In a first, 2 Muslim women elected to US Congress

Rashida Tlaib

Americans created history on Tuesday when they elected two Muslim women - Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib - to Congress.

It was an easy win on Tuesday - her race was uncontested by any candidate from another major party.

"I did not expect to come to the United States and go to school with kids who were anxious about food as much as I was anxious about it in a refugee camp", Omar said in an interview last month.

"I have proven myself to be someone who shows up, takes on the hard fight and delivers, and I am ready to do that for the people of the 5th Congressional District", stated Ilhan after winning in the primaries.

She said her political life began attending local Democratic Farmer Labor party caucuses with her grandfather after arriving in the US. Her real victory came when she won the Democratic primary.

Tlaib won the congressional seat for Michigan's 13th district after former Representative John Conyers abruptly stepped down following sexual harassment allegations, leaving the seat vacant.

Two years ago, she became the first Somali-American to win a seat in a state legislature, on the same night Republican Donald Trump won the presidency after a campaign in which he called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.

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Omar's family fled Somalia in 1991 due to civil war.

In 2008, she became the first Muslim woman to serve in the MI state legislature.

Rashida Tlaib is the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants - the eldest of 14 children. This seat has been held by Democrats since 1963.

Tlaib has advocated for universal health care, a $15 national minimum wage, union protections, and tuition-free college education. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television.

She says her constituents were attracted to her progressive politics, which are the polar opposite of Republicans.

"I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name", she said amid cheers.

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