Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib- the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress in the US House of Representatives

The two Midwestern Democrats previously served as state lawmakers!

A proper sense of history-making lingered in the air on Tuesday night, when two Muslim women were elected to Congress for the very first time in American history.The two Midwestern Democrats previously served as state lawmakers.

Ilhan Omar, 37, was born and raised in Somalia. Her family emigrated to the US in 1995. The hijab-wearing mother of three got her bachelor’s degree in politics from North Dakota. In 2016, she was elected as a Democratic Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali-American legislator officially elected to a public office AND the first woman of colour to represent Minnesota in Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, 42, is a Palestinian-American and the first official American Muslim woman to be elected to Congress after running unopposed by a Republican.  Born to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, Rashida pursued BA in political science and graduated from Wayne State University in 1998. Back in 2009, she became the first Muslim American woman to serve in the Michigan legislature, making her second Muslim woman to have ever been elected to a US state legislature.

This election would have been a significant milestone in any period of time, but is especially symbolic now considering the prevalence of fear-mongering and hatred that has been made widespread under the presidency of Donald Trump, particularly regarding Islam, Muslims and the Black community.

Somali supported cheered, danced and sang, overwhelmed with joy, when the race was called. Upon taking to stage, IIhan’s first words to the crowd were asalamu alaikum, making her mark in history a permanent one to be remembered for centuries to come.

The night of the announcement, Rashida recalls weeping as her Palestinian mother draped her in the trademark black-and-white national scarf. Her campaign workers celebrated by dancing to Cardi B’s music and a Palestinian song stating “I will never bow to anyone.”

Ilhan also reached out on Twitter to publicly congratulate Rashida on her historic win.

Emotions ran wild upon seeing this display of sisterhood and unity. People felt like they finally had role models to look up to and proper representation of their kind in official positions.