Born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C. of Syrian-Lebanese and Swedish descent, Queen Noor Al-Hussein is a graduate of Princeton (1974), an activist, a mother and grandmother, and the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Her memoir Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, held a place on my mother’s bookshelf for years. I am grateful that my mother told me about American-born Queen Noor, as much as she told me about American-born Princess Grace.
H.M. Queen Noor on international nuclear disarmament, speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum:
“… I see the potential [of nuclear weapons] for continuing and expanding what are already irrational arms races…increasing insecurity in those regions and eating up absolutely desperately needed human development resources, especially now when so many populations in those regions are under severe economic pressures, [and] the destabilizing consequences of climate change.
…As a Muslim, just to add, I share the moral and spiritual concerns about the genocidal role of nuclear weapons, first expressed by the scientists who created them and witnessed the horror of their destructive impact and were the first advocates for what we are talking about tonight. The Holy Koran declares that killing an innocent is tantamount — one innocent life — to killing all of mankind.
…[nuclear disamament is] going to be a very complex process. I don’t think we should give up. I would ask our audience, any one of you that can have any impact on any group or individual or political decision maker to please engage, because one person … And the impact one person can have or the loss of one person — and I would add my husband to the mix as well — on the direction in which critical events go may have an impact for generations.”
Copyright Off The Porch History, 2021, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and H.M. Queen Noor, 2018