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Leap of faith : memoirs of an unexpected life
Adult Nonfiction DS154.52.N66 A3 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Anyone who loved The King and I will readily warm to the love story of Queen Noor and the late King Hussein of Jordan. Born in America in 1951 as Lisa Halaby, Noor came from a wealthy, well-connected family and was part of Princeton's first co-ed class. Her father's aviation business produced a chance meeting with King Hussein in 1976, and a year or two later Noor realized the king was courting her. He was 41, she was 26. The rumor mills buzzed: was she the next Grace Kelly? Before long, the king renamed her Noor (light in Arabic), and she converted to Islam. They were married in the summer of 1978. From this point on, her story is mostly his, mainly covering his attempts to broker peace in the Middle East. There are meetings with Arafat, Saddam Hussein, American presidents and other leaders. Noor details Hussein's struggles to create Arab unity and his vision of peaceful coexistence with Israel. Her own activities developing village-based economic self-sufficiency projects and improving Jordan's medical, educational and cultural facilities take second place to her husband's struggles on the world stage. And while she occasionally acknowledges her domestic difficulties, Noor is careful not to allow personal problems to become any more than asides. Her pleasing memoir ends with the king's death after his struggle with cancer, although readers may suspect that this smart, courageous woman will remain a world presence for years to come. (On sale Mar. 18) Forecast: The legions of royalty fans will clamor for this long-awaited memoir, and with the queen's appearances on Good Morning America and Larry King Live, an excerpt in this month's Vogue and ubiquitous reviews, it should draw readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

We love stories about princesses. This particular royal tale is true and shows that being a contemporary princess (or queen) involves a tremendous amount of responsibility and not a little loneliness. Of Jordanian and Swedish descent, American-born and Princeton-educated Lisa Najeeb Halaby was 26 years old when she became the fourth wife of Jordan's King Hussein in 1978. Upon her conversion to Islam he chose Noor Al Hussein as her Arabic name, meaning "Light of Hussein." The Arab-Israeli conflict and Hussein's efforts at peacemaking are a large part of this work, part love story, part political commentary, told naturally from the Jordanian side. Hussein's stance estranged him at times from other Arabs (in particular Egyptians) as well as from Israelis, a point Noor emphasizes perhaps to make him more appealing to American readers. In addition to raising their four children (and his eight from previous marriages) and traveling with her husband, she chaired the board of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, which promotes culture and development in Jordan, with an emphasis on women's issues. She now works with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Noor ably reads the introduction, but the rest of the book is narrated by Suzanne Toren, whose precise, cultured tone is exactly what we expect from a queen.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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