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Queen Noor of Jordan signs her autobiography, 'Leap of Faith,' at the Penn Bookstore yesterday afternoon before speaking in Irvine Auditorium. [Abby Stanglin/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

An unparalleled crowd was on hand yesterday at the Penn Bookstore, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a guest whose reputation was equally unparalleled in the store's recent history.

Lines of people wove in and out of the aisles of the store, all hoping for the rare chance to meet Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.

As a prelude to her talk at Irvine Auditorium last night, Noor held a book signing at the Penn Bookstore yesterday afternoon, personally autographing copies of her autobiography, Leap of Faith, for members of the Penn, Drexel and greater West Philadelphia communities.

The book, which is a past New York Times bestseller, chronicles the queen's personal life, romantic relationship and humanitarian work, while weaving in an account of international affairs in the Middle East. It also provides insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Noor's unique Arab-American perspective.

This rare outlook on the conflict, through the eyes of an American of Arab descent, attracted many of those present yesterday.

Attendees said they were drawn to the event for a number of reasons, including the allure of meeting a member of royalty, the desire to commend the queen for her contributions to world peacekeeping and an interest to learn more about her humanitarian work.

"I came because I wanted to find out more about her," Engineering sophomore Saad Saadi said. "I know she did some great philanthropic things, so what better way to start learning about Queen Noor than by meeting her."

However, despite minor differences in their reasons for attending, all of the crowd members seemed to be attracted to the venerated reputation of the queen.

"Queen Noor is very dedicated to the welfare of her country and to helping kids," Drexel University student Monica Rael said. "Even though she wasn't born in Jordan, she has adopted the country and people of Jordan as her own, which is really touching."

And despite the standing room only crowd at the bookstore, most people felt that meeting such a respected member of the international community was well worth the wait.

"It's really exciting to meet her because I have family [in Jordan] and I can relate to her story," Rael said. "Her story and experience are very inspiring."

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