International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In conjunction with that, Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) would like to honour the women we’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout our journey in advancing the Islamic Tourism space in Malaysia. We’ve worked with many great women in our time, and though we can’t feature them all here, know that we support them wholeheartedly towards their professional and personal goals. 

To further inspire us all on this journey of life, we’ve invited some of these women to share their success stories with us. Here, they reveal the highs of their lives and what motivates them to keep going through tough times. We hope that this spotlight on the women we’ve worked with – and whom we have utmost respect for – will inspire us all on our journey forward!

For this IWD blog series, we’re excited to speak with Ms. Normah Sulaiman, Director of Islamic Outreach ABIM Centre and Masjid Tour Guide Programme. She is one of ITC’s most ardent supporters and always willing to share her knowledge, especially about the Mosque Tour Guide. We are delighted to have her on board, since we share the same goal of promoting Islamic Tourism and Mosque Tourism.

Normah Sulaiman
Director, Islamic Outreach ABIM Centre and Masjid Tour Guide Programme 

ITC: Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us a little bit about yourself – personal, family and business-wise?

Normah Sulaiman: I come from a family who love to do volunteer work for the community. We are exposed from a young age to help the poor surrounding our neighborhood. To help others is a continuous passion that runs in our blood. Volunteering is a special task that we are all proud to be until we meet our Creator.

ITC: What’s your most recent accomplishment in your personal life that you’ve been most proud of? Why was this achievement special to you?

Normah Sulaiman: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many activities had to be stopped, but we were able to utilise this new Virtual Reality Technology (VRT) which allowed us to continue with our normal tour guiding in the masjid, not physically but virtually with the visitors.  

With this, we can still reach out to people who want to visit our masjid through our VRT and we are still able to provide our services to others.

ITC: What’s your most recent accomplishment, career/business-wise, that you’ve been most proud of? Why was this achievement special to you?

Normah Sulaiman: After 20 years of running the programme, we have compiled our Islamic Outreach ABIM Centre-Masjid Tour Guide Programme (IOAC-MTGP) as a manual to share our experience in conducting mosque tours. It is for our next generation to enjoy and accomplish and we are ready to help others. We are leaving a legacy.

ITC: What are the values you hold on to that has helped you to be where you are today – values that have helped to see you through the good and bad times? 

Normah Sulaiman:  I think it’s always important to be forgiving, patient and to think positive all the time. Whatever happens, good or bad, everything comes from Allah, and there is always a blessing behind it. I am a Muslim and I live to be successful in this life and hereafter.  

ITC: What’s your project/ ambition/ goals that you wish to achieve next (personal and career/business-wise)?

Normah Sulaiman: We look forward to seeing the masjid as our stakeholders and IOAC-MTGP as a service provider. Insha Allah, we hope to have our own masjid. This masjid will have traditional architecture and design of the Malay and Islamic World. It will be a small masjid and can cater for the needs of any visitors especially those who want to know about Islam. With global exposure and promotion, we can welcome international travellers to this masjid. 

ITC: Could you share with us your experience of working with ITC and what you value about this relationship?

Normah Sulaiman: ITC has introduced the importance of masjid as one stop destination for tourism, and this has been a great support to the work that IOAC-MTGP does. We are grateful to ITC for acknowledging and supporting our IOAC-MTGP as part of the front liners and our contribution to Malaysia in the tourism sector.  We hope ITC and IOAC-MTGP will continue to work together to achieve the betterment of the tourism world.



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