Raiyah's mother, Queen Noor, was originally born Lisa Halby in Washington, D.C. in August 1951. Her life — and name — changed forever when she took a job working as a designer for the Jordanian national airline and was swept off her feet by King Hussein at a reception in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
She married the King on June 15, 1978, at the Zahran Palace in Amman.
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“I never felt American when I married,” she told PEOPLE after her return to the U.S. in 1980. “America was a place where I grew up, studied and developed a foundation for living. It’s not that I’m rejecting America, but I’ve always felt at home in Jordan. I felt from the start I belonged here. This is my country.”
“Nobody calls me ‘Lisa’ anymore,” she added. “I think of myself as ‘Noor.’”
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