Former Refugee in Kenya Becomes America’s First Somali-American Muslim Woman Legislator
A former refugee has made history in the US becoming the first Somali-American Muslim woman to win a state House race.
Ilhan Omar, 34, who fled war-torn Somalia as a child, claimed a commanding victory in the Minnesota contest.
Ms Omar came to the US aged 12 after fleeing the Somali civil war and spending four years living in a Kenyan refugee camp.
She moved to Minneapolis speaking little English.
Her win came on a day when Donald Trump – who has called for an outright ban on Muslims entering the US – swept to victory in the Presidental election.
Ms Omar, told the local paper StarTribune after her win: “It’s the beginning of something new. This district has a legacy of making history.
“I am excited for our progressive values and to be able to be on the ground at the Capitol representing the diverse people of my district and being a champion with them and for them.”
Ms Omar said she hoped her victory would continue to break down barriers: “Throughout this campaign those divisions have started to melt away.
“People are starting to see themselves as part of a community.”
Her victory will be seen as a comfort for those disappointed that 2016 will not be the year a woman becomes US President for the first time.
Donald Trump has been named the next President of the United States in a dramatic shock that pollsters and commentators failed to predict.
– Evening Standard