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Leap of Faith: Chapters 1 and 2 August 31, 2006

Posted by Han in Leap of Faith by Queen Noor, Uncategorized.
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Okay here is the spot you can start discussing your thoughts on the first 2 chapters here!!! What do you think so far? What are your likes and dislikes? I am going to leave my comments to the comment section. Obviously this book we won’t be spoiling too much of a plot but I want to get into practice. On the last week we will be discussing in full and I will put questions and comments on the main post. Fire away. I was going to schedule these to post early in the morning but I have been getting emails from all you early readers.  😉  (I am included in that group)  So due to the holiday weekend and everyone itching to start discussing the book.  Here you go.  Merry Christmas a day early.  HEE HEE.

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1. bethany3boys - September 1, 2006

Kind of takes a couple chapters to get into the book but I found Queen Noors background very interesting. Her travels and education and family life. It seems remarkable to me that she would give up all of that to become Queen of Jordan…which obviously she did. Although the way she describes her family you can see why the tight knit community of the Royal family would be appealing. You can tell she loves her family in these chapters yet it seems like there is tension and in a sense everyone going in their own direction.

2. Ashleigh - September 1, 2006

Bethany, I agree. Her background is fascinating. I didn’t realize she was so highly education. I mean, Princeton!

It seems that her parents, specifically her father’s, political involvement and years of public service influenced her interests and perhaps shaped her for her future as Queen of Jordan. She’d grown up being around presidents, dignitaries, politicians, and those in high power. So being in her new role may have been easier for her than for a woman who was never exposed that.

Although, since she did marry into an Arab family in the Middle East, I’m interested to see how that will affect her independent, individualistic personality. Will she have trouble with submission? What will submission look like for her?

Yet, at the same time I wonder if being in that type of power position can be lonely and if being what she described an island onto herself growing up (p. 23) will actually benefit her at times?

3. bethany3boys - September 1, 2006

Yeah I can see where her background would be a plus. It isn’t exactly a rags to riches story…just a riches to greater riches. I think the independent and highly educated and motivated to work would be the difficult transition. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Of course she is the one writing the book. On the otherhand her education and desire to learn can and will probably help her. She seems to be very aware of the responsibility of her future roll and seems to really think through all of her actions.

I think you are right about your last statement. The being an island unto herself and how that will benefit her.

4. Jaree - September 1, 2006

Hi Ladies, I totally agree, while I have the advantage of having listened to the whole book on my drive out here to Colorado, I think her background very much prepared her for her role as queen. Especially her father being involved politically and having such a desire/preference for public service. And her degree of education was critical in her ability to take on a very public role successfully. Even her work in urban planning is important. Her early life seemed to be preparing her for her future … she was following a path she wasn’t even aware of …

5. Jaree - September 2, 2006

Just a little trivial note … she mentioned hearing the morning call to prayer (Fajr) while being in Amman and being fascinated by it … me, too!! I can remember sitting there with my Mom the first morning we were in Jordan listening to it … really beautiful. That became one of my favorite things about waking up in the Middle East. While our beliefs may be different, I learned appreciation for Islam and Judiasm while on that trip.

6. Ashleigh - September 2, 2006

Jaree, I’ve never been to the Middle East. So it’s really interesting to hear about memories from your trip to Jordan and how your experiences relate to things she talks about in the book.

7. bethany3boys - September 2, 2006

Jaree, I never knew you went there!! You are going to have to elaborate more for the rest of us. How exciting.

8. anneswanson3 - September 5, 2006

Ladies!! I feel so far behind already…usually I am the one who reads ahead, and now I am SO BEHIND! Working on catching up.

“Although the way she describes her family you can see why the tight knit community of the Royal family would be appealing. You can tell she loves her family in these chapters yet it seems like there is tension and in a sense everyone going in their own direction.” -from Bethany

I totally agree…it seems so appealing and they are so close knit, but at the same time they all seem to have their own agenda and way of living life.
Her background is so intersting, and I love her first picture of the King and her Dad…what a cool experience.
Like all said above, her background, and life experiences I too think were good for her future as Queen. As for me…I do not think I could do it! 🙂

9. Ashleigh - September 5, 2006

So part of me wonders how close knit the family really was when there have been three wives prior to Queen Noor and children by each mom. Even though at least one of the wives did die. I would think there would be some underlying tension.

Perhaps, in some respects, she’s painting a certain picture because the royal family needs to uphold a certain reputation? She’s presented Middle Eastern history from a certain perspective that omitts info. Makes me think this could be the case with the royal family too.

Okay, I know. I’m the cynical reader, huh? 🙂

10. anneswanson3 - September 6, 2006

good thoughts Ashliegh! I wonder too…

11. Jane Swanson - September 6, 2006

I am only two years younger than Queen Noor, so I identify with much of what was going on in the world during these chapters. The names of the Political Players are familiar and I recognize that my own sympathies were/are focused on Israel. It is interesting to hear another voice, but the ears that I am hearing with are those of a mother who has heard too many times, “But he started it!” It appears that there is a culprit on both sides of the fence. Will I sound too shallow when I say that these first chapters are “politically boring” and that I mainly want to read about the “storybook romance”?

12. Heather - September 7, 2006

Jane,
When I read these first two chapters I was intrigued by Queen Noor’s social activism at such a young age. I graduated high school in the late ’80’s, and I think I can safely say that most of my fellow classmates had very little interest in the politics of the day or in devoting themselves to various social causes. Though this did change somewhat once I hit the college scene, it still paled in comparison to the massive student movements of the ’60’s. I have to admit I was surprised, given Noor’s self-description as a shy, socially-awkward child, that she’d participate in sit-ins and protests as a young pre-teen! On p. 22 she says “We were so young, yet we felt responsible for contributing our voices and energies to the call for social justice.” Later in the chapter she says “It was a heady time to be young in America…” Was that your experience as well, growing up during that time? Or is her situation unique, given her father’s political involvement?

13. Jane Swanson - September 7, 2006

I think her situation is somewhat unique, given her father’s career, but politics was very much discussed in our household and the households of my friends. All of our parents had been in World War II and were keenly aware of world politics.
[Without getting too far off the subject, I’d say that the assasination of President Kennedy and the subsequent murder of his brother Bobby, turned the tide from involvement to one of apathy in my family and in this country. And I think the “whatever” attitude that started then continues to this day.]

I also think that Queen Noor is using some “license” in her writing as she goes back into history, giving us a picture of herself that is not entirely accurate. [I say this as I am aware of a recent publication that uses this same technique to discuss world events when the person writing was only a very young child, yet the information is written as tho’ the person actually experienced the impact of these events in their life.] Later on in the book, she mentions a situation that affected her deeply and when I did the Math, I discovered that she was only in the 6th grade………well, I suppose that could be true for her, but most 11 year olds would not be so affected. Like you, I find it a bit hard to believe that this self-described shy child was contributing her “energies” at this age.

14. bethany3boys - September 7, 2006

Can I just say I am so glad that this book club has women of different ages and life experience it is so great to be able to hear what you thought Jane growing up in the same time period. I also think it is great all the different things you all are picking up on and by sharing them we get a better picture of the whole book and where the author is coming from and contradictions etc.

I vividly remember being 11 (I broke my leg that year in my life) and I know I could care less about politics…the news or anything like that during that time in my life. Maybe with her political family things were different but I doubt that her parents would be allowing her to spend her energies at the age of 11 for any cause like. Maybe her parents were contributing their energies and she remebers doing things with them and so associates that. HMMMM. Makes ya think.

Anyhow thanks everyone for joining in the discussion and giving your perspectives and things you are noticing. This is GREAT.

15. michellelynn - September 8, 2006

Bethany- you said you doubted her parents would be allowing her to expend such energy at such a young age… but if i remember correctly, her parents were initially attracted to one another because of their socio-political ideals. That combined with their presence in Washington would make me think that they would allow more than we experienced at such a young age. Do you think?

Jane- you mentioned wanting the “Storybook Romance”. I read this book about two years ago and if I remember correctly, there is very little of such. Though it seems to have been marketed at a “Princess Diaries” type of book– hitting on the rags to riches via love dream we daughter of America have been fed– Noor uses her position more as a pulpit using the book to, I believe, help encourage understanding of the Middle Eastern culture and Muslim faith. I did notice reading this the second time around she comments on p44 that she was struck by the fundimental lack of understanding in the West even wanting to go into Journalism after her time in Tehran.

16. Jane Swanson - September 8, 2006

As I’ve read further, I am realizing that there is no “storybook romance” after all…………but thanks for the heads up!

And I agree, it is so interesting how viewpoints are altered by reading what others have picked up from this book. I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion of a book that I’m sure I would never have picked up and read.

I am reading this book with the mindset that two people can be in the same room and experience the same event and still describe it differently.

17. Bethany3boys - September 8, 2006

Michelle I suppose you have a point. I just think at 11 “most” kids are still kids and that it might have been more of a living vicariously through her parents kind of thing. I mean sit ins and demonstrations had the potential to become violent right??? (I don’t really know maybe they were no big deal) I guess when I look at that I look at it through my experience and eyes…which is probably wrong reading someone elses life. But I think about how when elections came around not really knowing fulling or understanding everything yet as a child telling my friends I was of a certain political party because my parents were. But I can see your point of her parents being very political and so that I am sure had a profound effect on the way she reacted towards things even at a young age. It is amazing though when I think about the 11 year olds I know.

As far as the tight knit family comment I made earlier…I was picking up on the families in Jordan in general. Remember where she was talking about that one family and how they older children still lived at home and stayed home until they were married…how different that was from the American way at the time. She was remarking about how she liked that about Jordanian Families. I will have to go back and find the paragraph in the book. (watch it be in a later chapter…oops sorry) I will try to find it later today…gotta go clean up my kitchen. 🙂

Jane I agree having friends to read and talk about a book with opens it up so much more and makes it very enjoyable. It has really made me think about a lot of things I would have just passed over. Thanks gals for all jumping in.

18. Bethany3boys - September 8, 2006

found it…chapter 4. I am a dork. Sorry. I think reading her family background and then reflecting on what she said in chapter 4 made me think this way. I will go add the quote in that section. That is what I get for discussing a chapter after I have read ahead. 😉

19. Ashleigh - September 8, 2006

Michelle, I so agree that Queen Noor is, as you said, using “her position more as a pulpit using the book to, I believe, help encourage understanding of the Middle Eastern culture and Muslim faith.”

20. bethany3boys - September 9, 2006

Michelle I agree with you and Ashleigh on the using her position point too. What else have you noticed reading the book a second time? Are there new things that stand out to you? When did you first read the book? Since then have there been things in our World that have changed how you view the book after reading it the first time?

21. michellelynn - September 11, 2006

Bethany, I’m still in the beginning of the book so I will let you know when something strikes me as unusual the second time around. I first read the book the summer of 2005.


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