More Than a Pretty Face: Queen Noor of Jordan
By Abigail Pesta
Queen Noor of Jordan
Photo Credit: Gary Gershoff/Wire Image
Name: Queen Noor of Jordan
Notable quote: In America, theres a sense that anythings possible. Its a luxury, that blind faith and idealism, that sense of, 'I can do something about my life.'
The Iraq war has forced hundreds of thousands of refugees into neighboring countries, and Queen Noor of Jordan is making it her job to help them - offering counseling, healthcare, and hope. As the fifth anniversary of the war looms, the American-born queen - who was married to King Hussein of Jordan for more than two decades before his death in 1999 - talked with Marie Claires Abigail Pesta.
Q. Why do you think theres such inadequate attention paid to the refugee situation?
A. Many say the reason countries like the U.S. havent been more focused on this issue is because its difficult to admit to the humanitarian catastrophe this war has created, both inside and outside Iraqs borders. This could become a long-term stability issue in the larger region, so we really need more focus on this.
Q. What kind of shape are the refugees in?
A. The majority are young women and children, and they face extraordinary challenges from the trauma theyve endured in the war. The Noor Al Hussein Foundation, which I founded almost 25 years ago, has a health center that has been providing medical care, counseling, and pediatric services to refugees in and around our capital, Amman. Weve built up our services thanks to help from international aid groups - but the problem is overwhelming.