Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and an outspoken voice on issues of world peace and justice. She plays an active role in promoting international exchange and understanding of Arab and Muslim culture and politics, Arab-Western relations, as well as conflict prevention and recovery. Her Majesty chairs the King Hussein Foundation (KHF) which she founded in 1999 to build on her late husband’s humanitarian legacy in Jordan, in the Middle East and abroad as well as the Noor Al Hussein Foundation which she founded in the 1980s to facilitate sustainable social and economic advancement throughout Jordan.
In 2007, KHF US launched a Media and Humanity Program to promote film and media projects that highlight shared values across cultural and political divides with special emphasis on the Middle East and Muslim world. Her Majesty was also co-founder of the Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund to promote and support media content that enhances cross-cultural understanding. In October 2009, the Alliance merged with Soliya, a non-profit industry leader in using new media technologies to foster cross-cultural understanding. Queen Noor is a Founder, President or actively involved in a number of international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery among which are Global Zero – an international movement to eliminate nuclear weapons, United World Colleges – a global education for peace network, Refugees International, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She has published two books, “Hussein of Jordan” (2000), and “Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life” (2003), a New York Times bestseller.
Her Majesty Queen Noor’s great-grandfather, Elias Halaby, came to New York around 1891 as one of the earliest Syrian immigrants to the United States. A Christian and provincial treasurer or magistrate in the Ottoman Empire, Halaby left Syria accompanied by his two eldest sons. His wife Almas and their five remaining children joined Elias in 1894. He died three years later, leaving his teenage sons, Habib and Najeeb (Her Majesty’s grandfather), to take over his import business. An enterprising young man, Najeeb moved to Dallas in the 1910s and assimilated rapidly into American society. Her Majesty was born Lisa Najeeb Halaby. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University and became the Queen of Jordan upon her marriage to His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal in 1978. She has four children, Their Royal Highnesses Princes Hamzah and Hashim and Princesses Iman and Raiyah, and three grandchildren, Princesses Halaah bint Hashim, Haya bint Hamzah, and Raiyah bint Hashim.