Woman Who Lived in Kenyan Refugee Camp Wins USA Elections

Leroy Wright
November 7, 2018

U.S. voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress on Tuesday, marking a historic first in a country where anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise, American networks reported.

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

Ilhan Omar in an October file photo.

"I made a decision 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.

In a seat that has historically been held by Democrats, Ilhan Omar (D) won the bid for the state's 5th Congressional District, defeating Jennifer Zielinski (R) for an open spot left by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

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.

On January 1, 2009, Rashida became the first Muslim American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any USA state legislature. He resigned his position to run to be Minnesota's attorney general.

Republicans fight to keep control of the Senate in 2018 midterms
Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden called on Americans to use their votes to reject Trump. He and the first lady were to host an evening watch party for family and friends.

She shared: "We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible".

Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and became the first Muslim female member of Michigan's state legislature a decade ago.

In a year when a record number of women are running for Congress and races across the country include more candidates of color and more gay, lesbian and transgender candidates, Tlaib and Omar add to the diversity of newcomers to the electoral process.

Ocasio-Cortez easily won election in her district which spans parts of the NY boroughs of Queens and the Bronx.

Omar campaigned on a similarly progressive platform, which calls for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.

During her tearful primary election victory speech in August, with her immigrant mother by her side, she said relatives in the West Bank were watching her success. Following her win in 2016, Omar said her political involvement had become more than "about me or the win or the loss".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article