Once a Refugee in Kenya, Ilhan Omar on Course to Make History as First Muslim-American Woman Elected to House of Reps


Ilhan Omar arrived in America as refugee. Her’s is the story of American dream: that if you work hard, abide by rules, America has a place for you irrespective of your background or where you came from.

True to the above, Ms. Omar, a Somali-American born in Mogadishu, would be, with presumptive nominee Rashida Tlaib (Michigan 13th District), the first Muslim woman to be elected to the House of Representatives

Ms Omar lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for four years, after fleeing Somalia before moving to the US in 1995. Ms Omar used to attend caucus meetings with her grandfather where she acted as his interpreter, which sparked her interest in the Democratic process.

“It was a free process and it wasn’t like the one he was exposed to,” she told The Guardian newspaper. “In America, you could be involved in a political party and you didn’t have to be a member of a specific class.”

But it hasn’t been easy. In 2014 a group of people held her down at a Minnesota party caucus and repeatedly hit her, giving her a concussion.

Now, she is returning to that same district as the Democratic candidate. Her chances are good, in the last two Presidential elections her district has tended towards the Democrats 26 points more than the national average.

We wish Ms Omar all the best.