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A Leap of Faith: Memoir of an Unexpected Life Paperback – 4 Mar 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (4 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075381756X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753817568
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Here she tells the story of her life as a young royal bride, her humanitarian work, her miscarriage and the births of her four children. Above all she describes her abiding love for her husband who died in 1999. (SUNDAY TRIBUNE)

Book Description

The dramatic and inspiring story of one woman's incredible journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 26 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a young American woman I lived and worked in the Middle East for several years and can relate to many of her stories of the culture and living conditions. I traveled to Jordan on several occasions and found the life for women there much easier than for women in other Middle Eastern countries, but still harsh. Her humanitarian work for the people of her country is very commendable, as well as her work to better the lives of all Jordanian's. For another perspective on life in the Middle East, I also recommend another new book called "Single in Saudi" by Genia (witch or she-devil in Arabic). It is a story of the rollicking misadventures of a young woman breaking all of the rules in this most oppressive of all Middle Eastern countires.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been deeply moved by this book. Those who are expecting a fairy tale book, about a rosy love story between an American woman and an Arabian King, will be disappointed.
But those who have been wondering when a writer would enlighten the outside world, about the Middle-East, with a serious, factual and well thought out writing, have their prayers answered in this inspiring book.
This book is for those who are open-minded enough to want to look beyond the Western clichés at Jordan and the Middle-East from a Jordanian and Middle-Eastern viewpoints.
I liked its style based on factual data –NO FICTION- given not in a cold manner but with a warm and loving heart.
Out of this book, flows mutual respect, understanding and love for (wo)mankind.
Queen Noor, in this book, has spoken on behalf of ordinary Middle-Eastern people, like me, who have no access to the powerful Western media.
Thank you for that!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
having worked and travelled in jordan over the past 7 - 8 years I have a great interest and respect for the country and its people. I had hoped to learn more about King Hussain and both personal and history of the country. Disappointing; more about Queen Noor and herself..... Sorry, I wish I could be more positive inthis review. Try "The Lion of Jordan - a real 5 star read!
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Format: Hardcover
Queen Noor has always mesmerized me, seemingly the perfect wife, mother and queen. Always standing discretely by her husband as the perfect political partner, not craving any attention or victories on her own – only on behalf of her husband. The book describes a lot of the wonderful work she has done for the Jordanian people, which unfortunately has gone unnoticed by much of the western world and her insight into the political situation of the Middle East is that of a very capable and intelligent woman.
“Leap of Faith” is more a political biography than anything else, the book only touches the surface when it comes to more personal issues like; children, marriage, faith, etc. Queen Noor has made some dramatic changes in her life, moving from one of the richest countries in the world to one of the poorest, converting to the faith of Islam, always standing in the shadow of her husband and the enormous cultural shock that must have been. However, Queen Noor doesn’t seem to let her audience inside, we’re kept at a very safe distance and after reading this book I was left with the distinct feeling that there is a lot more to Queen Noor than this books reveals. Had she opened the lid just a little more, this could have been a great book!
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Format: Paperback
The book definitely achieved one of its purposes of giving people a more rounded and balanced view of Middle-East from an insider. With her American upbringings, Queen Noor's account of historical, social, and political forces in Jordanian, Middle Eastern as well as International affaires are very insightful and generally "unbiased". Additionally, I personally think the book striked a very good balance between the personal and official role Queen Noor has to resume, providing her personal opinion without "endangering" the official position of Jordan.

However, to some extend, the book reads like a very strong advocator for the Jordanian Royal house, especialy for King Hussein and Queen Noor herself, which is totally understandable given it is an autobiography. Despite a number of elegant humor, the book can sometimes be a bit "textbook-dry".

However, all in all, I would still recommend this book, espeically for anyone who seeks an alternative, or more "realistic" understanding and view on Middle East, besides those fueled by USA.
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By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
Lisa Halaby was born in 1951 to a privileged and influential Arab-American family. Upon graduation from Princeton, she worked in several countries, including Jordan, as an architect and urban planner. Through her father, she met King Hussein of Jordan, and after a brief courtship, married him in 1978 and became Queen Noor. She converted to Islam, learned Arabic, had four children, and worked tirelessly for the betterment of her new country. Though she disliked having her life described as a fairy tale, outwardly it certainly seemed to be one.

In her autobiography, the Queen alternates between describing the turbulent and frightening political times of the seventies and eighties, with very personal stories of her family life. She is protective and respectful of her husband, family, and country, and still paints a realistic picture of the challenges she faced becoming a queen. Her marriage lasted 21 years, until her beloved husband's death from cancer. She describes him as a loving and dedicated ruler and father. She comes across as an intelligent, hard-working, and articulate lady. Her story is so well-written, I could not put it down. A unique look into a fascinating "unexpected life."
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