Rep. Ilhan Omar’s father dies from COVID-19 complications

Nur Omar Mohamed raised the congresswoman as a single father after his wife transitioned when Omar was 2 years old

United States Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota has confirmed that her father has died from complications of COVID-19.

[griojw id=”nrDKrbx8″ playerid=””]

United States Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) confirmed that her father has died from complications of COVID-19 at the age of 67.

“It is with tremendous sadness and pain to say goodbye to my father, Nur Omar Mohamed,” she wrote on Twitter, “No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew and loved him.”

READ MORE: Ilhan Omar working on law to investigate all officer-involved incidents

Omar, the second Muslim woman elected to Congress, included a phrase from The Quran: “Surely we belong to God and to him shall we return.”

The outspoken representative has been busy advocating for police reform in her Minnesota district, where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

Omar was raised by her father after her mother died when she was 2 years old in their native Somalia. She and their extended family sought asylum in the United States in 1995 initially moving to Virginia. They later settled in Minneapolis which has a large Somali population.

Nur Omar Mohamed was a taxi driver and later worked for the United States Postal Service. In a 2018 interview with the New York Times, Omar spoke of her father’s influence in her life. “‘Listen, these people who are doing all of these things to you, they’re not doing something to you because they dislike you,’” Omar recalled, “They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence.”

READ MORE: Ilhan Omar says she’ll vote for Biden despite believing his accuser

Omar entered politics after working in Minneapolis as a community organizer. She advocated for reform in the juvenile justice system. She is considered one of the more controversial members of congress. Along with Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they are known as “The Squad.”

The state of Minnesota has nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and just over 1,300 deaths. The state’s Lieutenant Governor, Peggy Flanagan, shared her sympathy with the representative, her brother also died from the virus. “The pain you’re feeling is familiar to me,” she wrote on Twitter, “My heart breaks for you, Sister.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!