|Meet the Queen
For tickets to the April 25 gala at
Center for Living Peace or to
participate in the day of service
for youth on April 28, visit the
Center for Living Peace’s website.
For tickets to the May 2 speaking
event at UCI, go to the university’s
For more information on the King
Hussein Foundation, visit the website.
In her bestselling 2003 book, Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, speaking of her late husband King Hussein’s legacy, writes that “for change to be positive and lasting we must all acknowledge our common humanity and live by the shared values of our faiths.” Sharing this goal, Queen Noor will be the next speaker in the Living Peace Series on May 2 at the University of California, Irvine, presented in partnership with the Center for Living Peace.
Living Peace is a series of conversations with international leaders committed to making the world a healthy, sustainable and compassionate place. Past speakers include Charlize Theron, Sir Richard Branson, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, and Geena Davis.
Her Majesty Queen Noor, an outspoken voice on issues of international exchange and understanding between Arab, Muslim and Western relations, and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change, and disarmament, has focused her peace-building on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Her work in the Arab world has included national and regional human security issues in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights, and cross-cultural understanding. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations have transformed development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication and women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange.
“Hussein often said that we are mere custodians of a timeless legacy that transcends any single person, country or culture,” Queen Noor wrote in Leap of Faith, a love story and portrait of the late King and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his war-torn region. “We are momentary and mortal bearers of eternal, sacred values that have been handed down generation after generation – in our region and elsewhere for thousands of years.
These reflections seem to have fresh resonance today in a world rocked by unspeakable upheaval and violence. Politicians and leaders will seek solutions, peaceful and otherwise, to mankind’s ills, but for change to be positive and lasting we must all acknowledge our common humanity and live by the shared values of our faiths.”
Her Majesty will also be the guest of honor at a more intimate gala at the Center for Living Peace on April 25, a fundraiser for the King Hussein Foundation, as well as participate in a youth day of service on April 28.
Planned around Her Majesty’s visit, the work of this year’s UC Irvine XIV Dalai Lama Scholar, Armaan Ahmed Rowther, will highlight the importance of interfaith dialogue and youth engagement as part of the White House’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge initiative. Participating students will collaborate with local organizations and interfaith groups to learn about and take positive action to address specific community needs related to hunger and poverty. Students will incorporate reflection activity within this part of the project by learning about one another and about different communities, including the myriad faith communities (including non-faith groups) to which different students belong.
This subject of diversity and cooperation between cultures is dear to the heart of Her Majesty, who believes that peacemaking efforts can only succeed “if they reflect a truer understanding of the needs and aspirations of all the peoples who must build this peace.
“As His Majesty King Hussein said in his address to the joint session of the American Congress on July 26, 1994, ‘It should never be forgotten that peace resides ultimately not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of the people. For unless peace can be made real to the men, women and children of the Middle East, the best efforts of negotiators will come to nought.’ True peace is not merely the absence of hostility,” she said. “Rather, it requires bonds of mutual respect, justice and cooperation to nourish the acceptance and appreciation of coexistence.”