PC queen

Dec 26, 2001 at 12:00 am

News Hits promises to get back to our adios to Archer. But we would be remiss in not giving Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan her due. After all, she still reigns and Archer is on his way out the door.

Noor spoke at the annual dinner for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee last week in Livonia. The queen, who was born and educated in America before marrying the king of Jordan, talked to the mostly Arab-American crowd about peace, unity and standing up for their civil rights. But before she could encourage the crowd of more than 1,500 to stand up for their rights, she had to stand up for her own.

Dr. Ziad Asali, who introduced the queen, said, “I cannot believe what a decent person is inside this beautiful figure.” As the room laughed nervously, Asali told the queen, who is, indeed, quite beautiful, that despite how it may have sounded, he meant this as a compliment. A few people nearby assured News Hits that he didn’t mean to offend her.

Well, that isn’t how the queen saw it and she let Asali know. As she took the podium, the queen said, “For the last 25 years, this introduction is one of the stereotypes that I have had to fight.”

Despite the uncomfortable moment, the queen’s speech was inspiring and well-received. She said that Arab-Americans play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the Middle East and America, and must stand up to educate family and friends in both countries.

“We must speak out against those who promote a clash of cultures. Ours must be a voice of reason … of solidarity, and of hope.” Long live the queen.

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]