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Leap of Faith: Chapters 11-12 September 10, 2006

Posted by Han in Leap of Faith by Queen Noor.

We are discussing chapters 11 and 12 here. Leave and check out comments below.



1. Ashleigh - September 12, 2006

While I’ve been very skeptical and critical of this book so far, I have to say that Queen Noor did a lot of good humanitarian work. Her efforts for trying to improve the lives of the people of Jordan is commendable. I loved how she encouraged the women to weave rugs for profit.

2. bethany3boys - September 14, 2006

Yes she really has a compassion for the people and for using her position for good. Have you ever been to the Ten Thousand Villages Stores…I love those for that reason. First they offer beautiful products but they also are paying fair wages to those people making the unique handicrafts.

3. Nicole - September 14, 2006

As I continue to read, I find that is truly is remarkable that she was able to change so quickly to become so passionate for her new country. I realize that her background naturally made her more curious into the Arab culture, but she certainly has a deep rooted love for Jordan and her people, and a determination to make it better. It doesn’t seem like there was any ounce of being caught up in the whole celebrity/queen thing. She really desired to make Jordan a better place and continue to all of the Arabic nations. This also makes sense when she talks about history and present trials the Middle East is going through. Although I may not completely agree with everything, I can certainly see that her point comes from a deep love for her husband and people.

4. Ashleigh - September 14, 2006

Nicole, I agree! The more I read, the more I’m struck by her passion and efforts to see the country of Jordan and its people bettered.

Also, her committment to her husband is noteworthy.

5. Bethany3boys - September 15, 2006

I think it is interesting how hard of a time Jordan had in working with Arafat and the PLO…I never realized…just assumed they got along. There is a part in chapter 12 where they talk about ending any collaboration withthe PLO until their word becomes their bond. I knew the US and Israel always had difficulities but I found it interesting that the Arab world did too. I guess here it always seems like they have such support for them becoming a state etc etc I never realized what difficulties they had in communicating and working with them.

6. bethany3boys - September 15, 2006

Ashleigh, Her commitment and support of her husband is something that has really struck me in reading this. She is such a supportive wife and helpmate always calculating and thinking about how her actions and response will support or hinder him. She many times chooses what is best for her husband even when she seems right about the circumstance. I really admire that about her. I wish that I could be more aware of how my actions play out. So often I just do things that are quite frankly selfish and deal later…wish I could be more thoughtful like her and more aware of how everything I do could possibly be either a help or a hinderance to my husband.

7. Michelle - September 18, 2006

OK, did anyone notice their pet feish? I mean, they did an autopsy on a dead bird to find out it had chronic tonsillitis?! And they shipped one of their dogs *overseas* to her sister. Agh. Sorry for all you pet owners out there, but that short of stuff cracks me up.

A few more serious thoughts…

What did all of you think about her insight into the American Government on page 239. About the election processes & change in rulers distracting from any long-term vision?

Also, I was quite moved by her initiatives to aid in creating businesses by loaning out seed money vs. handing out $ to the needy. She obviously looked long term and saw that this is the best way to raise a family/village out of poverty and help create income for a country. I’ve recently found an organization called Opportunity International that provides micro-loans in the amount of $75-$500 to desperately poor people . These people use these loans to starts small businesses thus creating work and income but also a sense of dignity, hope, and confidence where none was before. Financial and Social Captial. I’ve felt personally led to participate in this program as I’ve recently been growing in becoming aware of a needy world beyond my small bubble and having been reminded of my responsibility as a Christian to love and care for God’s people. You can go to http://www.opportunity.org to find out more information about Opportunity International. 🙂

8. Karen - September 18, 2006

I agree with her assessment of our system of government. We are terribly short-sighted and really only care about our own party and the election process. one only has to turn to local news to hear all the party arguements to get that.
I am troubled by her frequent digs into Americans in general though. For example, the comment about the South Korean’s being our “justification” for not signing a land mine ban treaty. (pg 229) She tends to go back and forth with her love/hate relationship w/ America.
I had no idea that Hussein funded the restoration of Al Aqsa…interesting. Did anyone find the “traditional form of celebration” in the Arab world a bit frightening? Waving machine guns…traditional? We tend to assume that the unrest in the Middle East is between Israel and the entire Arab world. We forget that the Arab world is quite hostile to eachother even without the distraction of Israel. She notes repeatedly the difficulties Hussein had discussing the problems and searching for an outcome w/ other leaders. Often they would conveniently forget what had been discussed within a day of the meeting!!

9. Karen - September 18, 2006

One more thing between making breakfast and shuttling kids to school…
I watched an early morning show interviewing Bill Clinton last week about these programs that offer credit to the poor and underpriveleged around the world. It was fascinating. I am impressed to read about her pioneering efforts into this type of project and how successful it has become over the years that she has been managing such a thing in Jordan. So many people have sought her advice regarding such a forward thinking program.
Her humanitarian efforts are more than commendable. We could all learn from an example like this. There are so many needs that we avoid seeing every day. This aspect of Noor is quite inspiring.

10. bethany3boys - September 18, 2006

Michelle, I think there is something to be said about our leaders constantly changing. At times it does seem like their hands are tied or just when they get into the groove their term is up. However, I don’t know that I would want to be stuck with one person until he died…that seems too extreme also. I wonder if maybe we shouldn’t have term limits on the presidency…I mean if they were doing a good job they would probably be re-elected but if they were not then I am sure the people would vote them out.

Karen, the waving machine guns thing was freaky. This book has been enlightening to me in terms of the Arabs just plain not getting along with anyone…each other included. I had always thought it was against the West or Israel but they do have a lot going on with each other too.

Karen and Michelle I do think her humanitarian efforts are very inspiring.

11. Nicole Baird - September 24, 2006

I also though the point about a long term leader was fasinating to think about. It made me see that there are certain advantages and those strengths can help a nation, just like an election and change of person can add strengths as well as weaknesses. This book has been so good for me to hear another point of view and to think about it, discuss it, and think some more!

12. Seta - September 24, 2006

I have actually thought quite often about term limits. I work a government agency in Virginia, which is the only state (or one of only a few) that has a one-term limit for its governor. And it is awful. They get elected, spend the first year trying to figure out what is going on, then they have a few months to do something and then people start considering them a lame duck and talking about the next election. It makes things very difficult in terms of contininuity. I know Virginia is an extreme case because most states, and even our presidency allow two terms. I think I agree with Bethany and would be in favor of eliminating term limits and letting the election process take its course (as long as my candidate won! – hee hee).

I also noticed the comment she made about the U.S. being the only country that has not signed the Land MIne Treaty and I made myself a note to look it up and see if I could find out anything about it. Haven’t gotten a chance yet but I’ll add it if I do.

13. bethany3boys - September 25, 2006

Seta, I agree it always takes time to really learn a job and become good at it….we are expecting great things in a time period that is just giving someone the ability to learn the job…not be truly great at it.

I was wondering about the Land Mine Treaty too. Would love to hear if you find out anything about it.

14. Heather - September 25, 2006

She also references another treaty on page 165: “The next year Jordan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which became the most widely accepted human rights treaty ever, inspiring social change in all regions of the world (The only nations that have not signed it yet are the United States and Somalia.)” At first glance, it makes it sound like we as a country are inhumane for not signing this treaty; if you dig a little deeper (see the HSLDA website — they wrote about this last year) you discover some interesting things regarding our Constitution and treaties, and about how this treaty lets the “village” take over parental rights. There’s always another side, isn’t there!

15. Heather - September 25, 2006

The bird autopsy was hysterical! Her story is full of paradoxes — on the one hand she wants to be seen as “normal” and not priviledged, then you turn the page and she’s referencing an autopsy on a bird — not exactly the type of thing the average Jordanian (or the average American, for that matter!) would be doing.

Re. her “seed money” social programs — I found this truly inspiring. I also loved that she was getting them in touch with their culture and traditional arts, rather than bringing in some type of outside industry. I know a number of missions organizations that find their way “in” to a particular culture through making short term loans. I think it’s particulary helpful in cultures where personal pride might prevent them from accepting traditional “charity.” It’s the whole “teach a man to fish” mentality.

Finally, the machine guns at the wedding — it reminds me of the story a missionary friend to Iraq once shared. He had pictures of a Bible study with the Kurds he was working with, and in the picture each man had a Bible in one hand and an automatic weapon in the other. To them, that was “normal.”

16. Heather - September 25, 2006

Sorry I’m making so many “old” posts, but I’ve been away for several weeks with no internet access, only to return home to a messed up computer monitor! I’m caught up in my reading, but behind on my commenting!

On page 243 in her reference to the Sultan’s mother — “[She] was an extraordinary example of the very influential role many women play in the Arab world, the Gulf in particular. The role is not public, so many people outside the region do not realize how important it really is.” I wished she’d expanded on this topic rather than simply referencing being a “link to many groups in Oman society.” I’d be one who has always assumed women in the Arab world did NOT have influential roles, since their societies seem so male dominated. I’d love to hear more specific examples of their non-public influence.

17. bethany3boys - September 25, 2006

Heather that is interesting about the treaty. Thanks for that info. I figured there was some good reason as to why we didn’t sign it….And that is an EXCELLENT reason.

She is inspiring in her social programs. VERY.

I too wish she would have expanded more on the role of women in the Arab world…what an eye opening and learning experience that would have added to the book…and I venture to say most people reading her book are probably women who would have thought otherwise.

18. Seta - September 27, 2006

Here are some links to information about the Land Mine Treaty. These articles indicate that there were other countries besides the U.S. that did not sign, but that might have changed by the time she wrote her book. I actually could not find too much information supporting the U.S. stance, although they do refer to the continued need for mines in the DMZ between North and South Korea. At the risk of commenting without really having researched the issue, I would have to say that I find it surprising that with all our technology and advanced weapons, we would still argue for a need to keep what seems like a pretty basic and crude weapon. But I don’t know, there may be more to it than meets the eye. Like the RIghts of the Child convention – I found that really interesting (about letting the village take over parental rights).


19. bethany3boys - September 27, 2006

Here is another one. sounds like they don’t want to sign it do to risk of American soldiers and also some are saying there is no way to enforce it??? Here is another link.


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