We’ve made quite a fuss on Anne of Carversville over Queen Rania. Her mother-in-law Queen Noor is equally dazzling.
The arrival of President-Elect Barack Obama and family in Washington ignites a new and exhiliarating conversation around leaders who are “mutts”, “impure” composities born of the best ideas and traits that come from living in multi-cultural environments.
Queen Noor is such a woman. She tells the story of her rich, diverse, complex background in a Pangea Day speech. The video isn’t embedded, so follow the link or photo link.
Watching her in this fresh interview with Wolf Blitzer, I’m struck by the sensual beauty of a 57-year-old woman. Of course, there’s some botox in those veins, but her natural beauty triumphs.
Islam Fundamentalists might stone her to death for her exposed, if non-revealing flesh, worn proudly and beautifully in this Wolf Blitzer interview, and even the cover of her book “Leap of Faith”.
I smile … quite certain that the neckline was just a bit lower last night. For a woman occupying a stop on the International Best-Dressed List, I love her gesture.
I’m personally inspired watching her. These two women — Queen Noor and her daughter-in-law Queen Rania — must occupy the top rung of any Sense & Sensuality list. They are women leaders aware of their sexuality and beauty but also genuinely devoted to global causes and promoting articulate, reasoned discussion around global problems.
Queen Noor has long been an emissary between Islam and America, having grown up in America as the daughter of successful, Arab American parents.
When Princeton architecture grad Lisa Najeeb Halaby joined her father in Jordan, to design new airports for Royal Jordanian Airlines, she had no premonition that two months after meeting the grieving widower King Hussein, she would become his wife and Queen of her adopted country.
From the beginning, the relationship between the King and Queen was a break from royal custom. Their wedding was a prime example of Lisa Halaby and King Hussein’s untraditional relationship, a marriage that was greetly with lukewarm enthusiasm around the world.
Lisa Halaby was no Princess Grace.
Even though the royal custom at the time of the wedding was for a male relative to represent the bride, Lisa Halaby married the King in person. This tradition of atypical events involving women in the Royal Jordanian household continues to this day, with the two Jordanian superstars sharing the limelight.
My personal image of Queen Noor and King Hussein will always revolve around motorcycles, their primary mode of courting and the only way to escape reporters. Perhaps the Obama can ring up Queen Noor for a few pointers on keeping the romantic flames blazing under the scrutiny of intense, international spotlights.