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.
“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.