World leaders rush to pay tribute to King Hussein, but his widow, Queen Noor, deserves much of the credit for Jordan’s transformation from police state to cradle of political freedom.
BY GERALDINE BROOKS
The obituaries were praising him even before he died: King Hussein, the Arableader who made a modern nation from an impoverished patch of desert, whoturned a warrior’s bravery into the courage of a peacemaker.
It isn’t so surprising that these emotive eulogies have poured from thepens of usually hard-bitten journalists. The king was an unfailinglycourteous man — accessible, open and direct in a region whose leaders typically are secretive, remote and dishonest.
But most of these tributes breezed over the one remarkable thing hedid that may have influenced the style of modern Jordan more than any otherpeacetime decision.