Leap of Faith
by Queen Noor, review by Jody 10/10/04

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This is a book about humanity.  Lisa Halaby, from many places but primarily Southern California, married the King of Jordan.  He named her Noor, the "light."  This is a book about the joys and the struggles of being married to a beloved King.  Although the book is primarily a tribute to her husband, it also opens the mind to expand our awareness to matters outside of the U.S. 

King Hussein was a man of peace to the end of his days, he worked toward that goal.  He tried desperately to bring peace to the middle east and to make life better for his people.  I'll bet you didn't realize that King Hussein is a NDEr?  He is and she describes his experience in her book.  Queen Noor was also very instrumental in bring education, strengthening women's rights, and helping to change ideologies of the country.  She was very active in bringing children from all over the middle east to learn about their neighbors and promote tolerance and unity between the children who would hopefully remember the lessons they learn and become leaders in their own countries.

Jordan is a poor country in the middle east that relies on help from its wealthier neighbors.  It is situated in the middle of many countries, including sharing a border with Isreal.  As I read the book, I learned many things from a different perspective than what we read in our western media.  I learned about many things from foreign policy to fundamentalism. 

I didn't realize that the media was so slanted that they would print lies to sell a story. Irresponsible reporting would cause severe hardship on those who could afford it the least. One of the most glaring examples was when the U.S. asked Jordan if they could ship arms to Iran through Jordan.  Jordan agreed.  The crates had Jordan stamped all over them.  Then, many years later media got a hold of the pictures and published them.  The stories stated that Jordan was helping to arm enemies of the U.S.  This resulted in embargos and lost foreign aid to Jordan.  The U.S. did not issue a statement contradicting this outrageous lie.  The country to suffer the most, besides Iraq and Kuwait, was Jordan.  Hundreds of thousands of refuges came streaming into Jordan.  They did not turn them away, yet did not have the resources to help.  The refugee camps were so bad, that Margaret Thatcher (Prime minister of Britain at the time) set about trying to help ease the situation.

I appreciated reading about the positive ways that Queen Noor had used her influence to help the people of Jordan.  Despite the constant threat of war, she and her husband deeply cared about the people and tried to bring peace.  They tried to raise the standard of living for people who had nothing.  In the end, I would highly recommend this book because it is En-light(Noor)-ening about humanity with the uppermost message as being one dedicated to peace.


KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN:  "Leap of Faith," Queen Noor, Miramax Books, Hyperion, New York, NY, pp 235-236.

He also had an episode of arrhythmia, a condition he had lived with since the 1970s, which required him to take anticoagulants to thin his blood.  While his arrhythmia was not life-threatening, the medication was.   

It nearly killed him in January 1984.  I was in Aqaba with official guests waiting for Hussein to join us from Amman when I received an emergency phone call informing me that my husband was critically ill.  I immediately flew back to Amman to find that Hussein had very nearly bled to death.  He had been walking from the Diwan to Al Nadwa with his brother, Crown Prince Hassan, when he had suddenly developed a nosebleed.  Because of the anticoagulants, the nosebleed had quickly turned into a full-blown hemorrhage.  His doctor arrived quickly, but Hussein's face was already the color of chalk.  When he lost consciousness the palace physician could find no pulse.  My husband was, for all intent and purposes, dead.

He was stable when I arrived, having been revived after receiving several transfusions.  "I felt no pain, no fear, no worries," he said to me later.  "I was a free spirit, floating above my own body.  It was rather a pleasant feeling, really."  He described what is frequently referred to as a near-death experience:  He saw a "bright light," felt "relaxed," and realized he was "going."  "I must get back," he kept telling himself.  "I must get back."  And with the immediate medical care he received, he did.