It was a bittersweet memory as the Minnesota Democrat landed at the same Washington airport she arrived at as a refugee
“23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC. Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress. #Hope #Ilhan,” she tweeted.
In November 2018, Ilhan Omar was elected as the first Somali-American (and hijab-wearing) Congresswoman in the US.
Omar’s journey to become the US first Somali-American Muslim lawmaker began in a refugee camp in Kenya when her family was escaping Somalia’s brutal civil war.
23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 2, 2019
In 2016, Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, as a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member.
Omar’s father shared a similar message on Facebook.
Her message on twitter did not go unnoticed.
Driving to DC for your swearing in @IlhanMN! See this tweet and reading to my husband made me choke up and both our eyes swelled with tears! So proud of you and our community achievements! #hope #Ilhan https://t.co/VaBG3HZ2Nv
— Dr.Debbie Almontaser (@DebbiAlmontaser) January 2, 2019
— Jim Himes (@jahimes) January 3, 2019
two days ago, a hijab-wearing Muslim woman told me that Ilhan Omar’s election was what gave her hope in 2018. the symbolism isn’t everything, but it matters — to so many people. https://t.co/Ycvn501O0o
— مريم (@MaryamSaleh) January 3, 2019
Assuming control of the House of Representatives on Thursday, Democrats will change the ban on head coverings to one that excludes only “non-religious” headwear.
The rule change will allow Omar to wear the hijab, a practice of her Islamic faith, while she is on the House floor to either vote or make speeches.