AOC has followed and really promoted hijab-wearing model Halima Aden from her first arrival as a model. Aden also hails from Ilhan Omar's Mpls, Mn. 5th District. Halima has enjoyed tremendous support from none other than Carine Roitfeld herself, and she is just a total goddess and humanitarian. BTW, Halima won the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant wearing a hijab.
In her latest groundbreaking event, Halima Aden is a rookie in the new Sports Illustrated 2019 Swimwear issue, staying true to her commitment to wear a hijab or glam headress in all her fashion shoots and in the case of swimwear, to don a burkini.
Halima returned to Kakuma in Kenya last summer -- her refugee camp -- to give a very inspiring TEDX talk about her life in America. And she continues to travel back to Mpls very often, not actually moving away from her parental home.
Halima is lensed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue by Yu Tsai at Watamu Beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. “I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima said during her shoot. “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.”
“We believe beauty knows no boundaries,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity.”
AOC finds Halima Aden to be an extraordinary young woman and a strong voice for young Muslim women. In these days of terrible strife in America and in the American women’s movement itself, Halima’s glorious spirit is a healing one, and goodness knows AOC is eager to jump into her lifeboat, so that we can all row forward together.