ihan Omar is a former refugee, a Somali-American activist, and a proud Democrat.
On November 8, the 33-year-old is poised to become one of the few Muslim women ever elected to a state legislature in the country.
Omar is on the path towards winning a spot on the Minnesota State Legislature, after defeating a 44-year incumbent during the state’s primary election. Her Republican opponent in the heavily Democratic House District 60B suspended his campaign in August.
Born in Mogadishu, Omar was forced to flee her home when she was about eight years old, after war broke out in Somalia. Her family lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for several years. She was 12 years old when she arrived in in the United States, soon becoming part of a wave of Somalis who settled in Minnesota during the 1990s. Her political conscience was awakened when she was 14, after she began attending local Democratic caucus meetings with her grandfather and acting as his translator.
Omar worked in community health and then as a senior policy aide for a Minneapolis City Council member before deciding to run for Minnesota’s state House of Representatives herself.
The Huffington Post caught up with Omar to talk about her remarkable story, her activism, and her faith.