Queen Starts American Trip
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Queen Noor starts a two-week speaking tour of her American homeland Saturday, hoping to expand understanding of the Arab world and contribute to her husband’s drive for peace in the Middle East.
″The only purpose of these visits,″ Queen Noor said, ″is to broaden understanding. ... I would hope, to such an extent it can contribute to making a difference″ in the efforts of King Hussein and others who are ″committed to peace in this area.″
In an interview at Nadwa Palace, the queen said she would ″stress the importance of the involvement of the international community, and particularly the United States, at this junction″ in the Middle East situation.
The queen said she would come as ″a concerned citizen, an individual and a patriot of Jordan, and someone who feels both bonds and responsibilities to both Jordan and my American heritage.″
The 33-year-old Princeton University graduate is the daughter of Najeeb Halaby, an American of Lebanese descent who is former chairman of Pan American World Airways.
She met Hussein while doing research in Amman and was married to him in June 1978. She adopted the Islamic religion and took the name Noor al Hussein, which means, ″Light of Hussein.″ Formerly, her name was Lisa.
She said that during three previous speaking trips to the United States, she has seen ″a great increase in awareness and understanding and interest ... on the part of a broad spectrum of people.″
She said there continues to be ″great prejudice″ against Arabs, but it is diminishing.
The queen plans to visit Princeton, in New Jersey; Tufts University and Harvard University in Massachusetts and Duke University in North Carolina.
She said she would be accompanied by her two youngest children, Prince Hashem, 3, and Princess Imam, 2.
Her oldest child is Prince Hamzeh, who is 4.