Up to the age of eleven years old, Noor had been moving from one refugee camp to another in Kenya. Originally from Somalia, his family had immigrated to many cities but was finally surprised with a new place to call home. They won a trip to settle in their new home, Chicago. This was an infamous prize in one of the refugee camps he resided in and only one family a year would get the chance to have such an opportunity. Today, twelve years later, Chicago is lucky enough to still call him one of their own.

Along with Noor came his large family. Soon there will be sixteen of them including him, his siblings, parents and his parent’s new baby on the way. Many of us may wonder how it is even possible to keep count of all those people under a roof. How does someone not get left behind? However, Noor doesn’t look at the size of his family from that perspective. He certainly doesn’t look at them as numbers either. He see’s this as sixteen blessings that he will always take care of.

That’s one of the biggest reasons I found Noor enticing. Here is this 23 year old about to finish undergrad at NIU and he is willing to help take care of all sixteen members of his family. Most young adults his age are itching to get out and be on their own. Instead, Noor is proud of being independent but also proud of helping out with whatever he can. It is not a chore but a joy. I can’t help but feel like that’s the way it should be if you have a healthy relationship with your family.

Aside from his care for his family, Noor is passionate about fitness. In the future, he wants to open up a gym and be a personal trainer. He wants to give everyone, especially student’s, access to more opportunities after school. Playing soccer for half of his life inspired this idea. Many of his classmates during high school didn’t have the opportunity to do anything after school. In turn, by opening up a gym he can extend these types of chances to people like his former classmates that really needed it.

Overall, Noor is a positive human with limitless dreams of traveling the world, one day paying for his parents expenses to visit Mecca, opening up a gym, and ultimately being happy. But if you were to ask me, Noor already illuminates so much of what we all aspire to be. He illuminates love and Chicago is lucky enough to have him.


If there is anything I learned from Noor, it’s to not hate others. It takes up to much time for yourself. Take things a day at a time, take care of each other, and lets reflect but also move forward.