"Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life" (Miramax, 2003), the autobiography of Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan, has been on The New York Times Best-Seller List for six weeks now.
While the leaders of nations eulogized King Hussein for his statesmanship and advocacy of peace, one Los Angeles couple remembered the Jordanian monarch for his human and social touch.
Israel mourned King Hussein this week as one of its own. The government ordered flags flown at half-mast on all public buildings.
It was my privilege to know His Majesty King Hussein in connection with our work, but more so, to know him personally as a human being.
Even the weather suggested mourning; at the Jordanian Embassy in northwest Washington, a cold drizzle turned the adjacent construction sites into mud holes, and a large portrait of King Hussein, who died on Sunday, was streaked with rain.
There were 20 of us, members of Americans for Peace Now. who had come to meet with the king.
At the height of the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was rushing all available combat troops to the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, an Israeli official was asked who was defending the eastern border. "King Hussein," he replied, "as usual."
When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that not only he, but all of Israel, was praying for Jordanian King Hussein's recovery from lymph cancer, Netanyahu might have been exaggerating for effect -- but not by much.