Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life

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9780786867172: Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life

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 King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love storythe intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people.

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About the Author:

Queen Noor is an international spokesperson for the environment, the banning of landmines, and world peace. She divides her time between the family's houses in Jordan, Washington, D.C., and England. She has four children: two boys and two girls. Her oldest son is the Crown Prince Hamzeh.

Suzanne Toren's television credits include L.A. Law, Ryan's Hope, and As The World Turns. On Broadway, she has appeared in Goodbye Fidel and John Gabriel Borkman. She has recorded over 900 audiobooks.

From AudioFile:

American-born Queen Noor of Jordan is a woman of uncommon intelligence, education, and emotional grace. Very few are born that way, and this story of how she grew into the job, and role, of queen of a country of such importance to us all makes for riveting reading. It is a story of love and family, growth and loss, well told and beautifully read by Suzanne Toren, and remarkably moving. Noor gives you a view of a world you thought you knew, that will never look the same, and she paints a loving and memorable portrait of her husband, King Hussein, that will make you sorry all over again that he is no longer with us. Queen Noor reads the preface herself, setting the tone. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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