Former Somali Refugee At Dadaab Ilhan Omar Elected To US Congress

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are set to become the first Muslim women elected to the US Congress

Rashida is also the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress.

It is open, with the seat being vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for Minnesota Attorney General.

"I chose to run because I was one of many people I knew who really wanted to demonstrate what representative democracies are supposed to be", she said.

She is not only the second Muslim women elected in Congress but also the first Somali-American.

Omar, 36, fled her homeland of Somalia at the age of eight and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating with family to the United States.

Tlaib, 42, also has a history of breaking barriers: In 2008 she became the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature. She supports free college education, housing for all, and criminal justice reform.

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Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the US, for which she was featured in Firsts, TIME's multimedia project on trailblazing women have broken glass ceilings in their respective fields.

Rashida Tlaib is the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants - the eldest of 14 children.

US Muslim civil rights groups say a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric comes from the media, as well as the country's political establishment. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the USA when they still promote that kind of injustice.

A Muslim woman from Detroit has won the congressional seat long held by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who stepped down amid sexual harassment claims by former staffers.

Like Omar, she blazed a trail through MI politics, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the MI state legislature in 2008.

The seat she won is in a predominantly African American congressional district with few Muslim voters. She ran unopposed on the general election ballot following her primary win.

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