KHF Outreach
Her Majesty Queen Noor Celebrates Birthday August 23rd
23rd August 2008

Her Majesty Queen Noor celebrates her birthday today.

For the past 30 years, since her marriage to King Hussein bin Talal, Queen Noor has actively worked to contribute to the advancement of Jordan’s national development in the areas of education, sustainable development, economic empowerment, human rights and cross-cultural understanding.

Her Majesty is also actively involved with international and UN organizations that address global challenges in these fields. She plays a major role in promoting international exchange, conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty and disarmament in the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Queen Noor chairs the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF) which implements pioneering programs in poverty eradication, family health, women’s empowerment, microfinance, and the arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange.

She also chairs the King Hussein Foundation (KHF) and King Hussein Foundation International (KHFI), founded in 1999 to sustain and build on King Hussein’s lifelong commitment to peace and sustainable development through programs that promote education and leadership, community development, governance and cross-cultural understanding in Jordan and the Middle East.

Queen Noor strongly advocates the economic empowerment of women, and has guided the success of Tamweelcom, NHF's microfinance institution (MFI) which has provided over 90,000 loans to small-scale, mainly women-owned businesses across Jordan, and was rated the tenth best performing MFI worldwide for 2007.

In Aqaba, Her Majesty directed the launch of the Micro-Enterprise Incubator in June to deliver technical assistance that will help increase the success of start-up businesses in Aqaba while reducing poverty and unemployment.

The NHF Institute for Family Health (IFH) enables families to lead healthy lives by providing comprehensive health care services ranging from medical, social and psychological counseling to legal advice. This year, under Her Majesty’s direction, IFH is leading a national team implementing a pioneering program to address gender-based violence and provide psycho-social services to marginalized communities in Jordan.

In July, Queen Noor opened the 28th Annual International Arab Children Congress which she founded to promote cross-cultural understanding through dialogue, gathering 150 teenagers from around the world to Amman to discuss access to quality education as a basic human right. The event is organized annually by KHF's National Center for Culture and Performing Arts.

Also in July, Her Majesty celebrated the 12th graduation of students from the Jubilee School, a KHF institution and Jordan’s first independent, co-educational secondary school for meritorious students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Over 1000 underpriviledged students from across the Kingdom have received scholarships to attend Jubilee School.

Queen Noor is an international humanitarian activist and an outspoken voice on issues of world peace and justice, committed to promoting Arab-Western relations and understanding of Arab and Muslim culture and politics.

Through KHFI, headquartered in the United States, Queen Noor awards the King Hussein Leadership Prize to individuals, groups or institutions that demonstrate inspiring and courageous leadership in their efforts to promote sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, equity and peace.

In 2007 and 2008, Her Majesty launched KHFI’s Media and Humanity Program during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City to annually support film and media projects that highlight shared values, rights and aspirations across social, economic, political and cultural divides with special emphasis on the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Her Majesty also launched Cinéma Vérité during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, a new international initiative to promote socially-conscious cinema, and co-founded The Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund, an unprecedented, not-for-profit initiative formed out of a dynamic partnership between private media, the United Nations, and global philanthropists to promote and support media content that enhances mutual understanding and respect among different societies and cultures.

Queen Noor is actively involved in a number of international organizations, including serving as President of the United World Colleges; Chair of the United Nations University International Leadership Academy; Trustee of the Aspen Institute, Refugees International, World Wildlife Fund International, and Conservation International; and Founding President and Honorary President Emeritus of BirdLife International.

Queen Noor has four children, Their Royal Highnesses Princes Hamzah and Hashem and Princesses Iman and Raiyah, and three grandchildren, Princesses Halaah bint Hashim, Haya bint Hamzah, and Raiyah bint Hashim.

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