Rep. Ilan Omar (D-Minnesota) shared on Twitter that her father has died due to complications from the coronavirus. 

Omar, who is one fo the first two Muslim women in congress, stated, “It is with tremendous sadness and pain to say goodbye to my father, Nur Omar Mohamed. No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew and loved him.”

She also included a translated Arabic phrase from the Quran. It read, “Surely we belong to God and to him shall we return.”

Omar and her father had left Somalia during the country’s civil war when she was 8 years-old. They spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya, but then sought asylum in the United States in 1995. Omar received her U.S. citizenship when she was 17 years old in 2000. Omar was then elected to congress in 2018, when she became one of the first two Muslim women.

After she was elected, Omar explained The New York Times what an inspiration her father had been to her throughout her life. She told a story of her father giving her advice when she was being bullied in school. She said, “[he] sat me down, and he said, ‘Listen, these people who are doing all of these things to you, they’re not doing something to you because they dislike you. They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence.’”

Many others in Congress have revealed that their family members have suffered from COVID-19.  Rep. Tom Rice (R-South Carolina) gave a statement on Monday that both his son and his wife are currently recovering from the virus. At least 116,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States.

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