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Ilhan Omar Becomes US First Somali Legislator

34-year-old Ilhan Omar has made history by becoming the first Somali legislator in the United States, the Somali-American woman becomes the highest-ranking Somali elected to office in the US after been elected to serve as an MP in the US state of Minnesota. The former refugee and Somali-born activist’s election comes just days after US President-elect Donald Trump accused Somali immigrants in Minnesota of "spreading their extremist views".

 

Celebrating her victory, Ms Omar said she would be the "voice for the marginalised" in the state parliament. "I think I bring the voice of young people. I think I bring the voice of women in the East African community. I bring the voice of Muslims. I bring the voice of young mothers looking for opportunities," she said.

 

Ms Omar escaped from Somalia with her family at the start of the civil war when she was eight years old and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years, before moving to the US and settling in a Somali-American neighbourhood in Minnesota. Standing for the DFL coalition, which is affiliated to the Democratic Party, Ms Omar won a seat to represent District 60B in the state legislature; she faced nominal opposition after her Republican opponent who had withdrawn from the race for family reasons.

 

During a primary in August she unseated one of the longest-serving members of the Minnesota legislature.

Photo Credit: 
answersafrica.com

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