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  #61  
Old 04-28-2005, 11:02 PM
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Hi, I'd like to post a few articles about QN, and some about the succession issue, such as "The Battle of the wives" or " Hussein's Heir"- hope to understand how to post an article here-:) :)

The previous link- A Queen- is part of the chapter about QN, in the G. Brooks' book " Nine parts of a desire "-
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  #62  
Old 05-06-2005, 01:49 PM
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Here's another interview QN did in 1996 for the Daily Telegraph:

Issue 563 The DailyTelegraph
Saturday 7 December 1996

Queen as working girl -PART 1

Queen Noor of Jordan has achieved the improbable - she's a dutiful Arab wife who says what she thinks. But the former Sixties radical admits to Helena de Bertodano that it wasn't easy at first

A FEW years ago, as Queen Noor was racing out of her Washington hotel to give her first political speech, the phone rang. "It was my husband. He said: 'I've just realised the position I've put you in and I've taken a Valium.' And for the first time I got very nervous because I thought: 'My goodness, if he's feeling nervous. . .' "

The speech, at Georgetown University, was a success, if a surprise. "It went down as a bit of a shock because the assumption was I would be talking about fluff - The Washington Post sent a style section reporter to cover it."

Since that day, Queen Noor has assumed an increasingly political role, becoming a spokeswoman in the maelstrom of the Middle East for the tiny desert Hashemite kingdom she adopted upon her marriage to King Hussein of Jordan in 1978. She has sought to prove herself as hardworking and serious, fighting to correct the original tabloid impression of her, as she puts it, as an "imperious, frivolous, irresponsible jet-setter".

Last week she was in England to address the Cambridge Union on the Middle East peace process. Dressed in a severe pinstripe trouser-suit, it was clear she meant business. Her speech was articulate, even entertaining at times, and she coped well with the questions - some of them tortuous - put to her by the undergraduates.

The role of Queen Noor al-Hussein (her name means "Light of Hussein") is unprecedented in every way. As the first American-born queen of an Arab Muslim country, she has shared some of the duties of her husband to an extent unheard-of in the region and even elsewhere in the world. "At that time you wouldn't have found any other non-elected wife of a head of state speaking out on any of the political issues that [my husband] has encouraged me to speak out on. . . The only person who has really come close is Mrs Clinton."

Although the Jordanian royal family prides itself on its accessibility, this does not necessarily include the media. Organising an interview with Queen Noor is a complicated business - partly because she is surrounded by the usual hullabaloo of royal protocol and partly because she is so busy.

After weeks of negotiation, I had arranged to interview her during her visit to England. My questions were vetted through several stages - I was strongly encouraged not to ask anything of a personal nature - and I was interviewed at length by her press secretary. Hoping that the Queen herself would be more relaxed, I had gone along with the process.

The morning of the proposed meeting dawned and still I had no idea when, where, or even whether, it would take place. Eventually the phone rang and I was told to get myself to a central London hotel where a car would collect me and take me to Her Majesty's house in the country - on one condition. For security reasons, on no account was I to reveal where her house was located or anything about it - not its shape, its colour or anything about its internal decoration. "You can say it's in England if you like," her press officer said.

On our arrival the photographer, his assistant and I are hurried through the building into a spacious sitting-room. It is 11.30am and we are told that Her Majesty will greet us at noon. We are left with a bowl of nuts and some Arabic coffee. Midday passes, then 1pm then 1.30. Various characters drift in and out.

After two hours, we have registered every detail of the room but are reminded once again to reveal nothing. "Can I just say there's a xxxxx?" I ask the press officer. "No," she says. "Can I say 'Her Majesty sat on a sofa' - if she does?" Permission is granted.

Eventually, soon after 1.30, Her Majesty slips unobtrusively into the room through a side door. No one accompanies her. Dressed in a pistachio-coloured soft-wool twinset, knee-length skirt and high heels, she is slim and elegant with firmly lacquered hair, these days of a darker blonde. She is effusively apologetic. "My son arrived from the United States at five in the morning for a small break from school," she says, in her strong American accent. "He was just beginning to surface from his jet-lag when you arrived and I thought you would probably understand that I would want to start the day with him. . . "We move to the table - not the sofa - for the interview. A silent minion delivers pineapple juice and a plate of raw vegetables. Instead of insisting on the list of prepared questions, Queen Noor allows a normal conversation, focusing on her work but also permitting discussion of her family and her feelings.

Only 26 at her marriage, she inherited eight stepchildren and a way fo life that was completely alien to her. I ask her how she managed to adapt: "I didn't think about it too much. I followed my instincts and my husband showed enormous confidence in me and just set me free. On occasion, in the early days, I would seek out a little bit of guidance and he would say: 'I have complete trust in you.' "I suggest to her that this may be the best way of learning; she looks slightly doubtful. "It's a rough way of learning because you learn everything on your own in the hard way and, in my case, there was no structure and no guidance, and no very specific and rigid code of conduct or protocol. . . I began by establishing an office just after I married. Having always been a working woman, it seemed to be a natural and logical first step. But it was unheard-of."

Although much is made of her all-American upbringing, the former Lisa Halaby does, in fact, have Arab roots. Her father, who served in the Kennedy Administration and is the former President of Pan American World Airways, is of Syrian descent. Because of the nature of his work, the family moved often as Lisa, the eldest of three children, was growing up.

"We were a relatively normal, moderately dysfunctional late-20th-century family. We were not terribly, terribly close. On the other hand we were not the other extreme either. Because there were so many moves and changes in our lives, we learned to adapt in different ways. . . I had to become self-reliant, I had to be able to move between different communities and to fall back on my own individual resources. . . I grew up with a very strong set of values and work ethic."

Her childhood imbued her with a resilience that has served her well in subsequent years. Intelligent and independent, she passionately espoused the causes of her time, demonstrating against the Vietnam War and marching with Martin Luther King.

After her graduation from Princeton University, where she studied architecture and urban planning, she left the United States, first to work for an architectural firm in Australia and then for a British firm which was re-planning the city of Teheran. "I had a rich and diverse working experience before I married. . . so when I began my life with my husband and his family, I already had an identity of my own. . . I could feel secure in myself and not dependent and helpless."

She met King Hussein, who had ruled the kingdom since she was one year old, while working in Jordan on a blueprint for an Arab air university. His third wife, Queen Alia, beloved to the king and the country, had recently been killed in an air crash, and at first her replacement was viewed with some suspicion. Seemingly overconfident, Queen Noor was criticised by the more conservative elements of Jordanian society. I ask her if she responded by just getting on with the job in hand, realising that she could not please everyone all the time?

"Yes," she laughs. "I've actually said it in those words, sometimes even a little bit more colourfully."

Nevertheless, I prompt, she must have found it all very isolating at times. "I was used to being on my own and that was excellent preparation, because otherwise I could have felt very isolated and very cut-off and even under siege at times. . . "
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:53 PM
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Queen as working girl - PART 2

It is hard to convey the extent of her work. Her entry in International Who's Who does not even attempt to list all of the dozens of organisations for which she works, simply mentioning her "numerous" honorary doctorates and awards for promotion of environmental conservation and awareness, the economic and social development of women, children and communities, cross-cultural exchange, international understanding and world peace.

Of course, this could mean anything. She could be little more than a nominal figurehead, sitting at home polishing her nails all day and grazing through the occasional grand lunch. In fact, she describes herself as a workaholic, taking virtually no holidays and often working an 18-hour day. "Our lives are pretty dull by comparison to what people would like to think. I really do spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting at a desk. . . There are times when I worry - what's that expression? - 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. That often runs through my mind when I'm thinking of how my family and my friends are looking at me, never having time to see them. . ."

No one these days doubts her dedication and commitment to Jordan

Now 45 and the mother of four children, she still works incessantly. I ask her whether she ever craves an hour to herself. "Yes," she admits bluntly, "but even if it means that I am overworked and unfit and even a frustrated - well, a less than ideal - parent, I feel that I'm far more fortunate to be able to be involved as I am and I feel and I hope and I pray that that is also going to be of greater benefit to my children. It has been of immeasurable benefit to the quality of my marriage as well and the partnership, if you will, that my husband and I have. So it's less than ideal in many respects, and not entirely comfortable much of the time, but I feel while I have the physical energy and the intellectual resources that I should use them to the maximum."

No one these days doubts her dedication and commitment to Jordan. The Gulf War, while temporarily damaging King Hussein's reputation in the West due to his refusal to condemn Saddam Hussein, actually soldered Queen Noor's position. Despite her background, there was no question that she would support the US stance and she earned respect as a woman loyal both to her husband and her country.

There is no false modesty about Queen Noor. She is well aware of the impact she has had on her adopted country. "I am very gratified that some of the initial efforts I made, however unconventional for a person in my position, have become a part of the fabric of the country."

The Noor al-Hussein Foundation occupies most of her time. Through it she oversees development projects, many of them addressing the causes of poverty and unemployment. It seems that she is driven not only by a desire to "make a positive difference" but also by a determination to prove to Jordanians that she deserves her role. If she projects a slightly over-saintly, formidably serious image at times, it seems to be a price she is prepared to pay. "Having been raised in the United States, I felt that my title and my position within the Royal Family was a responsibility, not an entitlement."

So you felt you needed to earn your place? "I certainly felt I needed to earn it. I always will feel that way. That's just the way I was brought up."

Feeling almost ashamed to draw any comparison between this sober monarch and some of the more colourful elements of our own Royal Family, I wonder aloud how she has managed to avoid the pitfalls to which her British counterparts have been prone. She accepts the analogy with dignity, carefully choosing her words. "The celebrity component is nowhere near as strong in our society, simply because the nature of the struggle of our country. . . is so compelling."
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  #64  
Old 06-04-2005, 06:43 PM
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HEy! Here is an excellent speech by QN that she gave in Sweet Briar College in 1996. I don't know if this has been posted yet, but she explains so many things (including why they name their daughter Iman and also how her relationship with KH developed. This is a very good speech. COurse I will have to post in segments.
Gifts of Speech - Queen Noor

At The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts
by Her Majesty Queen Noor
Queen of Jordon


Washington, D.C., 4 March 1996


Thank you, sir, for that kind introduction. I would also like to thank the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives for inviting me to participate in their annual 'distinguished speakers series'.

Few of the challenges I have faced in my life have put me to such a test as this. While I am well aware of the extent to which Americans pride themselves on their ethnic and cultural diversity, but, the diversity of the speakers in this series is uncommon, to say the least -- from perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev, to the White House and George and Barbara Bush, to the charismatic show-biz energy of that other Queen, the reigning Queen of the talk shows, Oprah Winfrey, to my very personal view from the Middle East about war and peace. What an array of speakers, and a great poker hand! A full house -- 3 aces and 2 queens!

A little over 35 years ago, this country heard president John F. Kennedy give the first Peace Corps recruiting speech: 'ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.' This past week-end, the Peace Corps celebrated its 35th birthday, by honoring ambassador Sargent Shriver, its first director, and so many others. Thank you Sargent from this child of the 60s. Growing up in Washington while my father worked in the Kennedy Administration established my ideals early in life . It was not my dream to be a movie star or even a Queen, but to join the Peace Corps. I did not achieve that dream -- my life has moved in rather a different direction -- but what I have tried to achieve reflects the same concerns and owes a great deal to that early inspiration.

Over the past 18 years, I have often been asked about my life in Jordan. From the outset, the Western media seemed to decide that their audiences -- whether readers, viewers or listeners -- were only interested in what I wear, what I eat, and what I do in my leisure time. Often finding the reality of our lives rather dull in contrast with the sensational gossip frequently surrounding royal courts, they have exaggerated, invented stories, or fallen back upon commercially successful stereotypes of Arabs, Muslims and women.

The press' devotion to these determined preconceptions has been comic at times. They even manage to turn the lack of a stereotype into a stereotype. I am of Arab descent on my father's side, but my mother is of Swedish extraction, which means I do not fit reporters' notions of what the Queen of Jordan should look like. There seems to be an unwritten law that every press report about me must contain the phrase 'mane of blonde hair.'

From time to time, particularly in the midst of another Middle Eastern crisis, I am questioned about current events, the more serious aspects of my life, priorities and work in Jordan and abroad and about stereotypes of Arabs, Muslims and women.

My husband's first and most precious gift to me was my name, Noor, which means light or illumination in Arabic. I have struggled at length to determine how I might, tonight, faithful to its spirit, shed some light on the tumultuous events that I have witnessed over the past two decades from my vantage point in the Middle East, and on the extraordinary global and regional transformations that have changed the course of history in our region.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:45 PM
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At The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts - PART 2

From my dual perspective as a catalyst for national development in Jordan, and a bridge to foster understanding and mutually beneficial relations between our two worlds, I hope to be able to provide some insight on the lessons of the recent decades that may enable us, at this momentous and challenging juncture, to realize the long-sought promise of our collective peacemaking efforts. Those efforts will only succeed if they reflect a truer understanding of the needs and aspirations of all the peoples who must build this peace. We must begin -- and in fact, we have already begun -- to look together at long-term common goals, and break the historic cycle of conflicting, narrow, nationalistic self-interests which, until now, has made Arab-Israeli peace and American-Arab cooperation such elusive goals.


My life journey among American and Middle Eastern cultures has taught me that the foundation for constructive partnership already exists, embedded in our common moral heritage -- in the teachings of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths. We must be aware, however, that Arabs and Americans express common moral values with different cultural voices and vocabularies. The relationship between the United States and the Arab world includes some of the oldest and most durable relationships of the 20th century; but also, has been plagued by some of the most recurrent misperceptions and intemperate violence of modern history. Enhanced mutual understanding is particularly important for defining the new relationships among Arab countries, Israel, and the United States, as we move from making peace into building that peace into a strong edifice of shared progress and security.

Looking back over the past two decades of my life in the Middle East, decades which were among the most troubled of any period in its modern history, many memories capture the conflicting emotions -- the hopes and fears -- that have defined the Arab world and its relations with the West. The most vivid, perhaps, is of a period whose drama and trauma we all shared and is still with us --the period from the early morning call to my husband from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, shocking us with the news of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces five years ago, until another late night call informing us that the U.S.-led coalition had begun to bomb Iraq. During those stressful months, my thoughts raced in time and place: from my student years in the U.S. as a young activist in the Civil Rights, Antiwar and Environmental movements, to my Arab-American journey to the Middle East, and especially to my anger and frustration about the gulf of ignorance and fear separating both worlds.

Every day of my life, I could see in Jordan and throughout the Middle East, the ravages of decades of warfare, in unmet human needs, in fear, hate and uncertainty as people's daily companions, in the constantly growing new belts of urban poverty, in the politics of extremism and religious activism sweeping the region, and, above all, in the plight of the Palestinian refugees and their increasingly permanent camps. Western public opinion was not aware of the human face of this tragedy. It did not have the information. And so did not seem to care. The Middle East has the most refugees of any region of the world. It also sets a record in another area: it has the highest ratio of military spending per capita income of the entire developing world, and also the highest ratio of military spending to gross national product of any region of the world.

The Gulf crisis, war and their wider political context encapsulated the underlying problems that had plagued the Middle East for almost a century, and the costly consequences of poor communication and lack of understanding between cultures -- severe socio-economic disparities among countries and within societies, autocratic governance, a lack of popular participation and respect for human rights, and inequitable and often exploitative relations with foreign powers. These were the very same issues that had defined my own work and priorities at home and abroad since my marriage.

I had first arrived in the Middle East in 1975, prompted by my desire to explore the roots of my Arab-American family and heritage. The mid-70s appeared to be a moment of hope for many people in the Middle East. Oil-fueled economic expansion was promoting regional integration and development, international efforts were gaining momentum in the search for Arab-Israeli peace, and most people thought that the 1973 war would be the last major Arab-Israeli military clash. Yet my urban planning work in Iran and later extensive working visits from a base in Jordan to countries throughout the region exposed me to a sense of growing unrest. I detected serious problems brewing beneath the surface. Secular-religious divides were already forming in countries like Iran, income gaps were growing in all countries, and tensions were developing between indigenous and western cultural patterns.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:47 PM
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At The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts - PART 3

The combination of political frustration, social alienation, and economic disparity created a volatile landscape; the West largely overlooked this because of its almost single minded focus on assuring access to oil through regional security arrangements. Moreover, the tendency toward instability was actually further exacerbated by trends toward a Western style and pace of development. I recall images of Iran in 1975-76 of bellbottom jeans and platform shoes under filmy chiffon chadors, of BMWs and Mercedes in the face of glaring poverty. The gulf between rich and poor was growing almost to the point of cultural schizophrenia.

Some countries, like my new home of Jordan, minimized the pressures of rapid modernization by adopting a more culturally sensitive approach to national development. This was necessary in part because we are a country of limited natural resources. Also, one of the benefits of that was the absence of extremes in our society because we had not the ability, nor I would like to feel, the inclination, to develop at such a pace.

Among the most frequent and frustrating interview questions I am asked, reflects the prevailing stereotypes of the Arab world: how could I as an independent, well educated working Western woman, adjust to life in the Arab world? In fact, my first impressions of Jordan were formed by my women friends, who were involved in many aspects of life, who were working, running family-owned factories, teaching ... I had impressions of a hospitable, pluralistic, balanced and family-oriented society, and impressions that were formed by coming to know that in the field of education, men and women were entering universities in equal numbers, some years there were even more women than men. This was the product of a constitutional guarantee of equal rights for men and women and a general availability of equal opportunities, though in our conservative society, women have become involved gradually in the work force and other areas which were not traditional.

It was the field of aviation that brought me together with my husband first at Amman airport and then we met frequently while I conducted research in the region for the preparation of a master plan for a Pan Arab aviation training facility.

I recognized the familiar free spirit of the aviator in King Hussein -- a spirit I had grown up with in my father, highlighted during his time as F.A.A. administrator, here, during the Kennedy Administration -- a gravity-defying spirit, transcending constraining and narrow boundaries of convention and political strife, to reach for a higher and larger view and perspective.

As my professional and personal relationship with King Hussein developed, we discovered common ground in our political and social interests and our personal values and priorities. I was fascinated by his unique and constantly evolving role as a monarch who saw his responsibility to promote social justice, political participation and economic progress in a manner that was faithful to Arab cultural traditions. He constantly sought to institutionalize a political ethic of participation and consensus-building, while also personally providing opportunities for mediation --- values that are shared with western democracies but expressed in a different vernacular tradition.

We shared a belief in the role, unique for our region, of monarch as steward of affairs of state and compassionate servant of the people. I was inspired by his vision of the role of the monarchy in Jordan, a vision influenced strongly by his sense of his unique blend of spiritual and temporal responsibilities as descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, and as heir to the great Arab revolt for independence and freedom earlier this century, which was led by his great-grandfather and grandfather, by role as a leader and father-figure of a largely tribal society in transition, as well as role as a modern, senior statesman.

The period of our courtship and engagement was, perhaps as is ordinary for most couples, among the most serene and hopeful of my life. For the first time, I, who had spent my life reaching out of the world I had grown up in for meaning and understanding, felt certain about the direction of my life. Little did we know, though, that this was also the beginning of one of the most extraordinarily turbulent periods in modern Middle Eastern history, and one of the most trying times for Jordanian-American relations.

The mid 1970s and early 1980s would prove to be only another interlude of economic progress between the crises that had regularly staggered the region since the 1940s. Every time the Arab region began to generate real economic momentum, once again the frustrating pendulum would swing, and the genuine progress that had been made would be lost in the waste of war, and the emotional ravages of post-war despair.

For most of the people of the Middle East, especially of the Arab world, much of the decade between 1975 and 1985 was marked by a dizzying roller coaster ride of recurring hopes and dashed expectations. Almost every president and leading political figure floated initiatives for Arab-Israeli peace settlements; all ultimately foundered and failed to achieve a comprehensive peace.

In fact, another indelibly significant and personal memory is of our honeymoon period which coincided with the Camp David negotiations. These produced the first stunning crisis for my husband and country after our wedding and illustrated, in many ways, the yawning gulf of perceptions and of political and cultural understanding.

The Camp David agreements between Egypt and Israel were seen by Washington as a great success, but the Arab world received them with stupefied disbelief. They were denounced as a calculated fragmentation of Arab ranks, as a unilateral abandonment of the collective Arab commitment to peace, and, as a failure to secure the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the return of all occupied Arab territories.

The worst of Arab fears were confirmed when the Camp David accords coincided with an intensive outburst of new illegal Israeli settlements and annexation of occupied Arab territories, followed by Israel's formal annexation of Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights. Such Israeli actions in the wake of the Camp David accords and the inevitable Arab reaction further diminished chances for comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

During that same period, the Middle East suffered a series of violent shocks: the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of political Islamism which were to have far-reaching consequences for the Muslim world, the assassinations of President Sadat and President Gemayel of Lebanon, the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon, the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres in which around two thousand Palestinian men, women and children were killed in Lebanon, the outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq, and the resurgence of terrorism, such as the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and Marine barracks which killed hundreds of American servicemen.
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:06 PM
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At The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts - PART 4

Our first daughter was born in 1983, during this period of tragic hopelessness and terrible waste. My husband and I broke with the family pattern of traditional Hashemite names and named her Iman .....Al Hussein - the faith of Al Hussein. Her life and her name reflected our struggle, alongside so many others in our region, to hold tight to our faith in humanity, in ourselves and in our ability eventually to influence the direction of events in the Middle East for the better.
As Islamist extremism proliferated in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other countries throughout the late 1970's and the early 1980's, Western countries tended to view it only as a threatening phenomenon that had to be confronted and contained. Many appeared to ignore the different factors that fuel Islamism in our region and still do today, among them poverty and socio-economic inequities, fears of cultural and economic dominance from abroad, and frustration with undemocratic political systems.

I found myself, a once aspiring journalist desperately concerned about accuracy in reporting on the Arab world, when I first arrived in the region, unexpectedly given an opportunity to pursue similar goals on the other side of the firing line. I began speaking to Western audiences on political, cultural and humanitarian issues concerning the modern Arab world. I felt a strong responsibility, almost a moral obligation to try to correct grossly distorted Western stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, especially women, for I had seen how media stereotyping could set the emotional and political stage for policies that resulted in chronic misunderstanding, suffering and conflict.

This unique role for a wife of a head of state developed somewhat accidentally, when I received an invitation to speak at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Affairs in 1982. My husband asked that I use the occasion also to convey a political message -- stressing the need for the United States to play the role of an honest broker to help resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict -- that he was unable to deliver personally because of strained Jordanian-American relations at the time.

Public speaking in this country had its drawbacks though and I was soon able to empathize with the frustrations of women around the world whose activism for public well-being commonly their generated attempts to define them primarily in material rather than intellectual terms -- in terms of gender and domesticity, their hairstyles and clothing. It was clear that the audience for my Georgetown speech, one of the first in the U.S. since my marriage, had no idea what to expect from me. The Washington Post ran the story in the style section and zeroed in on what I wore rather than what I said.

How ironic it was that as a spokesperson from the Arab world, I was always having to wrestle with the sexist attitudes of the supposedly enlightened Western media. In fact the irony extended further as just prior to my marriage, I had deferred my acceptance to the Columbia School of Journalism where I had hoped to develop skills to enable me to communicate more accurate facts and images of Arab society and culture to the West.

Just as my role on the international level was unconventional, so was my approach to work at home in Jordan where I pursued a non-traditional approach to my role as Queen -- not surprising for one of the pioneering first class of women at Princeton! There were already a multitude of charitable activities and endeavors undertaken by members of the royal family and others in society and I decided that the issues of my concern -- some of which I have already referred to -- should guide and define an innovative and what turned out to be an integrated approach to development challenges in the country.

I was determined not to seek, as might have been expected from someone of my background, to impose Western criteria and values through my work for, I had learned from my previous work and travel throughout the region not to measure progress and security relative to the degree of Westernization of a society but to the degree of self reliance and participation of its people in meeting its needs.

My work evolved to complement public and private development efforts in Jordan and to fill gaps in our socio-economic policies. By 1985, the projects that I had initiated since my marriage in 1978 had expanded and become diversified enough to require the establishment of an umbrella organization to oversee their implementation and progress. I founded the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF), named for the meaning of my name, light of Al Hussein in the hope that its work would transmit and give meaning to my husband's vision, our shared vision, for Jordan.

The NHF focuses on equal opportunity in education and culture, women and children's health and welfare, and integrated socio-economic community development. We have sought to combine innovation with respect for tradition through the design of equitable, participatory model projects, which build upon our country's heritage to advance and modernize development thinking. This integrated approach, I believe, is the only way to achieve sustainable development especially in developing societies with limited resources by empowering communities to assume ownership and management of their development process, and to promote a more equitable distribution of resources and development benefits.

Strengthened by increased self reliance and confidence in themselves, local communities are enjoying a measurable improvement in the quality of life, productivity and stability and will be more effective and successful in establishing partnerships on a regional basis in the future, and more able to participate in the peace-building process in the era of peace.

In the empowerment of women, especially at the grassroots level, we have tried to set an example for other development organizations by moving beyond traditional ineffective social welfare schemes, with the introduction of modern business management concepts into training and income-generation projects oriented towards both local and international markets. As these women become active participants and decision makers in the social and economic affairs of their communities, they also become genuine economic forces, increasing their status and influence, as well as the overall quality of life and stability of their community. The foundation's programs work to safeguard their essential role as the anchor of the family -- one that has allowed our society to remain more cohesive and more stable.

These projects are considered national and regional development models by several U.N. and international agencies, and we are cooperating to support their implementation in other Arab countries.

This democratic community participation foresaw and now reinforces Jordan's wider political liberalization and democratization process. This was revitalized in the late 1980's and has demonstrating clearly during recent regional crises, that security and progress emanate from our people's sense of self-respect and participation, not from force of arms or foreign support.

I like to think that our NHF models for sustainable economic growth and political participation have contributed to reinforcing social stability and cohesion in Jordan, and that they are an essential component of a larger quest for justice, peace and understanding in the region.

Education will be such an important element in our peace-building efforts and will contribute to more accurate and realistic outlooks global and regional issues.

The Royal Endowment for Culture and Education, one of my earliest projects, established in 1979, conducted the first development research on the country's specific manpower needs. The R.E.C.E. provides scholarships for students, with special emphasis on outstanding women, to pursue their graduate studies in the fields which are vital to Jordan's future development.

The Jubilee School, now in its third year, is an independent co-educational secondary school for outstanding scholarship students from throughout the country, with special emphasis on less developed regions. The school's philosophy is to foster human talent, and educate new leaders grounded in democratic values, tolerance and community service.
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:31 PM
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At The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts - PART 5

Through the priorities of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, we are emphasizing that women and children are the most important pillars of the new peaceful Middle East. Long-lasting peace requires long-term strategies and new generations that are free from the legacy of painful conflict. As mothers and educators, women in our region can play a vital role in reconciliation and in building peace by shaping the perceptions of new generations of Arab and Israeli children about their neighbors, and by fostering new outlooks and attitudes towards the issues of our region. The new generations of the children of Abraham now have the chance to heed the wisdom of our collective spiritual heritage, to build upon the process of reconciliation that has been initiated and to consolidate it into a true and mutually beneficial partnership.
As His Majesty King Hussein said in his address to the joint session of the American Congress on 26th july 1994, "it should never be forgotten that peace resides ultimately not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of the people. For unless peace can be made real to the men, women and children of the Middle East, the best efforts of negotiators will come to nought."
We have worked hard in Jordan to promote a vision of the single human family. Thousands of years of civilization have shaped the basic principles which guide our national development and which distinguish us in our region: the open flow of people, ideas and trade, and political, religious and ethnic pluralism. We value moderation, regional cooperation and cross-cultural iinteraction. These principles have enabled us to play a supportive and stabilizing role in our turbulent region -- by consistently promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes and through mediation and peace-keeping efforts. But true peace is not merely the absence of hostility. Rather, it requires bonds of cooperation to nourish the acceptance and appreciation of coexistence. To this end, the articles and annexes of the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty deal with the eestablishment of regular relations between the two states which have begun to take form, in such areas as commerce, science, culture, navigation,telephone and postal communications, transportation, tourism, energy, the environment, health and agriculture. The treaty also outlines joint projects to develop the Jordan Valley and the Aqaba-Eilat region.
Today, Jordan remains committed to a comprehensive and thereby enduring peace in the Middle East -- a peace that enables human and national resources to be channeled into development rather than military priorities; a peace sustained by popular participation that assures the rights of all the peoples of our region and promotes political pluralism and the full guarantee of human rights in all our societies.
societies.

I have dwelt tonight on recent Middle Eastern history because of the tremendously important role that historical memory plays among the peoples of our region. Most Arabs, in fact most Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Middle East largely define their identity in historical terms. Americans, on the other hand, attach less importance to history, preferring to emphasize their founding national principles such as freedom and democracy.
Yet, the ancient and recent past, both offer examples of the common goals that we all pursue via slightly different means. Our common values and aspirations are also becoming more evident today, as Middle Eastern and American cultures both, gravitate towards a pool of shared principles; and national well-being.
If we are to forge a mutually satisfying relationship of cooperation and trust between Americans and Arabs; if we are truly to build on the dazzling allure of Middle East peace; if we hope seriously to replace resentment and war with respect and solidarity, we must build more fruitful future relationships on the lessons of our past encounters.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:04 PM
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I read a book in which the writer states that J ppl used to hate QN and blame her for everything it happened, KH himself had told him, so I think we can believe her as KH himself said so- they can't blame me as I'm the King, so they blame my wife everything they want to complain about the situation in Jordan- this is in the book, not the exact words, though.
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryprincessroyal
I read a book in which the writer states that J ppl used to hate QN and blame her for everything it happened, KH himself had told him, so I think we can believe her as KH himself said so- they can't blame me as I'm the King, so they blame my wife everything they want to complain about the situation in Jordan- this is in the book, not the exact words, though.
yes i know that - but that doesnt mean ALL jordanians hate her.
it only means - that when KH made mistakes - they were angry on his wife.thats what he said!(i dont know the exact words too )
think there are poeple who like her - and people who dislike her.like the jordan people here in the forum say.....
its not always everything black or only white.
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:26 PM
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I think it was mentioned in the chapter on QN in "Nine Parts of Desire." There were riots in Ma'an and people were chanting for KH to divorce the Queen. KH later said to the writer something about "poor Noor; they take out their frustrations about things on her." Or something to that effect. The writer went on to say QN did sit up and take notice and immediately changed her attire to very basic clothing and put away her jewelry, just wearing a charm bracelet her kids had given her. KH later said he thought it was a one time incident but QN disagreed and said she thought it could continue if changes did not occur. Bottom line, he fired his PM, I believe, QN changed her image and the tensions decreased considerably. This might be the same piece you make reference to.
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Originally Posted by closesttoheaven
yes i know that - but that doesnt mean ALL jordanians hate her.
it only means - that when KH made mistakes - they were angry on his wife.thats what he said!(i dont know the exact words too )
think there are poeple who like her - and people who dislike her.like the jordan people here in the forum say.....
its not always everything black or only white.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by maryshawn
I think it was mentioned in the chapter on QN in "Nine Parts of Desire." There were riots in Ma'an and people were chanting for KH to divorce the Queen. KH later said to the writer something about "poor Noor; they take out their frustrations about things on her." Or something to that effect. The writer went on to say QN did sit up and take notice and immediately changed her attire to very basic clothing and put away her jewelry, just wearing a charm bracelet her kids had given her. KH later said he thought it was a one time incident but QN disagreed and said she thought it could continue if changes did not occur. Bottom line, he fired his PM, I believe, QN changed her image and the tensions decreased considerably. This might be the same piece you make reference to.
yes thats what i meant!
but it was good that she changed - i dont like the dresses she has worne the first time of her marriage :p in my opinion - no good taste
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:20 PM
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I agree. If you look back, many of her dresses were over the top. She had a personal shopper who went to the major fashion houses for her several times a year and some of her dresses look quite gaudy in retrospect--although a lot of the styles in the 80s looked gaudy. I think it was very wise of her to revert to a simpler look and, more importantly, to wear jordanian made clothing. She told one reporter she even gave up wearing her Levi jeans as the jordanian made blue jeans were just as good, if not better. It was wise on her part to make this adjustment, given all the tensions at the time.
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Old 07-09-2006, 04:59 PM
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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 wont feel adequate, she says. Its 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.

I've re-read this more than a few times and find it very sad.. to be driven by feelings of low self-worth....and "to the day, I won't feel adequate." Her father must have been a real tyrant to instill this sense of low esteem and enough isn't ever good enough in his intelligent, poised, pretty daughter. And to still have to be dealing with it as age 45....well, that's got to be hard and at this point impossible to overome. It's not uncommon for a parent to place high standards for his/her eldest child but this is so extreme. No one can have every moment be a productive one!

She was one of the first woman in the mixed gender class at Princeton, she had the wisdom to take time off to reconsider her priorities, she went off to lead a life which had to be challenging and totally foreign at a young age then became a Queen. How much more can one expect of one's child--and what was he thinking? She's accomplished a lot in her life and still has a lot of life to live. QN has been criticized, even by herself, for not paying enough attention to her children and putting her husband first. Given her background, it makes sense; she was emulating her own upbringing and her parent's divorce traumatized her so much I can't blame her for wanting to stay close to KH at all times.
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Old 07-09-2006, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryshawn

I've re-read this more than a few times and find it very sad.. to be driven by feelings of low self-worth....and "to the day, I won't feel adequate." Her father must have been a real tyrant to instill this sense of low esteem and enough isn't ever good enough in his intelligent, poised, pretty daughter. And to still have to be dealing with it as age 45....well, that's got to be hard and at this point impossible to overome. It's not uncommon for a parent to place high standards for his/her eldest child but this is so extreme. No one can have every moment be a productive one!

She was one of the first woman in the mixed gender class at Princeton, she had the wisdom to take time off to reconsider her priorities, she went off to lead a life which had to be challenging and totally foreign at a young age then became a Queen. How much more can one expect of one's child--and what was he thinking? She's accomplished a lot in her life and still has a lot of life to live. QN has been criticized, even by herself, for not paying enough attention to her children and putting her husband first. Given her background, it makes sense; she was emulating her own upbringing and her parent's divorce traumatized her so much I can't blame her for wanting to stay close to KH at all times.
gosh, that's really so sad.
maybe that's the reason i like her so much. it's not because of pity, it's because she is such a strong woman!

and... i sometimes i thought that KH maybe anyway could be a substitute for her father. cause, she was so young, and he so old. maybe she searched a father. but, thats only a thought, im sure she really loved him as much as she can and it doesnt really matter in which way.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by closesttoheaven
gosh, that's really so sad.
maybe that's the reason i like her so much. it's not because of pity, it's because she is such a strong woman!

and... i sometimes i thought that KH maybe anyway could be a substitute for her father. cause, she was so young, and he so old. maybe she searched a father. but, thats only a thought, im sure she really loved him as much as she can and it doesnt really matter in which way.
Well said. I agree. I think she may have been searching for a father type figure who would show her more love and approval and found him in KH. I think they were in love and she definitely loved him--as much as she could and, in the end, it doesn't matter in which way. Although their love by the time he died seemed like a very mature love indeed. Supporting a spouse or loved one through something as difficult as cancer as QN did shows true commitment. I believe she grew tremendously as a person through marriage and became very compassionate. The way she tells the story of his final bouts with cancer is so moving.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:18 AM
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More Than a Pretty Face: Queen Noor of Jordan

By Abigail Pesta

queen noor - queen noor of jordan - Marie Claire
I dont remember read this interview before but perhaps its old because I cant find the date.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:53 AM
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I had read the MC interview before, but thanks for reminding me anyway. I think it's been around for 3 years (since 2007 probably), because QN appears to be 56. This is the only way to figure it out.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by NoorMeansLight View Post
I had read the MC interview before, but thanks for reminding me anyway. I think it's been around for 3 years (since 2007 probably), because QN appears to be 56. This is the only way to figure it out.
I think its rather about 2 years old ("As the fifth anniversary of the war (in Iraq) looms") - maybe from the first months of 2008
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:41 AM
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this is an article about an architecture from Toukan family , he designed Q Noor's private office then the King's tomb.
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His Majesty King Hussein Bin Talal was my role model all my life, loved him so much, may God bless his soul, and paradise will be his final destination
His soul was too great to be contained by the camera's lens ,yet his images radiate his love for his family , his faith , his pride on his country and people the world over who shared his commitment to peace and his joy in life . Queen Noor
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