USA Elects First Somali-American Refugee Muslim Woman


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Ilhan Omar makes history as USA’s first Somali-American legislator after winning the elections to become a State Representative in Minnesota

She is also the first Muslim woman in the nation to hold an office at this level. Ilhan, her husband and three children live in the West Bank neighborhood of District 60B.

The Somali-American former refugee fled Somalia during the country’s civil war and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp before going  to the U.S. as a twelve year-old




According to NBC Ilhan is committed to LGBT rights, women’s reproductive care, and environmental protection, but the issues she is quick to prioritize are ones that particularly affect her district, like criminal justice reform, higher education reform, and closing the economic gap.

Omar is also the director of policy at Women Organizing Women Network, an organization dedicated to pushing East African women in to positions of civic leadership.

“Tonight is the culmination of more than a year of hard work. I am so proud of this win because District 60B represents Minnesota at its finest. My neighbors, and everyone here in this room, represent what we as a nation want to be: united in our diversity,” said Ilhan. “Long time residents, East African immigrants and students — we came together and engaged in the political progress. We talked about the issues that concern us and we connected on the future we want to create.”


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