- NAME: Queen Noor of Jordan
- OCCUPATION: Queen
- BIRTH DATE: August 23, 1951 (Age: 62)
- EDUCATION: National Cathedral School, The Chapin School, Concord Academy, Princeton University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Washington, D.C.
- AKA: Lisa N. Halaby
- AKA: Lisa Halaby
- AKA: Queen Noor
- Full Name: Lisa Najeeb Halaby
- AKA: Queen Noor of Jordan
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
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Queen Noor of Jordan, who was the consort of King Hussein, was trained as an urban planner and works as a philanthropist/world activist.
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Although the Jordanian people expressed discomfort about King Hussein's choice of a non Arab-Muslim bride, they soon warmed to the union when they witnessed Noor's genuine interest and commitment to Jordan and her conversion to the Islamic religion.
Queen Noor's throne came with a myriad of challenges, multiplied by her status as a foreigner with an extremely liberal background. She immediately took on the responsibilities of managing the royal household, as well as the three small children from Hussein's former marriage to Alia. She constantly needed the accompaniment of bodyguards, as King Hussein had survived more than 25 assassination attempts.
Noor enthusiastically embraced and exceeded her official duties, concentrating on the improvement of Jordan's educational resources. Addressing the issue of bright children going abroad (resulting in the loss of Jordan's most talented youth), Noor helped to establish the Jubilee School, a three-year coeducational high school for gifted students.
She also devoted energy and funds to preserving and celebrating Jordan's cultural heritage, helping to establish the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, an annual event featuring dance, poetry and music, which attracted thousands of tourists. She also formed the Arab Children's Congress, and annual program for Arab children of all nationalities that emphasizes their common heritage.
Among her more delicate initiatives, Noor set out to address the issue of women's rights. Although she advocated increased educational and employment opportunities for women, founding the Women and Development Project, she remained sensitive to the interests of those reluctant to work outside the home for religious reasons. She told Enid Nemy of The New York Times, "I believe in expanding the options open to women, at the same time not telling them that they are not fulfilling themselves if they don't have a job."
In 1985, she collected all of her development initiatives under the umbrella of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF). She also served on several international boards devoted to peace, positive educational and cultural development, and preservation of wildlife and natural resources.
Queen Noor's involvement in the political arena has been decidedly behind the scenes due to her ambiguous status as an American (although she relinquished her alliance and citizenship when she married). However, in 1984, when King Hussein walked the political tightrope—trying to please both his American and Israeli allies as well as protect his Palestinian citizens during the Iran-Iraq War—Noor stood by his side and supported his criticism of Americans for being one-sided in their commitment to Israel.
During a speech at the World Affairs Council in Washington, D.C., Noor argued, "If a lasting peace in the Middle East is ever to be realized, it is time for the United States to bring its practices in line with an active and unambiguous exercise of the principles that govern its democracy." She has received criticism from both the American people for her allegiance to Jordanian interests, as well as Islamic fundamentalists for overstepping the traditional boundaries of her role as queen.
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