Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ex-Dadaab refugee breaks record in Congress elections

Ex-Dadaab refugee breaks record in Congress elections

A hijab wearing mother of three, Ilhan is married to a Somali-American Ahmed Hirsi.

The high-profile midterm cycle that produced a record number of women contenders and candidates of color saw Democrats take control of the House in a rebuke to US President Donald Trump.

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.

Tlaib will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office a year ago amid accusations of sexual misconduct. Her mother died when Ilhan was a child and she was raised by her father and grandfather.

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

In 1995, they emigrated to the United States, initially settling in Arlington, Virginia and then moving to Minneapolis.

Duchess Harris, a professor of American studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and author of "Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump", said Omar's win is "a tremendous success for the people of the 5th District".

Omar defeated Republican Jennifer Zielinski, and she will replace Keith Ellison in Congress.

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Omar is the first refugee ever elected to Congress and one of the first two Muslim women.

Omar was one of two Muslim women to win an election in Tuesday's midterms.

Omar considers herself a Democratic Socialist.

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

Among those elected was Somali-American, Ilhan Omar, who easily won the election in Minnesota district. She dedicated her victory, in part, to the Palestinian cause: "A lot of my strength comes from being Palestinian", she said.

Rashida played a major role in raising her siblings as her parents worked or relied on welfare are for support.

Tlaib is endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, a burgeoning left-wing group that also counts New York Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among its members.

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