Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim Congresswoman: Ilhan Omar set to follow

Larry Hoffman
November 8, 2018

Among those elected was Somali-American, Ilhan Omar, who easily won the election in Minnesota district becoming one of the first Muslim women elected to US Congress, .

"The first thing I think about when somebody says you're going to be the first Muslim is celebrate this moment", Tlaib told CBS News.

For Tlaib, Tuesday's election marks the second time she will have made history in recent years.

The 42-year-old was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.

The high-profile midterm cycle that produced a record number of women contenders and candidates of color meant several winners will take office as trailblazers, marking firsts for their race and gender.

She said her political life began attending local Democratic Farmer Labor party caucuses with her grandfather after arriving in the US. She is an attorney and served in the Michigan House of Representatives. After fleeing the country's civil war, she spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the US when she was 14.

Who are Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar? She came to the USA more than two decades ago as a refugee.

The pair's election to the US House of Representatives comes amid widespread negative feeling against American-Muslims by their compatriots.

She said although her disdain for President Donald Trump's policies on immigration, health care and other issues motivated her to run, that was not the only reason.

"That said, Tlaib's election is seen as a glimmer of hope in a very dark chapter in the Palestinian people's history", Barahmeh added.

In California's 50th district, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Palestinian-American who spent part of his childhood in Gaza and whose father served in the Palestinian Authority, was in a close race with incumbent Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, early results showed.

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