Another Kenyan Refugee Makes History in US

Just months after Ilhan Omar (the second Muslim woman ever elected to the US Congress) won elections, another Kenyan refugee has shattered glass ceilings in the United States after landing on the cover of reputable Sports Illustrated (SI) magazine.

In its upcoming annual swimsuit issue, the magazine will feature Somali-American model Halima Aden, 21as its first-ever Muslim to grace the cover while wearing a hijab and burkini.

According to The Standard, the photoshoot of the model, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and lived there until she was 7, will be set in the country. 

"Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab

“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up," stated the model as tweeted by the magazine on Monday.

The publication further proceeded to post various shots of the model while wearing a hijab. In one, she is seen lying in shallow waters while wearing long earrings.

The revelations sent ripples across the US media with several publications and supermodels praising her for achieving such a feat.

"SI Swimsuit has mostly been a channel for people to ogle women in skimpy clothing. But Aden’s appearance ― while glamorous and beautiful ― goes much deeper than any changes we’ve seen in the magazine up until this point, especially when it comes to speaking to younger readers," reported Huffpost.

To celebrate the achievement, supermodel Gigi Hadid tweeted a blue love emoji while tagging the photo of Aden in shallow water.

That was, however, not the first time the model had made history in the country. In 2016, she became the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant where she reached the semi-finals.

She was also the first person to wear a hijab on the cover of the luxurious Allure Magazine.