Ilhan Omar: Somali-American Muslim woman heading to US Congress

She was born in Somalia, she fled with her family to Kenya at the height of the civil war back home – officially, she was a refugee.

Then an opportunity came and she got to travel to the United States, studies, work and then public service. Specifically legislative politics in Minnesota.

She won a House of Representatives seat in the area and after one term decided to make a shot for Congress. Today Ilhan Omar has been duly elected and is heading into the UN Congress with a number of firsts.

“I stand before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name,” she told supporters after she was declared winner at the midterm elections. So what are Ilhan’s firsts:

1 – She is the first woman of colour to win a seat in the US Congress.

2 – The first woman to wear hijab into the Congress

3 – The first refugee ever elected to the Congress

4 – One of the first Muslim women elected into Congress

She stressed her promise of protecting migrants, refugees and other vulnerable groups adding: “I will always have your back.” The AlJazeera video below summarises Ilhan’s story.


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