With Her Daughter By Her Side, Ilhan Omar Was Sworn In As The First Somali American Congresswoman


January 8, 2019

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

When Ilhan Omar was sworn in as the first Somali American member of Congress last Thursday, another powerful moment simultaneously happened. Omar’s daughter Ilwad raised her right hand along with her mother to take the oath of office. 

“Ilwad got sworn in with me, seeing her little hand held up just like mine warms my heart,” Omar tweeted. “When someone said to my six-year-old daughter, ‘You’re going to be in Congress too one day.’ She just turned around and said, ‘No, I’m going to be President.'”



Omar, who arrived in the United States 23 years ago from a refugee camp in Kenya, also became one of the first two Muslim women to be sworn into Congress, as well as the first person to wear a hijab on the House floor. The latter is a result of a 181-year-old rule against wearing hats on the House floor being amended to allowing the wearing of head coverings for religious reasons.

Along with a photo that she shared on Twitter with Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress, Omar said:

“At this moment, somewhere in the world, young girls and women who look like us are learning to believe that they too can change the world and that no dream is too big. Representation matters.”


And now, Omar’s daughter has her sights set on one day becoming the President of the United States. 


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