Khadija Omar (Miss World Somalia 2022): A Trailblazer in Beauty and Advocacy


Khadija Omar’s life story is a testament to resilience, ambition, and the transformative power of beauty. Born in the Hagardera refugee camp in Kenya, Khadija’s early years were marked by the challenges of displacement. Yet, these hardships forged in her a determination to rise above her circumstances and make a meaningful impact on the world.

Early Life 

Born into a world rich with cultural heritage, Khadija Omar’s early life was set against the backdrop of her native land’s vibrant traditions. From a young age, she was immersed in the customs and practices that defined her community. Her family, deeply entrenched in the cultural fabric, played a pivotal role in nurturing her appreciation for her heritage.

Growing up, Khadija was surrounded by the sounds and sights of traditional art forms. The melodies of local music and the grace of customary dances were her constant companions, instilling in her a profound love for her culture. This exposure to the arts was not merely passive; it was an interactive experience that allowed her to engage with and contribute to the cultural legacy of her people.


Khadija Omar’s educational journey began in the local schools, where the curriculum was infused with the essence of her culture. Here, she learned not only the academic subjects but also the importance of preserving her cultural identity. The schools served as a crucible for her growing passion, providing her with the tools to understand and articulate her cultural experiences.

As she progressed through her education, Khadija’s talents began to shine. She excelled in her studies, demonstrating a keen intellect and a voracious appetite for learning. Her academic achievements were a testament to her dedication and hard work, earning her recognition among her peers and educators.

Cultural Education 

Parallel to her formal education, Khadija Omar’s cultural education continued to flourish. She became actively involved in cultural societies and clubs, which provided her with a platform to express her artistic inclinations. Through these avenues, she honed her skills in traditional arts, becoming proficient in the practices that had been passed down through generations.

Her involvement in cultural events and festivals further deepened her understanding of her heritage. These experiences were not only educational but also transformative, allowing her to connect with her roots on a deeper level. They instilled in her a sense of pride and responsibility towards her culture, motivating her to become a custodian of her heritage.

Higher Education 

Khadija Omar’s pursuit of higher education was driven by her desire to bridge the gap between her cultural background and the modern world. She sought to acquire knowledge that would enable her to contribute meaningfully to her community while staying true to her roots. Her choice of courses reflected her commitment to this cause, as she focused on subjects that resonated with her cultural interests.

Throughout her higher education, Khadija remained actively engaged with her cultural community. She participated in cultural exchange programs, workshops, and seminars, which enriched her understanding of her heritage in the context of a globalized world. These experiences equipped her with a unique perspective, allowing her to appreciate the universality of cultural expressions.

From Refugee Camp to Global Stage

Khadija Omar’s journey began in the most humble of settings. The Hagardera camp, where she spent her formative years, was a place where resources were scarce, but hope and community spirit thrived. It was here that Khadija’s passion for beauty and fashion took root. As a young girl, she would often be found experimenting with her mother’s makeup, much to her father’s chagrin. This early fascination with cosmetics was not just a pastime; it was a spark that would ignite her future career.

A New Chapter in Canada

At the age of nine, Khadija Omar and her family immigrated to Canada, opening up a world of opportunities. The cultural shift was immense, but Khadija adapted with grace, drawing strength from her family’s support and her own inner resolve. In Canada, she pursued her education with vigor, enrolling at York University to study psychology. Her academic pursuits, however, did not dim her passion for beauty. Instead, they provided a deeper understanding of the psychological impact of self-expression and empowerment through aesthetics.

Breaking Barriers as Miss World Somalia

Khadija Omar’s ascent to the title of Miss World Somalia 2021 was a historic moment. She became the first contestant representing Somalia and the first hijabi to participate in the Miss World pageant. This achievement was not just a personal victory but a milestone for representation and inclusivity in the beauty industry. Khadija’s platform extended beyond the pageant stage; she worked tirelessly with organizations like the UNHCR and Somali Youth Action to raise awareness and funds for climate refugees in Somalia.

A Role Model for Many

Khadija Omar’s influence is far-reaching. She is a role model for young girls and women, particularly those from refugee backgrounds, showing them that their dreams are valid and attainable. Her story is one of breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and embracing one’s heritage with pride. As a psychology major, makeup artist, and entrepreneur, Khadija embodies the multifaceted nature of modern womanhood.

The Journey to Miss Universe Canada 2024

As one of the national finalists, Khadija Omar is now vying for the prestigious title of Miss Universe Canada 2024. Her campaign is not just about winning a crown; it’s about representing the diversity and strength of Canadian values on a global stage. Her message is clear: inclusivity and respect for cultural identities are paramount in today’s society.

Public support plays a crucial role in the journey of the contestants. For Khadija, it’s an opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life, to share her story, and to inspire others. The voting process, which includes a preliminary round and a final round for the top delegates, is a chance for the public to voice their support for their favorite contestant.

Khadija Omar’s participation in the Miss Universe Canada 2024 pageant is more than a personal achievement; it’s a beacon of hope for many young girls who see themselves in her. She represents the possibility that no matter where you come from or what you believe in, your dreams are valid, and you can achieve them with hard work and perseverance.

Beauty with a Purpose of Khadija Omar

Khadija Omar’s “Beauty with a Purpose” project focuses on the climate crisis in Somalia, highlighting her commitment to using her platform for social good. Her entrepreneurial spirit shines through her makeup brand, which is a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. Through her work, Khadija advocates for sustainable practices and supports initiatives that aim to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Khadija’s “Beauty With a Purpose” project is a poignant narrative of her commitment to making a real difference. Focusing on the deteriorating drought conditions in Somalia, which have displaced nearly 1 million people, she highlighted the severe effects on children’s nutrition and women’s reproductive health. Her advocacy brought international attention to the humanitarian crisis looming over her homeland.

Advocacy for Climate Change Awareness

Khadija Omar’s work extends beyond borders. She has been actively involved in raising awareness about the effects of climate change on wildlife and communities. During a trip to northern Kenya, she learned about the impact of drought on the region’s giraffes and livestock, bringing international attention to the crisis.

Championing Hijabi Beauty and Fighting Islamophobia

As the first hijabi contestant at Miss World, Khadija Omar has used her voice to combat Islamophobia and promote hijabi beauty. She has spoken out against discrimination and violence towards Muslims, advocating for a world where religious attire is not a target for hate.

Philanthropy and Social Work

Khadija Omar’s charity work is as diverse as her advocacies. She founded K Amani, a charity organization dedicated to supporting Somali orphans and empowering women affected by drought. Her efforts have provided education, healthcare, and a beacon of hope for many.

The Impact of Her Work

The ripple effect of Khadija Omar’s work is palpable. From the dusty lanes of refugee camps to the glitzy stages of beauty pageants, she has shown that one person’s determination can spark a movement. Her advocacy has not only brought aid to those in need but has also inspired others to join the cause.

The Future is Bright

As Khadija Omar looks to the future, she continues to inspire and lead by example. Her journey from a refugee camp to the global stage is a narrative of hope, perseverance, and the belief that beauty can be a powerful force for change. Khadija Omar’s biography is not just a story of personal success; it is a blueprint for how ambition, coupled with a desire to make a difference, can create ripples that transform lives and communities.

In Conclusion

Khadija Omar’s life is a beacon of inspiration. Her achievements in the face of adversity remind us that our origins do not define our destiny. Through her advocacy, entrepreneurship, and dedication to her craft, Khadija is shaping a more inclusive and compassionate world. 

Read about “Karolina Bielawska: Beauty with a Purpose – Miss World 2021-22“.

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