Washington — Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, revealed late Monday that her father died due to complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Omar announced the passing of her father, Nur Omar Mohamed, in a statement that included the phrase from the Quran, “Surely we belong to God and to him shall we return.”

“No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew him,” Omar said. “My family and I ask for your respect and privacy during this time.”

Omar was elected to Congress in 2018, becoming the first Somali-American lawmaker and one of the first two Muslim women elected. She was born in Somalia and fled the country’s civil war with her family at the age of 8. Omar spent four years at a refugee camp before immigrating to the U.S. She and her family settled in Minnesota in 1997.

The day before Omar was sworn in as a member of Congress in January 2019, she shared a photo of her and her father arriving at the airport in Washington, the same airport they arrived at from the refugee camp in Kenya.

There have been more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and more than 116,000 Americans have died from the illness. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, revealed in April her oldest brother, Donald Reed Herring, died from the coronavirus at 86 years old.

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