Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim lawmaker continues to make waves in the United States after her historic win at the polls last November.
In her latest feat, she is on the cover of the TIME magazine for a special edition celebrating women who have chalked ‘Firsts’ in their respective fields.
The particular edition titled ‘FIRSTS: WOMEN WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD’ celebrates a total of 46 women. The magazine wrote about her as follows: ‘Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American Muslim person to become a legislator.’
“My family called me the “why kid” growing up. I always needed to know why something is happening, why I had to do something, why whatever. I still am that way. I constantly question myself, I question those around me, I question policy and reasoning behind everything,” she told the magazine in an interview that recalled her days in Somalia till date.
She is listed among other illustrious female achievers like Melinda Gates – wife of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey – African American media mogul, tennis queen Serena Williams, the U.N. envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and former first lady and secretary of state of the U.S. Hillary Clinton.
The 35-year-old made history when she was voted the first Somali-American legislator in November 2016. She was subsequently sworn into office as a Member of the House of Representatives to serve the people of Minnesota.
She is a policy analyst, coalition builder and community educator. She left Somalia due to the civil war at the age of 8. She stayed in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years before ending up in the US. Her twitter bio describes her as ‘‘Intersectional feminist, mom’‘ and legislator.
She stood on the ticket of the Democratic Farmer Labour (DFL) – affiliated to the Democratic Party, in Minneapolis District, defeating the Republican opposition.
As a lawmaker in the Minnesota House of Representative for District 60B, her legislative area comprises parts of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, south-east Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.