Thursday, May 5, 2011

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan: The Feminine Architect for Changes

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Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan:
The Democratic Deficit and the Reinvigorated Movement
for Freedom and Justice Across MENA
at the Skoll World Forum 2011 in Oxford, UK

Queen Noor at the 2011 Skoll World Forum
Queen Noor of Jordan is, in the words of Jeff Skoll, an international public servant and an outspoken voice on issues of world peace and justice. In her keynote speech at the close of the 2011 Skoll World Forum, Queen Noor provided deep insight into, “the most remarkable example of large-scale socio-political change. since the fall of the Soviet Union.” She explores its causes, including the “democratic deficit” described in the 2010 UN Arab Human Development Report, and the implications of this, “reinvigorated pursuit of freedom and justice” across the Middle East, North African region.

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan
Why Should We Listen To Her:

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With beauty, class, and eminent sophistication, Queen Noor has transitioned from American architect to Jordanian queen to world stateswoman. Born in 1951 in Washington, D.C, Lisa Hallaby excelled in academics and was part of Princeton University's first co-ed class, graduating with a degree in Architecture. As a young architect working on the Amman International Airport, she met King Hussein of Jordan. After she converted to Islam and took on the new name Noor (meaning light), the two married in 1978, and they had four children.

As queen, she has not only been a charming and brilliant symbol of the Middle East's connection to the rest of the world, she has also campaigned for international justice and security. She has served with dozens of Intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations on many initiatives, including the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the International Commission on Missing Persons, and Conservation International. She is also heavily involved in education as president of the United World Colleges and Chair of UN University International Leadership Academy.

Larry King and Queen Noor
Following King Hussein's passing in 1999, she has continued to serve the nation with her step-son King Abdullah and his wife Queen Rania and work for worldwide causes. As one of the globe's most cosmopolitan leaders, she splits time between Amman, Washington, and London, and gives nearly a hundred speeches a year for myriad worldwide causes.

"My life journey among American and Middle Eastern cultures has taught me that the foundation for constructive partnership already exists, embedded in our common moral heritage -- in the teachings of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths. We must be aware, however, that Arabs and Americans express common moral values with different cultural voices and vocabularies. The relationship between the United States and the Arab world includes some of the oldest and most durable relationships of the 20th century; but also, has been plagued by some of the most recurrent misperceptions and intemperate violence of modern history."

Skoll World Forum 2011; Her Majesty Queen Noor, Jordan

"... I've seen it around the world, in the poorest countries and in countries riven with conflict, ... It is women who are the key to breaking out of poverty, breaking out of stagnation.
... It's women who can contribute to achieving real security -- not bombs and bullets and repressive governments."
"There are many different challenges that have to be faced in the region today. I, as a humanitarian activist, despair that in our region where 75% of the population in the Arab world is poor and getting poorer, and where infant mortality rates and basic human development indicators are in many cases far lower than in any other region of the world, in spite of considerable progress made in the last several decades, where there is so little, where our political freedoms are also among the lowest in the world and the participation of women - these are they areas where we should be concentrating the resources, that are instead going into arming the region, that has the highest per capita consumption of weapons in the world. And that has guaranteed no security for anyone."

Support Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan's Foundation.

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