A onetime Somali refugee and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants shared the historic distinction Tuesday of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress.
Both women Ilhan Omar, 37, and Rashida Tlaib, 42 are Democrats from the Midwest and outspoken advocates of minority communities that have found themselves in the sights of US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.
Tlaib’s victory was no suprise. She ran unopposed in a congressional district that stretches from Detroit to Dearborn, Michigan.
Their stories trace a similar trail-blazing rise through local politics.