Memoirs more personal than political
October 6, 2005
As I speed through the book I’m reading, turning pages with relish, I finally have perspective about how long it took me to finish “Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life” by Queen Noor.
I read and sometimes re-read all 443 pages of the book, hoping someone could untangle my Middle East mental maze. I wanted someone who had spent time with Arafat to explain the Palestinian situation. I wanted someone who was in power when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated to tell me what happened next.
I wanted to hear about Arab reaction to the first Gulf War and perhaps to the second.
There was a lot I wanted from this book, and there was a lot that was never delivered.
Queen Noor was an American woman who met and married the King of Jordan. The story she tells in those 443 stories is a love story. It recounts the hardships of worldwide celebrity and the difficulties of going from private citizen to a member of a royal family and living 24 hours a day under tight security.
There are glimpses into the Middle East and into the way the United States government manipulates events for political gain. Although Queen Noor entered her marriage as an American, by the time King Hussein died and this book was written, she had adopted a very Arab view of the world, including a deep distrust of all things Israeli.
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I forced myself to read the entire thing, which took almost two months. Whether those months were well-spent, I’m not sure. I’m still as confused as ever about where the lines are drawn over there and when they were drawn that way. I guess I’ll have to read other books for that.
Instead, I have a greater understanding of royal protocol and the struggles of being Queen Noor.