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Former Somali Refugee At Dadaab Ilhan Omar Elected To US Congress

08 November 2018

Tlaib is the oldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants, and is the second Palestinian American elected to Congress after Michigan Republican Justin Amash, BuzzFeed reported.

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.

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

The other was Rashida Tlaib, of MI.

The high-profile midterm cycle that produced a record number of women contenders and candidates of color meant several winners will take office as trailblazers, marking firsts for their race and gender. In an emotional speech following her historic election, Tlaib paid tribute her Palestinian roots.

A hijab wearing mother of three, Ilhan is married to a Somali-American Ahmed Hirsi. "I couldn't sit on the sidelines", she said. After the start of the civil war in 1991, she and her family fled Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. She eventually settled in Minneapolis.

Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley will represent Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District in the next Congress.

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Omar has forged a progressive political identity. She campaigned in favor of single-payer health care, tighter gun control and more inclusive immigration policies.

Congress needs to make "sure we are moving the country in a "direction that is more hopeful, inclusive and prosperous", Omar said in a "CBS This Morning interview" the morning after winning her election in Minnesota's 5th district with 78 percent of the vote".

The pair's election to the US House of Representatives comes amid widespread negative feeling against American-Muslims by their compatriots.

"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.

Since then, she has not stopped campaigning: she worked full-time as a volunteer for Barack Obama, and on dozens of local and state campaigns.

She has become "a source of pride for Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world", her uncle Bassam Tlaib told Reuters on Tuesday.

There was no Republican on the ballot in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.

Former Somali Refugee At Dadaab Ilhan Omar Elected To US Congress