My name is Zainab Aden and I was born and raised in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia causing people to flee the country. My family and I fled Somalia and migrated to Kenya and Ethiopia. I lived there for 3 years before moving to the United States. I believe this unforeseen event that my family and I endured was a blessing in itself, we were fortunate to have escaped prosecution, war, fear, poverty, and turmoil. I moved to the United States when I was 6 years old, it was a cultural shock and a humble beginning.
Early on I wanted to become a doctor, so I can save many lives and help take their pain away. With this desire and passion, I intend to impact the lives of all those I come across, especially children. I hope to inspire others and give the people in Somalia an inspirational presence that represents the country in a positive way. Furthermore, I hope to give refugee women and children all over the world a hopeful heart, hand, and a voice. I believe that it is the inner bond that draws people and communities together. I hope to bring awareness to programs whose mission is to serve and protect displacement of women and children’s lives and use my platform to advocate for their rights. As a refugee, I uniquely understand the needs, the struggle, and the hopes and dreams of the 30 million+ women and children around the world who have been forcibly affected by conflict and war that have been forgotten.
I have been blessed and fortunate to have seen incredible, impactful work for children first-hand by my mother. When I was young, my mother gave me an education, empowered my siblings and I, while being a single widow woman and caring for 6 children by herself. Her light, strength, and humility inspired me. My mother is the epitome of what a strong African Muslim woman looks like. Despite the various barriers she faced, she continued to persevere. I am honored and delighted to represent Somalia for Miss Africa USA 2019. I am looking forward to life-long journey advocating for refugee women and children around the world, just as others advocated for me.
It was a humbling experience and challenging journey from being a former refugee and not knowing any English, to becoming homecoming queen in my high school, first in my family to be college graduate, and being first women in my family to becoming Senior Database Engineer in a competitive job-market. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University in
Biology and Medical Technology Go Patriots!!! I am currently working with the Food Drug Administration as a government contractor. It is a proud accomplishment, which I could not have achieved by myself and I am grateful. Presently, it is rare to see a black, Muslim, African woman in the IT industry where minorities make up 2.5% in the work field. This has instilled in me, further conviction, passion and purpose to push through obstacles and barriers. I hope to empower women to get involved in areas that are predominantly male oriented.
Apart from these aspirations and goals, in my spare time, I enjoy volunteering to help students by offering mentoring, tutoring services, resume building workshops, and providing interviewing preparation. It is very important to me to help other women thrive and succeed in this world by helping to create a pathway to success. What fuels my energy is and inspires me is my love for art, literature, education, health, music, inspiration quotes, writing, and dancing and sports. I enjoy being around family, friends, and meeting all diverse multi-cultural people from all walks of life. I personally enjoy kick boxing as health is very important to me. I believe we have to care about our overall health mental, physical, spiritual, emotional so we can be the best versions of yourself to help others.
As a contestant of Miss Africa USA pageant, or the reigning Miss Africa USA, would allow me the opportunity and privilege to share and work on my vision of helping rebuild Africa in efforts of finding health and hope for refugee women and children affected by war, whom have been forgotten and left behind. Thank you for this opportunity and I am counting on your help and support to promote awareness on health and hope for refugee women and children, so we can restore their faith in humanity and bring light to the darkness they have endured and give them a hopeful heart, hand of service, and a reason to continuing living. I truly believe that women and children in refugee camps there’s life, there’s hope, love, there’s so much out there waiting for them outside this camp, and they deserve that. Life dealt them a different card than most of us, but they should still have the same opportunities that we have.