US history was made this week
Earlier this year we reported that Ilhan Omar, 37, and Rashida Tlaib, 42 were campaigning to become the first elected female Muslim officials in the US House of Representatives.
This week in one of the most widely covered midterm elections in US history, the two Democrat candidates made US history when they were elected to US Congress to represent the Mid Western districts in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Wayne Country, Michigan respectively.
Although Rashida’s election was all but assumed, as she was running unopposed, whereas Ilhan’s victory saw her fight off a campaign from Republican candidate Jennifer Zielinski.
Both women are first and second generation immigrants to the United States. Rashida Tlaib was born in the US to Palestinian parents. She is a vocal critic of the US President Donald Trump, at a campaign rally earlier this year she said “I will fight back against every racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled… You deserve better than what we have today with our president.”
Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar was a Somali refugee, and moved to the US as a child with her family, after living in a refugee camp in Kenya following the Somalian civil war. She grew up in Minnesota, where she went on to become the first Somali-American lawmaker in the US, after wining a seat in the state’s legislature in 2016.
“I’m Muslim and black… I decided to run because I was one of many people I knew who really wanted to demonstrate what representative democracies are supposed to be,” Ilhan said in a recent interview.
The two women were elected in the US Midterms which saw the Democrats gain a majority in the US House of Representatives, while the Republicans held on to their majority in the Senate, gaining two seats from the Democratic Party.
Congratulations to Ilhan and Rashida!