Muhammad Noor is a leading Rohingya Visionary and Activist Founder of Rohingya Project, Rohingya Vision, Rohingya Unicode and Rohingya Football Club


Malaysia has become one of the most popular destinations for the Rohingya people driven from their homelands in Myanmar. They are often smuggled into Kuala Lumpur, where they arrive with hopes as high as the megacity’s glass-and-steel towers. Muhammad Noor knows all too well the bill of goods human traffickers have sold his brethren. They are told that the United Nations will resettle them in the United States or Europe and that while in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia, they will be welcomed. “But,” Noor says, “the reality is quite different.”

Noor is one of the fortunate ones. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia after his family fled the Burmese state of Rakhine in the 1970s, he came to Malaysia 18 years ago and earned a degree in information technology as a systems analyst. His vocation now is to minister to the 150,000 Rohingya in Malaysia — and the millions beyond, who have been expelled from western Myanmar by government-backed forces. He’s building a network and preserving a cultural identity for what he calls a “forgotten people,” through digital innovation and old-fashioned broadcasting. With this week’s national elections marking a potential turning point in how Malaysia treats its refugees, Noor is focused not on politicking, but on giving his people a voice.

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