Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein Of Jordan
Her Majesty Queen Noor was born Lisa Najeeb Halaby on 23 August 1951, to a distinguished Arab-American family. She attended schools in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York City and Concord Academy in Massachusetts, before entering Princeton University in it’s first coeducation freshman class.
After receiving a B.A. m Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University in 1974, Queen Noor participated in several international urban planning and design projects in Australia, Iran, the United States and Jordan. In 1976, she traveled throughout the Arab world to research aviation training facilities for the preparation of a master plan for an Arab Air University to be established in Jordan. Subsequently, she joined ‘Royal Jordanian’ airline as Director of Planning and Design Projects.
Marriage to King Hussein of Jordan
Their family also includes the tow children of His Majesty’s previous marriage, and an adopted daughter, Abir Muhaisen
Queen Noor initiates, directs and sponsors projects and activities which respond to specific national needs in the areas of social welfare, mother and child health care, education, culture, women’s development, environmental protection, public architecture and planning, and international understanding.
In 1980, the Queen convened the first Arab Children’s Congress which annually brings together young representatives from throughout the Arab world in a program designed to promote understanding and solidarity. During two weeks of travel, learning and cultural interaction in Jordan, these children are encouraged to appreciate more fully the contemporary challenges facing the Arab nation ancient bonds of culture shared by all Arabs.
In 1981, Queen Noor, with a group of Jordanian philanthropists, faculty and students from Yarmouk University in Jordan, founded the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts to promote Jordanian, Arab and international cultural and artistic interaction at one of Jordan’s most important archeological sites. The annual festival has developed as a vibrant meeting place for Arab and international performing of Jordanian and as a dynamic catalyst for the promotion of Jordanian and Arab culture and art.
In 1984 Queen Noor assumed responsibility for the implementation of an educational project to commemorate His Majesty King Hussein’s Silver Jubilee. The Jubilee School, which opened in 1993, is an independent, coeducational secondary school for outstanding scholarship students from throughout the country and the region. The School is dedicated to the development of the intellect and leadership potential of Jordanian and other Arab students with special emphasis on students from underprivileged area. The School’s Center for Excellence in Education seeks to enhance national educational standards through the development of innovative curricula, training programs and workshop for public and private school teachers.
The National Music Conservatory was initiated by Queen Noor in 1985 to develop accomplished musicians in classical Arabic and Western music, to foster music appreciation and to promote teacher training and public school music curricula in Jordan. Its annual program includes concerts, recitals and instruction by local and world renowned international musicians.
Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF)
In 1985, the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF) was established to consolidate the administration of the Queen’s diverse and expanding development initiatives since 1978. The NHF seeks to identify and meet development needs throughout Jordan by introduction innovative and dynamic integrated socio-economic development models and to set national standards of excellence in health care, education, culture and the arts. NHF projects build upon Jordan’s traditions and heritage and move beyond conventional centralized social welfare practices by promoting individual and community self-reliance. grass roots participation in decision making and projects implementation, equal opportunity with special emphasis on the employment of women, and intersectoral cooperation, These projects are designed to be locally sustainable and replicable throughout the country and other parts of the region. The Quality of Life Project, the Women-in-Development Project, The Institute for Child Health and Development and the National Handicrafts Development Project, in particular, have been recognized by the United Nations and other international organizations as model projects for the Middle East and the development world.
Queen Noor is patron of several national institutions which serve the Jordanian community. The include: the General Federation of Jordanian Women, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, the National Committee for the Protection of the Environment, The Jordan National Red Crescent Society, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, the Jordanian Welfare Society for the Care of the Deaf, the Haya Children’s Arts Center, the Jordanian Physiotherapy Society, the Jordan Society for Biological Sciences, the Queen Noor Technical College for Civil Aviation, the Jordan Tennis Federation, the Women’s Sports Club, the Royal Society of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Lioness Club and the Petra National Trust. Queen Noor is also a board member of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.
International, Queen Noor is a founding member of the International Commission of Peace and Food, an honorary member of the General Assembly of the SOS-Kinderdorf International, a director on the global board of the Hunger Project, Chairman of the advisory board of the Center for the Study of the Global South at American University, Chair of the honorary board of the International Council for Women in the Arts, a member of the International Council of the Near East Foundation, and a member of the honorary Global Committee of the Center for development and Population Activities. She is Patron of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, President and Patron of the British Society of the St. John Ophthalmic Hospital Jerusalem, and a member of the International Commission for the Revival of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. In 1980, she initiated The Jordan Society in the United States to promote understanding and closer ties between Jordan and America. Queen Noor is a trustee of the Concord Academy in Massachusetts.
Queen Noor has been awarded Jordan’s highest decorations, “The Order of Al Hussein Bin Ali” and “The 0rder of the Grand Cordon of the Jeweled Al-Nahda Decoration” (Renaissance), as well as decorations from many countries. In recognition of her contribution to cultural and social development in Jordan and her role in promoting international exchange, the Queen has been awarded honorary doctorates by various universities and has received several international awards.
Queen Noor has traveled widely in North and Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia. She speaks Arabic, English and French. She enjoys skiing, water skiing, tennis, sailing, horseback riding, reading, gardening and photography
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