From war-torn Somalia to seat in US govt

Ms Ilhan Omar made history as one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, prompting an overturn of a 181-year-old ban on head coverings to allow her to wear the hijab.
Ms Ilhan Omar made history as one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, prompting an overturn of a 181-year-old ban on head coverings to allow her to wear the hijab.PHOTO: REUTERS

It has been a remarkable journey by any measure - from a child in war-torn Somalia to a refugee camp in Kenya and, now, to a seat in Congress.

Ms Ilhan Omar, who was just 14 when her family left that Kenyan camp for a better life in Washington DC, has become the first Somali-American in Congress.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 13, 2019, with the headline 'From war-torn Somalia to seat in US govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe