Isra Hirisi, daughter of Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar was just a teenage girl who likes Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, and Criminal Minds when her mom stepped into the political spotlight, becoming one of the first two Muslim-American women ever elected to congress. Omar’s new found political celebrity status not only cast a bright spotlight on the congresswoman, but on her oldest child Isra as well. The 17-year-old recently sat down with Teen Vogue to talk about her journey. Take a look at some of the highlights from the article below.
Isra Hirisi on working for her community.
“I have a lot of opportunities that a lot of people don’t, and so recognizing where I fit in this space is the thing that is definitely hard to imagine. I’ve taken a really big step back from organizing, from my space and my existence. I definitely feel a lot better about the things that I do, because I know that the work that I do is not about fame, and it’s not about furthering myself.…I don’t think that my intentions the entire time I was doing national organizing were bad, but I do think that if I kept doing it, it would’ve been an ego-boost type thing or a resume booster. I’m proud of the work that I did. I don’t think it was bad, but I don’t have to keep doing that work, and I think doing shit for my community is so much more important, and that’s what I’m doing now.”
Isra coins herself as “a peculiar first generation-second generation hybrid — less layered than her mom”
“So, while I was growing up, they were still assimilating, because my mother was literally 20. So, it’s like the relationship that I have with my culture is very much so Americanized, because my parents were trying to Americanize themselves. That’s something that I’ve been trying to figure out because I have the first-gen experience. I definitely do. But at the same time, I have the second-gen experience.”
Isra on using social media as a “fertile ground for change.”
“Young people have a very unique ability when it comes to organizing, especially digitally, that a lot of older folks do not understand. Understand that you are important and your voice is too, and don’t let adults especially tell you otherwise.”
What does the future hold for Isra? Well, the amazing young lady wants to major in sociology and maybe minor in African or African-American studies. Isra dreams of becoming either a public defender or social worker in the future. To read the Teen Vogue article in its entirety, click here.
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Isra. We have a feeling that it is going to be twice as dynamic as we think.