Rep. Ilhan Omar's likeness inspires a 'hijarbie' doll


Ilhan Omar admits it's "a little strange" to see herself like this, but likes the sentiment. @hijarbie Instagram

Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American elected to serve in a state legislature, has become an inspiration to women and girls all over.

At least one of them has found a creative way to keep spreading Omar's inspiring story further still.

Omar, a first-term Democrat representing Minneapolis, is one of numerous real-life women whom Haneefah Adam, a 26-year-old Nigerian, has used as models for her "hijarbie" dolls, a fashionable Muslim take on the classic American Barbie.

Whereas Barbie was criticized for setting unrealistic standards for body type and beauty, Adam's dolls are setting a pretty high bar for career success.

Aside from Omar, other women lending their likeness to Adam's hijarbies include fashion writers, filmmakers, and athletes, including the United States Olympic fencing competitor Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American in any sport to compete wearing a hijab. 


History is made as the First Somali-American woman and legislator, Ilhan Omar #IlhanOmar is elected as State Representative in District 60B. She is an experienced policy analyst, community educator and advocate. In Light of recent events ��, [...And hold on firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you...] Al Imran. 103-104. Try and show people the beauty of Islam❤️ through your actions. Stay safe and wear your hijab with pride! ([email protected]) �������������� #Youwinsome

A post shared by Mini Hijab Fashion! (@hijarbie) on

These dolls are not ready for mass production. (Not yet.) Adam's work, profiled recently in the Huffington Post, requires a painstaking attention to handcrafted detail, handpainted and sewn together herself. 

If they ever do go on the market though, she's got a potential customer here in Minneapolis. Asked about Adams' using her face (and story) to create a doll, Omar says it's "a little strange to have a doll in my likeness," but appreciates the symbolic power of the doll.

Girls need "aspirational" role models to look up to in their life, and if this is helping them find new ones, it's a "fabulous thing," the freshman legislator says.

"My youngest daughter wants to get a hijarbie," Omar says. "She thinks it looks just like her, and I love the fact that she feels that way."

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