Shrewsbury educator Noor Ali wants to be a place of warm sunlight for others


Photo / Courtesy of Noor Ali
Noor Ali is currently the Rector of Al-Hamra Academy in Shrewsbury.

From Peg Lopata, Contributing Author

SHREWSBURY – At 41, Noor Ali achieved a lot – and she will do more. Her leading philosophy of life does not give up.

“I always push my limits to ask what more and what else can be done?” She said. “I want to be like my father was for me, a patch of warm sunlight in life.”


Ali has lived in Shrewsbury for nine years and is originally from Lahore, Pakistan. She came to the United States to study. Ali has three children, ages 18, 15, and 2, a PhD in Education from Northeastern University and a Masters in English Literature. She has 16 years of teaching experience and is currently the director of Al-Hamra Academy, an Islamic private day school for preschool through middle school students in Shrewsbury.

But Ali is not just a scholar and educator. She enjoys nature, takes photos, reads, does yoga, works in the garden and writes.

“I also enjoy just sitting on the couch and drinking tea,” said Ali. “I like to watch cooking shows without trying the recipes.”

About inclusion and more

Ali attaches great importance to inclusion. She has a Masters degree in Inclusive Education, has thought a lot about the effects Islamaphobia has on young people, and is part of the Shrewsbury Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce.

“I really appreciate the mindful work Shrewsbury is doing as a city for diversity, equity and inclusion,” she said.

Many are familiar with her work for education and social justice, especially the experiences of marginalized students, but there are other concerns that are close to Ali.

“I’m passionate about working in the infant intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital, University of Massachusetts, Worcester,” she said.

Ali spent a lot of time at UMass as her daughter, who was born two months early, was a patient there. Meanwhile, her son’s experiences made her an advocate for people with dyslexia. She is also involved in local efforts against hunger.

Ali, the educator

Ali never thought that she would become a teacher or headmaster – she studied literature and world history.

Today she teaches not only headmistress, but also graduate courses in research and education at Arizona State University and Worcester State University. But she is still a literature lover and prolific writer. Some of her new releases for this year include a book called Critical Storytelling: Counter-Narratives of Muslim American Females and a chapter that talks about her experience of having three children in three different countries, Pakistan, the United States and Malaysia. was inspired.

Aside from the accomplishments, one of the main things Ali tries to do is to be caring.

“Empathy always comes first,” she said.

For Ali, if we are empathetic, this sunspot seems warmest.


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