Dadaab Camp refugee elected American Legislator


Although the United States of America did not choose its first female president, Ilhan Omar made history becoming the first Muslim woman of Somali origin to be elected to Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

At just 33 years old, Ilhan Omar’s story started at the Dadaab Refugee Camp here in Kenya where she is reported to have lived from the age of 8 after escaping the civil war in Somalia.

Ilhan then later moved to the U.S. at the age 12, settling in Minneapolis Ceader- Riverside area.

Ilhan,a political science degree holder, was up until her election, actively involved in community work.

Under her women organizing women network, she helps empower and propel East African women living in the U.S. into civic leadership roles.

Ilhan is a mother of three and faced resistance after many questioned her marital status in the run up to the polls.

She, however, defied the odds arguing that her personal life had no bearing in her quest to represent the people.

Ilhan vied for the seat on a Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party against another Muslim Mohammed Noor who is a prominent Somali American and Phyllis Kahn, the longest serving member representative

Ilhan Omar will now represent Minnesota’s District 60B.

Reporting by Saida Swaleh

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