Noor Al-Hussein, Queen of Jordan "A Leap of Faith: Memoir of an Unexpected Life" - 2003
"Born in 1951 to a distinguished Arab-American family, Lisa Najeeb Halaby became the fourth wife of King Hussein at age 27. With her husband being not only Jordan's monarch but the spiritual leader of all Muslims, Lisa was unsure what her role would be. This moving memoir provides a timely look at one woman's story against a backdrop of 30 turbulent years: the displacement of over 1 million Palestinians by the creation of Israel, King Hussein's frustrated efforts for peace, and the effect of Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War on Jordan and the royal family. Queen Noor offers intimate new glimpses of King Hussein, Saddam Hussein, Queen Elizabeth, Arafat, and many other world leaders."
An interesting book about an interesting woman in her interesting life. What more can I say?
I loved this book. Queen Noor is a very special person. I have visited Israel in 1986 and I loved it. I always saw history the Jewish way, how they had problems, never really the problems they caused. Maybe, being German, this is only natural. Although, I always felt sorry for the Palestinians, as well, so maybe I never really saw it as black-and-white as I thought. I think everyone ought to read this book in order to get a better and larger picture of the problems the people in this region - and in the meantime all of us - face. Up until then, I knew very little of the Islam, not as much as compared to the Jewish belief, and I have been working on changing that.
I was really impressed with this book and the description of the country. It has made a deep impression on me and I would love to visit Jordan.
We discussed this in our book club in January 2007.
From the back cover: "'Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.' 'Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.' 'With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist in a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.' Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late."