Deqa Dhalac is the first Somali-American mayor in the United States

When Deqa Dhalac was writing her inaugural speech after being elected as mayor of South Portland, Maine, she went searching for an inspirational quote for the end. She considered Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa – and then her mom called from Mogadishu, Somalia. "She reminded me of a poem or prayer that she recited for me when I entered high school," Dhalac said.
Her mother asked God to surround her with prayer and blessings and to give her the gift of long life. "In English, it says, 'My dear daughter ... I beg God for you to be the leader of many ethnicities ... and help those in need with the pride of your father.'". In that moment, Dhalac found her conclusion. Dhalac fled Somalia some 30 years ago, as the country descended into civil war.
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