18 SEPTEMBER 2003
Queen Noor of Jordan was warmly received in Madrid this week as she presented her new book, Leap Of Faith: Memoirs Of An Unexpected Life.
In the book she reveals the details of her life with King Hussein, from their first chance meeting in 1976 until his death from cancer many years later.
The work also tells of her experiences as an American woman adjusting to life in the Middle East. And light is cast on some of the region's key political players, including Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein, as the king tries to broker peace.
The queen, 52, has been taking an increasingly high-profile role in international affairs in recent years. Hailing from a prominent Arab-American family, she was educated at Princeton University, before marrying King Hussein in 1978.
Since then, she has used her position to promote women's rights and the work of the United Nations. She is also head of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, which campaigns to improve living conditions for the people of her country.