND I - PART 1

American-born Queen Noor gained a unique insight into the Middle East crisis during her 21-year marriage to the late King Hussein of Jordan. Now she has written a book about their search for peace, and how she continues the quest in her husband’s memory.

By Jessica Berens
Photograph by Jeremy Murch

It is a cup of tea, a silver tray and chandelier. It is a white sofa, a discreet house in Knightsbridge and a queen, the former Queen of Jordan to be exact. She sits gracefully, straight-backed on a straight-backed chair in front of me. I am quite deep in the sofa, and getting all the time, through no fault of my own. Drowning in velvety depths, the questions emerge, muffled from behind a line of cushions which, imbued with a life of their won, seem to be conspiring to push me further under…My feet leave the floor. I sued to want t o marry a psychiatrist, I tell her. But now I would an osteopath. She chuckles. She knows what it is like. She has just finished editing her book on a computer, and the pains in her neck have been something else. Official protocol calls for ‘Your Majesty’, but, she says, ‘I usually tell people, “That’s such a mouthful. Call me Queen Noor.”’

There are some of the effects one might expect: a uniformed maid, a thin ‘executive assistant’, an atmosphere of discreet respect; ‘Her majesty is stuck in traffic,’ I have been told, but now she is here: no crow, of course, but no make-up either; no mask to enhance the personage, or hide it. She is, at 51, chic in black, and tall enough, at around 6ft, to encourage one that the Queen of England, when visiting Jordan, did not like standing next to her for fear of appearing short. Queen Noor has lamented the world’s obsession with her appearance; in the past it has made her feel like a ‘useless accessory’, but I’m afraid that is what the world is like, especially when gazing on royalty. And to gaze on this particular royalty is to find it hard to imagine as the former child she ahs described – shy, awkward, with eyes squinting behind Coke-bottle glasses. It is also hard to imagine this groomed and lovely dignitary talking in a dolphin voice to her late husband, King Hussein of Jordan. Theirs was a romance of a 21-year long marriage, and though he died of cancer in 1999, her everyday life is still sustained by the memory of his ‘faith and optimism’. Now she has written a book and, she says, he is ‘the hero’ of it. Leap of Faith – Memoirs of an Unexpected Life is a lucid and detailed account of her life from her birth, as Lisa Najeeb Halaby, in America, to his death. Often critical of America (whose politicians and diplomats are, in general, documented as embarrassing bullies), and pro-Palestinian in its outlook, the memoir is clear and honest, though it seems as interested in celebrating the life of King Hussein as safeguarding the security of a vulnerable country where a destabilised monarchy could have serious socio-economic consequences.

Lisa Halaby met the King of Jordan after her father, Najeeb Halaby, an airline executive, introduced them in Jordan in 1976. Two years later they started dating; watching Peter Sellers videos, hanging out in the palace – that kind of thing. He smiled a lot and was funny; it was not difficult out fall in love with him. ‘I wish he was sitting her with me,’ she says. ‘He would tell the stories much better than I am.’ She was 26, and he was 42; he was two inches shorter than her, so there was a lot of chat about all that. She was self-contained person, and very reserved, having weathered her perfectionist Arab-American father and her Swedish-American mother Doris, between whom marital tensions were so great that, at one point, their teenage daughter begged them to get a divorce Lisa and her younger brother and sister were moved between California, New Your and Washington; she has described a childhood in which she always felt the outsider, constantly crippled with shyness, and was so aloof that her mother took her to a child psychologist who told them she would grow out it, which she did not.

She is still driven, she admits, by a feeling of low self-worth, the legacy of a demanding distant father. ‘To the day I did I won’t feel adequate,’ she says. ‘It’s not that it eats away at me every moment of every day, but I do feel it every day. I feel that every day I should do better and that every moment should be productive.’

King Hussein, meanwhile, had lost his third wife Alia in a helicopter crash in 1977, and had three children between the ages of two and five. There were another five elder children living with their two mothers, King Hussein’s former wives. And, though Lisa was well aware of the potential difficulties of this marriage (the fact that she was an American being one of many of them), like any other fiancée she allowed love, idealism and optimism to override her misgivings. Eighteen days after his proposal she accepted. She converted to Islam and he named her Noor, Light of Hussein. As the leader of a tiny, poor autocracy, with no oil and sitting nervously next to Israel, King Hussein knew what it was to be embroiled in the violence of relentless Middle Eastern turmoil, and the personal risks that this entailed. He had already survived several assassination attempts, and at the age of 16 had watched as his grandfather, King Abdullah, was murdered in front of him. The assassin, who stepped out from behind a pillar at a mosque in Jerusalem, shot the old man, and then shot at Hussein, whose life was saved only because the bullet ricocheted off the medal that his grandfather had insisted he wear that morning.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 04-28-2005, 12:33 PM
Amina's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 494
THE KING AND I - PART 2

King Hussein carried a gun and hired the best security force in the world. He had to. He had to live behind armoured glass, and so did Noor. Blonde, beautiful, gleaming-toothed, privately educated (at Chapin in New York, and Concord Academy in Massachusetts) and well-connected, she had graduated form Princeton. Her only mishaps had been a mugging in New York and falling off her horse a couple of times. ‘I always felt completely safe in Jordan and around Jordanians,’ she says. ‘The fear that we both had was for the impact of generalised violence on people in the region, but the one thing that joined the two of us and blossomed in my life with him was the utter conviction that you have to live beyond yourself. You cannot let your won feelings and fear dominate your life, or you can accomplish nothing for anyone else.’

After a long struggle against cancer which began in 1992, King Hussein died in February 1999. He had devoted his life to tireless diplomacy and peace initiative’s, and in 1998 his efforts were acknowledged with a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. He had, according to one foreign correspondent, ‘veered unnervingly between disaster and recovery’; having lost eh West Bank and Jerusalem to Israel during the Six Day War in 1967, he became the Arab leader generally seen as a ‘wise elder statesman who was genuinely loved – a rarity in a region of dictators who rule by force’. As Hussein lay dying at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and the question of the succession became a central issue, intrigue and speculation placed the various wives at each others’ throats, jostling for power on behalf of their progeny. The picture was of tiaras on and nails out. The king’s bother, Crown Prince Hassan, had been nominated as his successor in 1965, but was shockingly and abruptly removed at the last minute and replaced by Abdullah, Hussein’s son by his British-born wife, Princess Muna, the former Antoinette Gardiner from whom he was divorced in 1972. Queen Noor’s eldest son, Hamzah now 22, was appointed Crown Prince. Angered and hurt by the destructive rumours that he saw as being perpetrated by Prince Hassan’s followers, King Hussein wrote a public letter to his brother which, released to the media, highlighted their political differences and the ‘slandering and falsehoods’ that had ‘offended’ his family and ‘given me many sleepless nights while I was on my sickbed.’

‘Leap of Faith’ is not a royal pot boiler, and there are no pictures of ludicrous parties with Elton John; that she never wanted; she is not a silly woman, and neither was she motivated by money. Her model was the Washington Post heiress Katherine Graham’s autobiography, Personal History, which says Noor, ‘effectively developed the sense of the texture of history and culture and society, and was a book that was about much more than her’. In a process that lasted more than two years, Queen Noor compiled her book form the journals that she ahs kept throughout her life, and form interviews that ensure that various conversations and memories were recorded accurately. The final result is devoid of cattiness, or gossip – and it is sparing of any cr9iticism of Jordan’s conservative social infrastructure, where the media is state run and where political power stays in the hands of an unelected elite.

‘There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of my husband’s policies over a period of time. He never relied on public relations, he simply believed that the merit of your efforts is what endures. I thought there was a story to tell – about a search for peace in the Middle East – and about our culture and Islam, which is not well understood, especially in Western countries and particularly in the United States. Most of my marriage had been spent, amongst other things trying to bridge that gap.’

The family had some say in the content of the book; here children, she says, had access to it; and she showed the final draft to King Abdullah and some of his advisers. ‘I like him very much and I respect him,’ she says. ‘Jordan is an excruciatingly difficult position, and I had no desire to add to his burdens. I know what the burdens are almost better than anyone – I lived with them for so long. I felt that I had nothing to hide. I am frank about King Hussein’s willingness to explore every possible avenue for peace in the Middle East – and also it is very clear that he never compromised or betrayed the Palestinians or any Arab. A number of people had a variety of opinions on various aspects of it – we had a lot of spirited discussions that raised interesting issues about truth and fact and objectivity.

‘One member of the family said people aren’t ready for the truth yet, but I don’t believe we can advance or achieve any measure of peace or security if we are not willing to be as objective as possible about our history and learn from it as we develop the future.’

Alluding to the ‘constant barrage of tales’ that fermented around the accession, Queen Noor comments very little in the book, except to say that they were devastating to her children. Abdullah, she writes, was a natural choice. ‘He had risen to the rank of Major General in the Jordanian Army’s elite Special Forces, which would ensure him the critical support of the military, especially the loyal Bedouin.’ The King told her that Hamzah, then 19, ‘would be eaten by the lions’.

‘Contrary to the media reports that I had been pressuring my husband to name Hamzah his successor – I had been advocating all along that Hamzah should have an opportunity to attend university and develop his intellectual interests and talents.’

Abdullah, meanwhile, was surprised to find himself in the hot seat, and a hot seat it undoubtly is. The new king had, according to Queen Noor, always assumed that Hamzah would be his father’s choice of successor. He told her that his
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 04-28-2005, 12:33 PM
Amina's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 494
THE KING AND I - PART 3

plan was to assume responsibilities for about 20 years and then hand them over to the new Crown Prince. Queen Noor’s story reveals clearly the day-to-day reality of life spent on the edge of a war zone, and of living with a driven statesman who could not be subjected to more stress that he had already. At one point, when her stepchildren were teenagers, and hostile, family life became very difficult. Unable to worry her husband, who was dealing with far more dangerous hostilities, she spent some months feeling inadequate and alone, and thinking that she could not endure it any longer. She was able to get through trails such as these by looking to her husband as an example of one who focused beyond himself and whose patience and faith were inspirational. And she says, ‘Humour helped us through a lot of situations.’ Their relationship was ‘completely honest and open and free’. It has been a life whose demands have ranged from kidnap threats, to surviving the Gulf War, to raising a family of seven children, three of whom lost their won mother, to conserving the Oryx, and to knowing what to say to Mr and Mrs Gaddafi at dinner (‘They were a delightful and charming couple’).

Life at the Al Nadwa palace in Jordan’s capital of Amman must have been unnerving (mornings were often shattered by the sonic boom of Israeli warplanes exhibiting their military superiority), but it was informal. ‘Queen Elizabeth and the Sultan of Brunei would sometime pass by a jumble of tricycles on their way to the front door.’ She writes. A menagerie of pets included several cats, a gazelle, a panther and a Myna bird with a sore throat. The black Labrador, Jazz, meanwhile (a present from the Grand duke of Luxembourg), would run off and swim towards the Israel border, at which point gunboats would sail out to challenge him.

Queen Noor will make herself available to sell her book, at some personal risk – risk of which she is aware. She is an author whose public will necessarily require an armed guard, and whose work will attract further inspection of her personal life. She has become more accustomed to this, but when she first arrived in the public eye, the surrender of her privacy was one of the most difficult sacrifices to make; her husband was accustomed to being surrounded by an entourage but, at first, she could hardly bare the constant presence of officers and guards. One of the clearest vignettes in her book is the description of their honeymoon in Scotland, where she and her husband had to resort to the bathroom as ‘the only place where we could talk with complete freedom’.

Her present life is spent between Jordan, England and Washington, ‘triangulating’ as she puts it. She is fond of their estate outside Windsor, as happy times have been spent there, and the garden was loved by her husband; Washington is an ‘ideal advocacy base’, and Jordan is where Hamzah, having been educated at Sandhurst, must fulfil his duties as a Crown Prince. Her second son, Prince Hashim, 22, is at university in America, and her daughters, Princess Iman, 20, and Princess Raiyah, 17, are finishing their education in England. ‘They want to serve their country in any way they can,’ she says. ‘I encourage them to see there are a multitude of options.’ Once her book has been launched, Queen Noor hopes to ‘simplify’ her life. ‘I love to just let my hair down,’ she says. ‘Would she like to ‘disappear’, I wonder. ‘There are times when I yearn to,’ she replies. ‘I hope to have a little time off, but whether I will allow myself to…I am still involved in a number of organisations in whose work I believe passionately. They are pretty much focused on peace – and those issues are becoming more important, rather than less. I don’t feel I have a choice.’ She helms a dizzying number of development programmes, committees, foundations and humanitarian causes – refugees, children, landmines, peace, food; this is her realm.

Still, the pleasures of riding and sailing and skiing are attractive. She also appreciates that a person who is relaxed is a person who has time for creative, ‘and you can’t schedule that’.

She likes to be physically active and goes to a gym every day if she can. Working out, she says, keeps her body strong and her ‘spirits up’.

Does she worry about the effects of the ageing process, the difficulties of looking in the mirror as time passes on? ‘I have never approached age with trepidation. You don’t enjoy it, but on the other hand, I’m quickly drawn into things which don’t allow me to think about it. I hope to live gracefully with all the wrinkles – I think it would be more difficult for me if my knee gave out because I enjoy tennis and skiing.’

Queen Noor, I announce. More Worried About Her Knees Than Her Face. A deep chuckle. ‘Please don’t make that your headline,’ she says softly.


©The Daily Telegaph, 8th March 2003.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Interviews, Speeches and TV appearances of the King and Queen Josefine King Abdullah and Queen Rania and Family 445 Yesterday 03:00 PM
Sarah's Interviews and Television Appearances HighGoalHighDreams The Duke of York, Sarah Duchess of York, and Family 918 11-09-2011 03:28 AM
Speeches & Interviews of Albert II LadyMacAlpine Prince Albert and Princess Charlene 33 06-04-2011 04:04 AM
Royal Family of Morocco: Articles, Interviews & Speeches Jacqueline Royal Family of Morocco 99 01-10-2011 08:06 PM
Speeches and Interviews with Frederik and Mary sky Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary and Family 25 12-02-2008 01:25 AM




Additional Links
Popular Tags
birth charlene chris o'neill crown prince felipe crown prince haakon crown princess letizia crown princess mary crown princess mette-marit current events duchess of cambridge dutch royal history fashion grand duchess maria teresa grand duke henri hohenzollern infanta elena infanta sofia jewellery jordan kate middleton king abdullah ii king carl xvi gustav king felipe king felipe vi king harald king juan carlos king philippe king willem-alexander luxembourg nobility olympic games olympics ottoman poland pom president hollande president komorowski prince albert prince albert ii prince carl philip prince felipe prince floris prince pieter-christiaan princess anita princess beatrix princess charlene princess laurentien princess letizia princess mabel princess madeleine princess margriet princess mary princess mary fashion princess of asturias queen letizia queen mathilde queen maxima queen rania queen silvia queen sofia royal royal fashion russia sofia hellqvist spain state visit sweden visit wedding winter olympics 2014



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:06 PM.

Social Knowledge Networks

eXTReMe Tracker
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014
Jelsoft Enterprises

Royal News Delivered to your Email!

You can get the latest Royal News right in your inbox.

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]