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Queen Noor Honoured by UniS

2 April 2004

Queen Noor of Jordan Honoured by University of Surrey

Today, Friday 2 April, the University of Surrey conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of the University on Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. This, the first honorary degree the Queen has received from a UK university, was bestowed on her by HRH the Duke of Kent KG, Chancellor of the University of Surrey.

Queen Noor, amongst her many other interests and commitments, is currently President of the United World Colleges Movement. Its aim is to develop in young people, through international education, experience and community service, ideals of peace, tolerance, justice and international understanding. This week the University is pleased to announce the establishment of a scholarship programme to enable a selected student from Atlantic College (the first of the ten United World Colleges) to study at Surrey on any of the undergraduate programmes.

Queen Noor also supports the University of Surrey and Queen Mary Hospital, Roehampton’s, Osseointegration Research Programme, whose new technology will benefit lower limb amputees in the near future. Her Majesty has a deep and motivated concern and involvement, both nationally and internationally, in humanitarian and environmental issues.

She has worked extensively in many problem areas, including women’s and children’s welfare, community development, human rights, drug abuse, care of refugees and urban planning.

A photograph of Queen Noor in her ceremonial robes is available from the Press Office.

Media enquiries: Liezel Tipper, Press Officer at the University of Surrey, Tel: 01483 689314 or E-mail:

Notes to Editors:

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 110 companies employing 2,700 staff.

Since 1997, the University of Surrey has held its place at the top of The Sunday Times league tables as the UK University which is 'top for jobs'.

Atlantic College is located at Llantwit Major, South Glamorgan, South Wales . It is an International VIth Form College founded in 1962, by Kurt Hahn and others. The College was a practical response to the search for new and peaceful solutions to a world riven by political, racial and economic divisions. Through international education, shared experience and community service, the College enables young people to become responsible citizens, politically and environmentally aware, committed to the ideals of peace, justice, understanding and co-operation, and to the implementation of these ideals through action and personal example. More than 300 students from many backgrounds are drawn together from some 70 countries to live, study and explore the concepts of international understanding and active service to others. Respect and understanding of diverse cultures motivates the academic and social life of the College. Atlantic College is the first of ten such Colleges now found in ten different countries on five continents.

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan was born Lisa Najeeb Halaby on 23 August 1951, to an Arab-American family distinguished for its public service. She attended schools in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Concord Academy in Massachusetts, before entering Princeton University in its first co-educational freshman class. After receiving a B.A. in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University in 1974, Queen Noor worked on international urban planning and design projects in Australia, Iran, the United States, and Jordan from where she travelled throughout the Arab World to research aviation training facilities. Subsequently, she joined ‘Royal Jordanian’ airline as Director of Planning and Design Projects.

Their Majesties, King Hussein and Queen Noor, were married on 15 June 1978. They have two sons: HRH Prince Hamzah (born 29 March 1980), and HRH Prince Hashim (born 10 June 1981), and two daughters: HRH Princess Iman (born 24 April 1983), and HRH Princess Raiyah (born 9 February 1986). Their family also included the children of His Majesty’s previous marriage: Ms. Abir Muheisen, HRH Princess Haya, and HRH Prince Ali.

Since 1978, Queen Noor has initiated, directed, and sponsored projects and activities in Jordan to address specific national development needs in the areas of education, culture, women and children’s welfare, human rights, conflict resolution, community development, environmental and architectural conservation, public architecture, and urban planning. She is also actively involved with international and UN organisations that address global challenges in these fields. Queen Noor has played a major role in promoting international exchange and understanding of Middle Eastern politics, Arab-Western relations, and humanitarian and conflict prevention, and recovery issues throughout the world, such as youth drug abuse, refugees, and disarmament.