10 July 2007

I have a new Hero

Her name is Lisa Halaby aka Queen Noor al Hussein (literally "light of hussein" which is super cute because her husband was King Hussein and he gave her the name) of Jordan.
She's an arab american woman who married the king. it's so hilarious. she calls her autobiography "memoirs of an unexpected life." It is truly a beautiful story.

This woman, who discovers the arab world through her career, who is part of the first class of women to attend Princeton University, who grows an enormous heart for her husband and his people and just learns to love them and see them - she really humanizes the leaders of the arab world and speaks to the stark contrast between the extravagance of royal life and her previously so simple lifestyle.
She really paints a beautiful image of her husband and his country. Her work is a testament to her husband's love and devotion and dignity and all those good things that kings should have. It really is just a thrill and pleasure to read and I love her, deeply.

AND Queen Rania of Jordan, her daughter in law, is currently on the cover of vanity fair for her work with children/orphans. It's astonishing to see all the amazing things Queen Noor does with the power that she has and all the ways she really influenced development and re-construction. Things that we take for granted in our countries, and yet really celebrate the Jordanian culture and speak to the deep richness of their lives through the arts and other things. And how she really cares for them through providing basic healthcare and a desire to balance the economy and.... oh everything. AND she has a wonderfully real and honest perspective about the arab leaders and their decisions through the second half of the 20th century.

I highly recommend.

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