Nora grew up between Egypt and Pennsylvania. With a BA from Tufts University in International Relations, coupled with her studies in Spain, Morocco, and the Czech Republic, her interest in the interactions between humans, culture, identity, and the built environment was enhanced. In Egypt, she worked on various research projects related to human development. She led a service-learning course to engage students in building relationships across socio-economic divides with communities of greater Cairo. Nora returned to the US in 2013 to pursue a Masters at Parsons School of Design in Theories of Urban Practice, focusing her research on the intersections of public education and urban revitalization.