Africa Eritrea FA Government Weekend

Ibrahim Omer, New Zealand’s first African MP delivers moving maiden speech – watch

Ibrahim Omer, New Zealand’s first African MP, has recounted in his maiden speech his journey as a refugee out of Eritrea via Syria to New Zealand, sparking emotional scenes in the chamber.

The Labour MP described how he worked hard as a cleaner by night and a politics student by day, before being elected.

Omer delivered parts of his speech in his native tongue, Saho, as well as te reo Māori.

Also read: Refugee Migration in the European Labour Market with Luigi Minale from uc3m (Podcast)

“I’m an Eritrean. I’m a son, brother, a friend. I’m a Muslim. I’m a former refugee. I’m a trade unionist and a living-wage activist. But most importantly I stand here today in front of you bursting with pride as a Kiwi who loves Aotearoa, New Zealand. ” Ibrahim Omer said in his first speech to parliament.

He is the county’s second former refugee to become a member of parliament, the first being Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman.

All is possible.

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