Women made history in the United States last week. On 6 November, the first-ever Muslim women were elected to serve for the Democrats in Congress during the country’s midterm elections.
Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar is the nation’s first Somali-American legislator, while Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib is the first Palestinian woman in Congress.
Ilhan’s story could be considered the American Dream. She and her family fled the civil war in Somalia, first spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in 1995. When Omar first arrived at 12 years-old, she spoke no English, yet went on to make history as the first hijabi in Congress, the first Somali-American legislator, and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. An incredibly impressive feat, we think you’ll agree.
Ilhan has also addressed the Islamophobic hatred she receives, saying, “I don’t really give space to people who are attacking me based on my identities”.
Meanwhile, Rashida, born to Palestinian parents, made her mark in the history books in 2008 when she became the first Muslim woman to be elected State Representative, where she helped secure millions of dollars for free health clinics, meals-on-wheels programmes for senior citizens, and education funding.
She is a strong critic of President Trump, and has vowed to “fight back against every racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled”.
Following the victory, Rashida also thanked supporters for “believing in the possibility of this moment.” We just got goose bumps.
Photos: Rex Features and Getty Images