Fadumo Omar is a Masters in Counseling Student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a member of the Illinois Counseling Association; Illinois Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education; and Illinois Association for Multicultural Counseling.
I was born in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E, to Somali parents. I started my journey in the U.S. in August of 2002. Since then, I have grown tremendously and have gained awareness of the complexities of living in a country that is made up of immigrants and yet oppressive in the same token.
I received my bachelor’s in psychology from Loyola University, and am now pursuing my Master’s degree in counseling. I just applied to become a US citizen. I continue to fight racial micro-aggressions on a daily basis and aspire to educate individuals who do not know any better because they live in their encapsulated environments. I take it as an opportunity to do what I can to break the cycle of ignorance.
I am who I am today thanks to parents who instilled respect and tolerance of others. Then again, that is what Islam promotes, to treat each other with respect and dignity.
As an immigrant in a country that promotes a message of freedom and acceptance, I have to say that I have enjoyed those liberties to a certain extent. As a woman of color and a Muslim, I have found that it has been somewhat tumultuous navigating my true identity. I do not fit into a typical box by American standards.
I choose to self-identify through the experiences that have shaped me throughout my life. I consider myself a global citizen and have been privileged to be exposed to multiple cultures growing up, which in turn makes me trans-cultural. I have the opportunity to engage with individuals from all cultures with ease because of the basic foundation each culture shares, which is humanity.
I strive to continuously break barriers that are designed to keep women stagnant and not express who they really are. Some in my culture and religion may consider that rebellious or an egregious act, but I owe it to myself to be true to myself. For instance, as a Muslim woman, I do not have to cover up in order to be Muslim. Although it is recommended to do so, I believe that being Muslim is displayed through your daily actions and the faith you carry in your heart. It is not for the benefit of the public.
My identity and my sense of belonging is a choice on my own, and I am empowered to define myself in any way, shape, or form, regardless of others’ approvals or rejections.