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Rep. Ilhan Omar's Father Dies Of COVID-19: 'No Words Can Describe What He Meant To Me'

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The father of Rep. Ilhan Omar died from COVID-19 complications.

The Minnesota Democrat confirmed her father's death on an Instagram post.

She wrote:

"It is with tremendous sadness and pain that I share that my father, Nur Omar Mohamed, passed away due to complications from COVID-19. No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew him."

Echoing her post, the congresswoman also released a statement that included a quote from the Quran.

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She said, "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'cuun," which translates to, "Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return."

rep. ilhan omar's father dies of covid-19: 'no words can describe what he meant to me'

Omar is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to serve in the US House of Representatives.

The 37-year-old rose to national prominence following her November 2018 election win as one of Congress' most visible progressive politicians.

In previous interviews, she revealed her father and grandfather primarily raised her after her mother's death.

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Their family fled war-torn Somalia for refugee camps in Kenya. They later sought asylum in the United States. And back in 1997, they settled in Minneapolis.

rep. ilhan omar's father dies of covid-19: 'no words can describe what he meant to me'

Her father worked as a cab driver before securing a job at the US Post Office. And Omar often went with him to Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party caucuses.

That's when she "fell in love" with politics.

rep. ilhan omar's father dies of covid-19: 'no words can describe what he meant to me'

Omar had told the New York Times that she often encountered bullies while growing up in suburban Virginia.

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She recalled that her father told her:

"They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence."

She ultimately went on to become one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

On the eve of her historic swearing-in to Congress last January, she tweeted a photo of herself and her father arriving at Virginia's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

rep. ilhan omar's father dies of covid-19: 'no words can describe what he meant to me'
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This is the same airport she arrived in as a refugee many years earlier.

A recent memoir, This Is What America Looks Like, recounts Omar's escape from her birthplace. It also features her new life in America as well as her political career.

During the writing of the memoir, she told PEOPLE:

"It was torture. It was torture, absolutely."

"I am someone who goes through moments in life. ... And that has been part of my survival. At times, that has caught up with me."

"The writing process for this book [memoir] was painful to have all of those moments come to life. And to not only write about them but to think through how those moments have impacted my life…"