Heart with Wings

Noorunissa Inayat-Khan

Noorunissa Inayat-Khan

Biography of Princess Noor-un-nissa

Noorunissa Inayat-Khan was born the 1st of January 1914 in Moscow, in those days when her Father Hazrat Inayat Khan and her Mother Pirani Amina Begum, together with her Father's brothers, were in Russia as guests of Serge Tolstoi, the son of Count Tolstoi.

Noorunissa was first raised in London, where her younger brothers and sister were born, and later in Paris, when the family moved to France in 1922, where Noorunissa first studied at the Lycee Pasteur in Neuily, and  where, in 1930, her musical career started at Ecole Normale de Paris as a Harpist.

As a young girl Noorunissa was tremendously gifted in Indian music, Indian dance, as well as writing poetry and composing little melodies. It was in 1927, after the passing of her Father that Noorunissa composed the Song to the dedication of her Father and where her profound grief is expressed with such a deeply moving melody in which she illustrates the depth of her broken heart.

In 1944, at the break of the Second World War, Noorunissa joined the British Air Force resistance group in England as a special relay officer, where she accomplished heroic exploits, and later, parachuted in France, was tragically caught by the Gestapo, and was transferred to Krakau in Germany. Noorunissa was imprisoned in chains before being transferred to the horror camp in Dachau where she was tortured and finally shot.

In 1946 Noorunissa was posthumously awarded with the George Cross by the King of England, as well as the Croix de Guerre by General de Gaulle in France. Her tragic memory has been brought to life in a Book called "Madeleine", which was her war name, besides also with three marble signs which bear her name: one in the museum of the Dachau Camp, another on the wall of the home where she lived in Suresnes between 1922 and 1940, and a third one indicating hre name of an elegant street in Suresnes which bears her name "Madeleine" (Noorunissa Inayat-Khan).

• The Noor Inayat-Khan Memorial Trust
Donate to the Noor Inayat-Khah Memorial Trust

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