Refugee Week

Noor Azizah

Noor was born in 1995 in Myanmar, the youngest of five siblings.  As a Rohingyan, she was born stateless, and life was very difficult for her family. When she was still a baby, her parents decided to leave the country to try and get a better life for their five children. Being stateless, their situation was extremely difficult, and they lived homeless and hungry for years in Malaysia. Her father sought asylum through the UNHCR and the family were finally relocated to Australia when Noor was 9 years old. It was hard building a life in a new country- her Mum had never been to school and suddenly had to learn a new language. Noor remembers starting school and not understanding anything that was going on. She says that coming to grips with her own identity, as someone whose life had crossed three cultures, was also a challenge.

Noor learnt English, finished school and went on to train as a teacher.  Passionate about the power of education, she was motivated to teach by a desire to educate refugee women like herself. She now teaches at year 3 level in Sydney and is applying to teach refugee women in camps in Bangladesh. At her current school, 98% of the kids speak English as a secondary language.  She remembers what that was like and sympathises with them.  She’s thinking about training up in law in the future, to work in women’s and refugee rights. She says, “I want to be able to help refugee women break the poverty cycle through leadership and educational opportunities.” In her spare time, she describes herself as a ‘foodie’ and runs a food blog with her brother and two best friends.

You can catch Noor cooking her delicious Rohingyan beef curry as part of SBS Food’s Refugee Week video series.  Cook a delicious meal for your friends and family and raise money for a good cause by getting involved in our Share a Meal, Share a Story project.

Refugee Week Ambassadors are individuals from a refugee background who advocate for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. The stories below are about people based in Australia, who have come from all over the world.  Learn more about the Refugee Week Ambassadors here.

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