LIC immigrant blinded in attack stars in documentary

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A blind Long Island City woman from Afghanistan who runs in the New York City Marathon every year is the subject of a new documentary film that will open at Manhattan’s Anthology Film Archives this weekend.

Nooria Nodrat, who graduated last week from Brooklyn’s New York City College of Technology, immigrated to the United States in 1991 after her husband was killed in a Kabul terrorist bombing and her brother was kidnapped by fanatics. She later brought her two children to the city, where she had relocated.

But Nodrat was blinded in 1997 after being repeatedly punched in the head by a mentally disturbed teenager on a subway and eventually had both of her eyes removed.

Nodrat, who lives in Long Island City and previously attended City College, is the subject of director David Cho’s 50−minute documentary “New York Nooria,” which will premiere at 7:15 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Anthology Film Archives at 32 Second Ave. in Manhattan.

“I strongly believe my life could make a difference in other people’s lives and give them power and inspiration,” Nodrat said. “I hope it helps them to change. That would be an honor for me.”

Nodrat said she began working with Cho on the film two years ago. She said she took part in interviews at her Queens home as well as at City Tech and during various activities in which she takes part, such as running and volunteer work.

Nodrat has run in the New York City Marathon for the past three years and plans to run again in 2009. She said she also runs in a shorter marathon to raise money for cancer in Central Park.

She graduated from City Tech late last month and now will work toward a master’s degree and a doctorate in psychology. Nodrat said she is preparing to take the Graduate Record Examination and hopes to attend graduate school at the City University of New York or City College.

She said she is also in the process of setting up a fund for the blind in her home country.

“I’m planning to do a foundation for blind women and children in Afghanistan,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to start it in 2009.”

She said she is currently setting up the fund with an attorney.

In the meantime, Nodrat volunteers at the city’s Catholic and Jewish guilds for the blind.

Tickets for “New York Nooria,” screening as part of the Anthology Film Archives’ New Filmmakers program, can be purchased at the theater’s box office.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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