This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman

Dey St: HarperCollins. May 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780062954213. $27.99. BIOG
Omar, U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, reflects on her journey from refugee to member of Congress. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Omar was raised by a supportive family that eschewed traditional Somali gender roles. After the Somali civil war broke out, Omar and her family were forced to flee to a refugee camp in Kenya and eventually settled in the United States. She relates her experience and transition from refugee to citizen, as well as the challenges of adapting to a new culture and language. After graduating college, Omar became a community organizer and worked in local politics. She was encouraged to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives and later the U.S. House of Representatives, which upset many in the Somali community, resulting in her enduring threats, discrimination, and social media disinformation campaigns. Despite the obstacles, she became the first Somali woman and one of the first Muslim women to be elected to the House. Concluding this memoir, she presents her vision for America.
VERDICT An introspective and self-assured memoir that unfortunately suffers from a jumpy narrative in later chapters. Recommended for readers interested in refugee and immigration stories, but the book may disappoint those hoping for details on politics and policy proposals.

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