Somali-Born Woman Becomes First Refugee and Somali-American Elected to Congress

Must Read

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former...

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken...



Former Somali refugee and Minnesota state lawmaker Ilhan Omar has made history becoming the first Somali American to be elected in Congress. Omar also became the first Muslim congresswoman, along with Rashida Tlaib. Omar was favoured to take a seat in Congress after winning her Democratic primary in a heavily left-leaning Minnesota voting district.

Somali-Born Woman Becomes First Refugee and Somali-American Elected to Congress

Omar defeated Republican Jennifer Zielinski, and she will replace Keith Ellison (who is himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress) in congress.

Omar, who came to the US as a refugee, has championed left-leaning policies, including Medicare for all, a US$15 minimum wage and abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ilhan Omar | Background

Somali-Born Woman Becomes First Refugee and Somali-American Elected to Congress

“I’m Muslim and black,” the hijab-wearing Omar said in a recent magazine interview.

“I decided to run because I was one of many people I knew who really wanted to demonstrate what representative democracies are supposed to be,” she said.

Omar fled Somalia’s civil war with her parents at the age of eight and spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya.

Her family settled in Minnesota in 1997, where there is a sizable Somali population.

She won a seat in the state’s legislature in 2016, becoming the first Somali-American lawmaker in the country.

Before that, she had worked as a community organizer, a policy wonk for city leaders in Minneapolis, and as a leader in her local chapter of the NAACP — the African-American civil rights group.

She decided to run for Congress after Ellison, who is also black, decided to give up his seat after 12 years in Congress to run for attorney general of Minnesota.

Related:   Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Omar has forged a progressive political identity. She supports free college education, housing for all, and criminal justice reform.

She opposes Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, supports a universal health care system, and wants to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has conducted deportation raids.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former...

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken Amharic language as a full...

TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

Tony Elumelu, is among four Nigerians named by the Time Magazine International in their 2020 list of 100 most influential people in the world...

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell Wins UK’s Top Prize For Science Fiction

Zambia's Namwali Serpell has won the UK’s top prize for science fiction, the Arthur C Clarke award, for her first novel "The Old Drift". The...

More Articles Like This