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Daily Inspiration: Meet Hana Noka

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hana Noka.

Hi Hana, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a model, Award-winning actress, filmmaker, and author of Albanian descent. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, as the only child to Albanian parents. At the age of seven, I was scouted by an agent of Pars McCann Erickson for my first commercial in Turkey. At my early childhood years, I would spend hours posing in front of the mirror rather than playing with my Barbie dolls.

And that is when my career in front of the camera started. At the age of 15, I started to host a weekly TV show for teenagers called “TEEN” and for three years in a row, it was ranked as the number 1 show on RTK, the public TV in Kosovo. Despite my busy life as a child model and actress, I always took education very seriously. I graduated from Griffith College Dublin, in Ireland with BA (Honors) in Journalism and Visual Media. I’m fluent in several languages, including English, Albanian, Turkish, and Croatian. I moved to USA almost right after my studies and have been living in California for over five years.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Playing tennis was also one of my passions as a kid, a sport that I played professionally. My late father was coordinating the best coaches for me and he would be there, courtside all along cheering me on and monitoring my progress. During my early teenage years, my father was diagnosed with cancer and unfortunately passed away three years later. Losing him at that sensitive age marked my life in so many ways. I could never explain those feelings properly. My heart was beyond broken, the sun was not shinning the same way anymore, the laughter was not loud anymore and memories became my new best friend. That is when I stopped playing tennis. I couldn’t enter the court for so long, let alone play. I would constantly look around and I would see him, hear his voice… Even after 16 years now, the pain never left my heart, as the years passed by, I just learned how to live and cope with that. In all the segments of my life, while transitioning through changes, challenges and years, while facing pain or happiness – LOVE was and is the main constant that inspires me to live and work.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Recently I published my first book called ‘Besa Po’ about the untold story of Queen Teuta of Illyria. As an admirer of strong women in history, I was drawn to the stories of the Ancient Illyrian women. I felt compelled to tell the story of the great leader Queen Teuta who ruled Illyria, which encompassed the modern day nations of the Balkans from 231 BC to 227 BC. It is my hope that the story of Queen Teuta will inspire women around the world just as it has inspired me. ‘Besa Po’ has been Awarded by ‘Beverly Hills Book Awards 2020’ as a Winner of Historical Fiction category. I have dedicated this book to all the strong and unstoppable women out there. I eventually look forward to adapting the story of Queen Teuta to the big screen and inspire new generations. Also, right before Covid-19 changed our lives, I produced and starred in a short movie called ‘I, WOMAN.’ that has won multiple Awards and numerous Official Selections and Nominations in USA and Europe. ‘I, WOMAN.’ depicts the story of a strong and independent female character named Sarah, who in the face of adversity stands up for herself and deals with the situation on her terms. The role portrays a strong female character. For me, this is the most important topic on daily basis and most of my projects hold that signature.

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