In 2004, the Chicago Tribune referred to her as “the most watched TV reporter nobody in America has seen,” and this turn-of-phrase seemed stunningly apt. Baghdad-born Dalia al-Aqidi was 36, and a fixture of Middle East media. In sharp contrast to programming on Qatar’s popular Al-Jazeera, Dalia was a leading voice on Alhurra, an American-sponsored television channel broadcasting in the Middle East and delivering a strongly pro-America message.
Al-Aqidi was the only Iraqi covering the 2004 presidential campaign within the traveling White House press corps, providing news on Washington to millions in the Arabic-speaking world. Fifteen years later, the famed Iraqi reporter is running for Congress against the darling of the left, also an immigrant from a Muslim-majority country, a woman named Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Omar was catapulted to leftist fame after being elected to represent Minnesota’s Fifth District in the 2018 midterms and espousing radically left-wing policies. She eventually joined forces with three other socialist-leaning, freshman voices in the House, the anti-Trump foursome collectively being referred to as the “Squad.” But Omar will have competition in the coming election from al-Aqidi.