About Norani Abu Bakar

A Malaysian, Norani Abu Bakar is currently a Post Graduate Fellow at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture (YCFC) and her research work focuses on “Faith, Society, and Leadership.” She is also the Asia Director for Pathways For Mutual Respect (PFMR), a non-profitable organization which vision is to forge mutual respect in diversified communities.

Norani did her Masters of Arts in Religion at the Yale University, and took many courses related to reconciliation, religious conflict, and faith and globalization. During her studies, she founded the International Students Fellowship and was very engaged in fostering close relationships among the international students.

Her passion in engaging diversified community does not stop at Yale. Norani was selected to attend the Yale and Al-Azhar University Spring semester program in Cairo, and was among the ten Yale graduate students that were invited by Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former Director General of Saudi Arabia’s Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah (the Saudi’s highest intelligence office) to participate in cross-cultural exchange and experience in Riyadh.

Discussing gender issues with representatives from King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.

Norani also holds MBA in Asian Studies and BSc. Chemical Engineering, specializing in Conventional and Nuclear Power Plant Engineering. She was a Senior Process Engineer and a Process Engineering Project Team Leader at Siemens Power Generation, Germany and Malaysia.

Interestingly, after years of working as an engineer and a specialist in water steam cycle for Combined Cycle Power Plant, Norani bench-marked the home décor market scene in Shanghai by establishing the first Southeast Asian Life Style store (Asian Touch) there in 2000.

Five years later, she used her Asian Touch company to found Home Sweet Home (HSH) – an organization that runs a holistic intervention program for the homeless and differently-able orphans who were homeless or grew up in orphanages in China.

Tenants of  House of Love (HSH) in 2007

HSH send-off dinner for Norani before leaving for study at Yale in 2009

Home Sweet Home has served thousands of the shelter-less and above aged orphans, and draws partners and volunteers worldwide. Norani was not only the executive director but also the mother to the special people there. In December 2008 she was featured in BBC World News, and a year before, HSH was awarded charity of the year by the Expatriate Professional Women Society (EPWS) in Shanghai.

Her commitment to love and to care for the marginalized, and her experience in community project development had given her the opportunities to serve the marginalized in other places in China. She worked closely with the China government authority to establish new projects in difficult areas.

Norani hanging-out with Tajiks children at their home

Presenting a community project model for a Kergiz community to the local authority in Northwest China

Norani has traveled to almost 30 countries and lived in Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Thailand, China, USA, and Singapore. She loves people, and is passionate about culture and faith. In her quiet time, she enjoys reading, writing, decorating, cooking, watching movies, and cycling.

25 thoughts on “About Norani Abu Bakar

  1. maryhpich says:

    I am delighted to know Norani and appreciate her life and all that she does. She is a real friend to so many people and an inspiration to all who know her.

  2. […] An invitation from Norani Abu Bakar […]

  3. Hafiz Ismail says:

    Keep up the good work Ms Norani.
    I, too, kinda wish we’ve learned Ibn Ishaq’s work while at school.
    Unfortunately we’ll have to take the political route to get things to change (and that’s why I’m betting on the more progressive elements in PAS eg Khalid Samad).

  4. Happy to know that Malaysian like her exist after seeing all the nonsense of the religious bigots or Humpuns showing off their superiority. Maybe there is still hope for Malaysia.

    Thank God

  5. Lin says:

    Noraini…it has been long time. happy to read your articles. keep up the good works. 😉

    Lin and Ben in Hong Kong

  6. Peter Tan says:

    Dear Noraini,
    Good to see the wonderful work you are doing…

  7. Kathy says:

    I am here because I just read your article. It is time to bring all this home to our shores.

    • It will be wonderful to have Home Sweet Home in other parts of the world. I am sure there are many already similar projects else where.

      The Home Sweet Home people in Shanghai are my heroes and heroins, and I am sure they would love to encourage others who are in search of hope in other countries.

  8. kim says:

    My dearest Ani, It’s you! Someone down-loaded your article on Freedom of Faith for me, I enjoyed it & wrote an email to you but was advised by post-master that the given email address is blocked permanently! So I decided to visit your blog to verify if it’s you & viola! it is. I’m extremely happy to reconnect. Keep up the good work! Proud of you!

  9. Lrong says:

    Greetings from Japan… I am very impressed with the path you (have taken and) are taking… keep up the excellent work!

  10. Ruby says:

    Hi Norani, I am so glad to have found you here. All is well with us. I’m so proud of you. With all our love, Ruby and Christopher (Klausner) from Manila

  11. Herbert schaetzler says:

    Dear Norani,
    I wish you a peacefull christmas and a happy new year.
    I remember you as the best chemical engineer of Malaysia and Germany
    best regards
    Herbert Schaetzler

    • Dear Mr. Schaetzler,

      What a pleasant surprise! I never thought I will ever communicate with one of the most experienced Chemical engineers who coached me on my very first day working at Siemens power plant site! Paka Water Treatment was the best commissioning time I ever had…. I always laughed remembering all the things that went wrong … but we made it!

      I do miss my engineering life. But, I have other important things to do now. Perhaps, more fun than commissioning!

      Till now. Wishing you a wonderful year and joyful Christmas.

      Warmest Regards,

  12. Jasmin Foo says:

    Hello Noraini,
    It’s been a very long time. Shanghai in 2002. From Asian Touch days. Greetings to you from Sao Paulo! Good to know that you are keeping well. Happy New Year!


  13. Jasmin Foo says:

    Apa khabar? Been such a long time. 2002 was it? Shanghai days. Good to know that you are keeping well. Greetings and new year wishes from São Paulo! Keep up the good work.

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