Ilhan Omar Biography
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Ilhan Abdullahi Omar
Born Country: Somalia
Born in: Mogadishu
Famous as: U.S. Representative
Spouse/Ex-: Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (m. 2018), 2nd m. 2018), Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (m. 2002 - div. 2008), Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (m. 2009 - div. 2011)
father: Nur Omar Mohamed
children: Isra Hirsi
City: Mogadishu, Somalia
education: North Dakota State University (2011), Edison High School
Ilhan Omar is a Somali-American politician who was elected the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district in 2019. With this win, she became the first Somali-American elected to the U.S. Congress, the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota, and one of the first Muslim women elected to the Congress alongside former Michigan state representative Rashida Tlaib. She was previously elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) Party ticket. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she has advocated for a living wage, affordable housing and healthcare. She vehemently criticizes the immigration policies of the Trump administration and is a vocal supporter of the protection of DACA children.
- Youngest of seven siblings, Ilhan Abdullahi Omar was born on October 4, 1982, in Mogadishu, Somalia, to teacher-trainer Nur Omar Mohamed. She was raised in Baidoa by her father and grandfather after her mother, Fadhuma Abukar Haji Hussein, a Benadiri, died when she was two.
- When she was eight, her family fled from civil war-torn Somalia and took refuge in a Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County, Kenya for four years before arriving in New York in 1992. They secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995 and eventually settled in Minneapolis, where her father drove taxi for some time before getting a job at the post office.
- Ilhan Omar, who became a U.S. citizen in 2000, studied at Edison High School, where she volunteered as a student organizer. She earned her bachelor's degrees in political science and international studies from North Dakota State University in 2011 and was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
- Ilhan Omar became a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota in 2006, and worked in the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area until 2009. She later served as a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education in 2012-13.
- Her initial political exposure happened as the campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic's reelection for the Minnesota State Senate in 2012. The next year, she managed Andrew Johnson's successful campaign for Minneapolis City Council, and then served as his Senior Policy Aide in 2013-15.
- In 2016, Ilhan Omar ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives from the DFL Party in District 60B, where she lived for the past two decades. In August 2016, she won the DFL primary, and her Republican opponent Abdimalik Askar withdrew his candidacy, paving the way for her to become the first Somali American legislator in the United States.
- After assuming office on January 3, 2017, she also served as an Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL caucus. She has been credited for authoring and co-authoring at least 266 bills during the 2017-2018 legislative session.
- Ilhan Omar ran for the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota's 5th congressional district from DFL party in 2018, and defeated Republican opponent Jennifer Zielinski in the November 6, 2018 general election securing 78% votes. She took oath on a copy of the Quran owned by her grandfather and became the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor after the ban on head coverings was modified.
- Ilhan Omar was one of the targets of "long time White Nationalist" and United States Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson, who was arrested by the FBI in February 2019. That month, the FBI also investigated "Assassinate Ilhan Omar" graffiti in a Rogers, Minnesota Holiday gas station restroom, following which Patrick Carlineo Jr. was arrested for threatening to assault and violently murder her.
- In March 2019, a poster falsely connecting Omar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks was displayed at a Republican Party event at the West Virginia Capitol, which the GOP disavowed subsequently. In April 2019, part of her speech at a Council on American–Islamic Relations meeting, "some people did something", was highlighted by 'The New York Post' and was used out-of-context by President Donald Trump, creating controversy.
- In 2002, Ilhan Omar became engaged to Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, with whom she had a faith-based marriage, as her application for a marriage license was not finalized. They had two children together, but separated in 2008.
- Her second marriage was to British citizen Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2009, but the two ended up having a faith-based divorce in 2011. Later that year, she got back together with her first husband Hirsi, and welcomed their third child the following year.
- Omar and Hirsi were finally legally married in 2018, one year after she obtained a legal divorce from Elmi. One of her daughters, Isra Hirsi, is a principal organizer of the 'school strike for climate' movement.
- Ilhan Omar's grandfather, Abukar, was the director of Somalia's National Marine Transport.
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