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RECOMMENDED READING 
  • Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor. Born in 1951 to a distinguished Arab-American family, at age 27 Lisa Najeeb Halaby became the fourth wife of King Hussein, Jordan's monarch and the spiritual leader of all Muslims. This moving memoir provides a timely look at one woman's story against a backdrop of 30 turbulent years: the displacement of over 1 million Palestinians by the creation of Israel, King Hussein's frustrated efforts for peace, and the effect of Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War on Jordan and the royal family. Queen Noor offers intimate new glimpses of King Hussein, Saddam Hussein, Queen Elizabeth, Arafat, and many other world leaders.
  • Jordan Handbook: Petra - Wadi Rum - Dead Sea by Jessica Lee. From the shimmering blue blaze of world's saltiest lake to the soft rose hues of Petra's mighty Treasury, this concise book will show you the best of Jordan without weighing you down. Jordan is an enticing, curious mix of new and old. From the glass-and-steel high rises of Amman to the goat hair tents of the Bedouin in Wadi Rum, this tiny country also abounds in ancient ruins with Petra being undisputedly the jewel in Jordan's crown; a vast site of pink-tinged façades hewn into craggy rock faces.
  • Petra: City in Stone by T.L. Higley. In this gripping historical novel, Petra, the wondrous ancient city carved from the mountains of modern Jordan, is at the height of its glory. A young widow, Cassia, and her son, Alexander, have arrived there seeking protection with her late husband's estranged family. But when Cassia discovers the man she married was heir to the throne, the power-hungry Queen Hagiru plots to murder Alexander so that her own child will someday rule. The queen, priestess of the sun-god, Dushrat, calls on demonic powers in her quest, but Cassia is prepared for the fierce spiritual battle to save her son, joining a Roman named Julian and his community of believers in the Jewish Messiah.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING 
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean. The award winning and crowned with 7 Oscars, including the best picture, this epic historical drama by was mostly filmed in Wadi Rum. The classic movie depicts Lawrence's experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council and in the revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Its themes include Lawrence's emotional struggles with the personal violence inherent in war, his own identity, and his divided allegiance between his native Britain and its army and his new-found comrades within the Arabian desert tribes. The film is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema.

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