|Birth name||Ilham Omar Ilhan Omar's tweet|
|Full name||Ilhan Abdullahi Omar Dawn|
|Profession(s)||Politician and Civil Rights Activist|
|Famous for||• Becoming the first elected Somali-American representative from Minnesota in 2018 Smart Politics
• Being the first member of the US Congress to wear a hijab The Guardian
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 162 cm
in meters- 1.62 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 4”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 55 kg
in pounds- 121 lbs
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Hair Colour||Salt and Pepper|
|Political Party||Democratic Party
|Political Journey||• In 2016, Ilhan Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives
• In 2018, Ilhan Omar was elected to the US House of Representatives
• In 2022, Ilhan Omar won the Minnesota Primary elections
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Community Leadership Award by Mshale (2015)
• Firsts: Women who are changing the world, a list published by Time Magazine (2017)
• Five families who are changing the world as we know it, a list published by Vogue magazine (2018)
|Date of Birth||4 October 1982 (Monday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||40 Years|
|Birthplace||Mogadishu, Somalia, East Africa|
|Nationality||• Somali (1982-2000)
• Somali-American (2000-present)
|Hometown||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America|
|School||Edison High School, Minneapolis|
|College/University||North Dakota State University|
|Educational Qualification||Major in Political Science and international studies North Dakota State University's official website|
|Religion||Islam The Nation|
|Address||404 3rd Avenue, North Suite 203, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1759, United States of America|
|Controversies||• Accused of anti-semitism: Reportedly, Ilhan Omar has often been accused of supporting anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish propaganda. In 2019, an American journalist named Glenn Edward Greenwald tweeted against the American policy towards Israel and tagged Ilhan Omar in the comments section. In his tweet, he said,
"How much time U.S. political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans."
Ilhan responded to the tweet by commenting "It's All About the Benjamins," which was perceived by many American politicians as an allegation against the US government for receiving money from the Israeli government to ignore their actions against Palestine. The politicians further said that the use of the term "Benjamins" by Ilhan in her comment not only referred to the former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu but also to the $100 currency, which has the photo of former US President Benjamin Franklin printed on it. Responding to the controversy, Ilhan clarified that the line was taken from an American rap and was not intended for former US President Benjamin Franklin. The New Republic In the same year, Ilhan Omar gave a controversial remark and said that Israel was pumping large sums of money into America to enjoy American support for their conflict with Palestine; however, her statement did not go well with the Americans, and she faced a massive backlash for her remark. After her statement, the Democrats denounced her statements and called them anti-semitic after which Ilhan Omar issued an apology. Jerusalem Post Talking about it, she said,
"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. I unequivocally apologize. At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry."
After the series of allegations levied on the Israeli government by Ilhan Omar, in 2019, the Israel government banned Ilhan's entry into Israel citing Ilhan's affiliation with the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement through which she wanted to create unrest in Israel. The New York Times Talking about Ilhan's ban, the Israeli government's spokesperson said,
"Preventing B.D.S. supporters who come here to hurt us from the inside is the very least we should be doing against haters of Israel."
• Accused of misusing funds: In 2019, Ilhan Omar was accused by the National Legal & Policy Center (NLPC) of embezzling funds worth $3,69,000. According to the NLPC, the money was given to Ilhan for election campaigning; however, Ilhan used the money for her personal use. In 2022, the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed the case filed by the NLPC against Ilhan after it found no conclusive evidence against her. The Independent
• Controversy surrounding Ilhan marrying her brother: In 2019, during the 2020 Presidential election campaigning, Donald Trump said that Ilhan Omar's ex-husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi was her brother, and she got married to him to help him secure a green card in the US. Talking about it, he said,
"There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother."
Ilhan defended herself by calling the allegations false and baseless. After the allegations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an investigation into the issue; however, the FBI closed the investigation after finding no evidence against her. Business Insider Swarajya
• Ilhan's controversial remark on Kashmir: In 2022, Ilhan Omar, during a press conference, said that the President of the US should openly talk about India and criticise the country for its policies regarding Kashmir. In April 2022, she visited Pakistan, where she said that the US Foreign Affairs Committee regularly investigates the cases of human rights violations, which took place on the Indian side of Kashmir and its "anti-Muslim rhetorics." On 21 April 2022, she visited the Pakistani side of Kashmir, which was objected to by the Indian government. The Indian government, in its official statement, said,
"We have noted that US Representative Ilhan Omar has visited a part of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that is currently illegally occupied by Pakistan. If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home, that may be her business. But violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty in its pursuit makes it ours. This visit is condemnable."
Responding to the objections, the US government said that Ilhan was on a personal visit to Pakistan and was not sent there by the US government. The Indian Express
On 22 June 2022, Ilhan Omar presented a resolution in the Senate, which demanded the US government to put India in the Country of Particular Concern (CPC) category under the US International Religious Freedom Act (USIRFA) for allegedly violating the human rights of the minorities in India. The Indian Express Hindustan Times Talking about it, she said,
"I condemn human rights violations in India, specifically those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. The resolution calls on the US Secretary of State to designate India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ under the International Religious Freedom Act–a move that can lead to economic sanctions in extreme cases. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a consultative government body, has been recommending this designation for the past three years." Ilhan Omar's official website
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||Year, 2020|
|Husband/Spouse||• Tim Mynett (m.2020 - present)
• Ahmed Hirsi (m.2018 - d.2019)
• Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (m.2009 - d.2017)
|Children||Son- Adnan Hirsi
• Ilwad Hirsi
• Isra Hirsi
|Parents||Father- Nur Omar Mohamed (retired Somali Army colonel)
Mother- Fadhuma Abukar Haji Hussein (she died when Ilhan Omar was two years old)
Sahra Noor (US health care executive)
Note: Ilhan Omar is the youngest of seven siblings.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ilhan Omar
- Ilhan Omar is an African-American politician and a human rights activist. She is an elected representative in the house of representatives from the Democratic Party and is also known for her anti-Israeli stand. In 2022, Ilhan presented a resolution against India over India’s alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.
- Ilhan Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but she had to leave her homeland because of the outbreak of a civil war between the government and the rebels.
- In 1990, at the age of eight, Ilhan Omar left Somalia and migrated to Kenya with her family, where she stayed in a refugee camp until 1994. While giving an interview, Ilhan said,
The war started when I was 8. One night militia tried to break into our home, and the exterior was riddled with bullets. I remember hiding under the bed with one of my aunts and one of my sisters and sort of everything getting quiet inside the home. And then militia men who were outside of our windows started talking about ways that they could make their way in. My family left our neighborhood, passing through dead bodies and debris. Not long after, me and my family left their home and relocated to a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya.”
- In 1995, when Ilhan Omar was 12 years old, her family was granted asylum in the United States. According to Ilhan, after she moved to the US, she had to face difficulties in her school due to cultural and linguistic differences. While giving an interview, she said,
After moving to the States from Somalia, not only I was shook culturally but also linguistically. I and my sisters could speak English but not well because of which we were made fun of. So one day we decided to start learning English. We used to read books, watch TV and listen to all types of English songs available to us. After three months of hard work and determination, we finally succeeded in learning acceptable English. Moreover, not a lot of the kids knew how to co exist with people of a different background, so we created a unity and diversity program. We’d have meals together and connect through experiences and stories. I was finally just Ilhan, not that Somali girl.”
- From 1995 to 1997, Ilhan Omar lived in New York before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where her family built their home in the Cedar-Riverside neighbourhood, which is a Somali diaspora-dominated area.
- After moving to Minneapolis in 1997, Ilhan Omar began to visit the democratic caucuses with her grandfather, where she would translate English speeches into the Somali language for her grandfather as he could not understand English.
- In 2000, Ilhan Omar and her family received their American citizenship.
- In 2001, Ilhan Omar completed her schooling at Edison High School, Minneapolis.
- From 2006 to 2009, Ilhan Omar worked as a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota, where she delivered speeches to the lower-income group living in Minneapolis and informed them about the benefits of a balanced diet. She also worked with State and Federal agencies to spread awareness about nutrition in the community.
- From July 2012 to November 2012, Ilhan Omar worked as a campaign manager for the re-election of Kari Dzeidzik at the Minnesota State Senate.
- From June 2013 to November 2013, Ilhan Omar managed the election campaigning for Minnesota council member Andrew Johnson.
- In 2013, Ilhan Omar worked with Minnesota’s Department of Education as a child nutrition outreach coordinator. As a coordinator, she looked after the systematic implementation of policies related to mid-day meals and summer enrichment programs for the schools in the State of Minnesota.
- In December 2013, Ilhan Omar began working as a senior policy aide in the office of Andrew Johnson, a Minneapolis council member. As a senior policy aide, Ilhan aided Andrew with the drafting of Minnesota state policies. She also represented the office in public gatherings and meetings. She worked in Andrew Johnson’s office till 2015.
- In February 2014, a mob attacked Ilhan Omar during a caucus in Minneapolis after which she was hospitalised for several days due to a severe concussion to her head.
- In 2015, Ilhan Omar joined Women Organizing Women (WOW) Network, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which dealt with educating African-American women about their rights. In the organisation, she worked as the director of Policy and Initiatives.
- Her political journey began in 2016 after the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) gave her a ticket to contest the Minnesota state elections from District 60B in which she defeated Abdimalik Askar, a candidate from the Republican Party, to win a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
- After winning the elections, on 3 January 2017, Ilhan Omar was made the assistant minority leader for the DFL caucus and aided in the formulation of the policies regarding Civil Law & Data Practice, Higher Education, Career Readiness and Finance, and State Government Finance.
- In 2018, Ilhan Omar contested the elections for the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. In the polls, Ilhan Omar defeated Jennifer Zielinski, a Republican candidate and a health care worker, by a record margin of 78% of votes and became the first Somali-American Muslim candidate to have won a seat in the United States House of Representatives. Smart Politics Reportedly, during campaigning, Ilhan often made speeches in which she criticised the US foreign and military policies. In her speech, she also criticised the drone operations that were undertaken by the US military, killing many innocent people across the world. During a speech, Ilhan said,
Reduced funding for the perpetual war and military aggression all around the world. Knowing my tax dollars pay for bombs killing children in Yemen makes my heart break, with everyone in Washington saying we don’t have enough money in the budget for universal health care, we don’t have enough money in the budget to guarantee college education for everyone. We don’t need nearly 800 military bases outside the United States to keep our country safe.”
- After winning the elections, the United States Supreme Court brought some amendments to the “no-hijab” rule to allow Ilhan Omar to wear a hijab in the House of Representatives after which she became America’s first Congresswoman to wear a hijab in the House of Representatives. The New York Times The Guardian
- In 2018, Ilhan Omar was featured in the US band Maroon 5’s music video titled Girls Like You. Later, she appeared in Norah Shapiro’s documentary film titled Time for Ilhan, which was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
- Ilhan Omar is also a part of an informal political group called The Squad, which has supported the implementation of policies such as the Green New Deal (aimed at generating economic equality by preserving nature) and Medicare for All (aimed at low-cost medical facilities for everyone).
- In 2019, with the support of The Squad, Ilhan Omar presented a resolution in the United States Senate which demanded that the authorities must not attempt to control or contain a boycott or a protest undertaken for upholding human rights as it goes against Article 1 of the United States Constitution which allows the citizens of the US participate in a protest. Haaretz Talking about the resolution, Ilhan Omar said,
The resolution affirms that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution and opposes unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad. Finally, it urges Congress, States, and civil rights leaders from all communities to endeavor to preserve the freedom of advocacy for all by opposing anti-boycott resolutions and legislation.”
- In the same year, Ilhan Omar and The Squad were among the 17 senators who voted against the condemnation of the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.
- On 8 March 2019, Ilhan Omar issued a statement in which she criticised Barack Obama, the former US President, for conducting drone strikes in different parts of the world. Talking about it, she said,
We can’t be only upset with Trump. His policies are bad, but many of the people like Obama and Washington, who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
- Later, in the same year, Ilhan Omar introduced a new education policy, which banned the school from punishing school kids who could not repay their school meal debt.
- In May 2019, after Brunei passed a law which made gay marriages illegal and punishable by death, Ilhan Omar introduced legislation in the Senate to impose sanctions against Brunei.
- In 2019, The Guardian, a news magazine, featured Ilan Omar on its cover.
- During the 2019 Venezuelan Presidential crisis, Ilhan Omar and a few other Democrats protested against the recognition of Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez as the President of Venezuela by the Donald Trump-led administration and accused the US government of plotting the coup in Venezuela to appoint a President of its choice in the country.
A US backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump's efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican's efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 25, 2019
- In June 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, Ilhan Omar led a protest in which she not only demanded the US government to “defund” the police department of Minneapolis but also demanded to disband and restructure the Minneapolis police force entirely.
- In October 2020, during a streaming event with streamers like Ocasio-Cortez, Disguised Toast, Jacksepticeye, and Pokimane, Ilhan Omar appealed to the stream viewers to cast their votes in the 2020 Presidential elections in the United States.
- On 7 January 2021, Ilhan Omar led 13 members of the Senate and presented an impeachment bill against Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the US Capitol. Ilhan Omar also accused Donald Trump of interfering in the US Presidential elections in Georgia and claimed that on several instances, Donald Trump had issued death threats to her. Describing the attack on US Capitol, Ilhan Omar said,
I didn’t know if I would make it out that day and [I] just … made a request to him to make sure he would continue to tell my children that I loved them if I did not make it out. It was a very traumatizing experience, and all of us will be traumatized by it for a really long time. The face of the Capitol will forever be changed. They did not succeed in stopping the functions of democracy, but I do believe that they succeeded in ending the openness of our democracy. For the better half of the last two years, the president has singled me out and has many times incited direct death threats against my life.”
- In 2021, Ilhan Omar became a member of the Committee on Education and Labor and headed the sub-committee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment and Workforce Protections.
- In the same year, Ilham Omar was appointed as a whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
- On 27 July 2021, Ilhan Omar published a book titled This Is What America Looks Like.
- On 5 November 2021, Ilhan Omar was among six democrat politicians who voted against the American government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which, according to Ilhan, was against the social safety net provisions in the Build Back Better Act.
- On 19 July 2022, Ilhan Omar was arrested while leading a civil disobedience movement against the law which banned women from undergoing an abortion in the US. NBC News Talking about her arrest, Ilhan said,
Today I was arrested while participating in a civil disobedience action with my fellow Members of Congress outside the Supreme Court. I will continue to do everything in my power to raise the alarm about the assault on our reproductive rights!”
- On 9 August 2022, Ilhan Omar defeated Don Samuels, a Republican candidate, in the Minnesota Primary elections by a margin of 2500 votes.
- Ilhan Omar has often voiced her opinion in favour of upholding human rights in the world. She has also criticised countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel, and many more over their human rights track record.
- According to Ilhan Omar, she was bullied a lot by her classmates during her school days. She also claimed that she faced racism in her school. Talking about it, Ilhan said,
I was bullied. A lot! They would try to pull my hijab and try to stick chewing gums on my hair through my hijab. They would even try to push me down the stairs to hurt me. It was not only boys, but the girls too were equally bullying. They would often make fun of my physical appearance whenever they saw me changing for my physical education class in the locker room.”