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Rashida Tlaib is a Trailblazer for Palestinian-American Women

I never expected to see myself represented in American politics, but then Rashida Tlaib came along. The Detroit native is the first Palestinian woman and one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. On January 3, 2019, she was sworn into office. She took the oath while swearing on the Quran and wearing a traditional Palestinian embroidered thobe. What makes this even more astounding is that she claimed her position in Congress while a President who wants to ban Muslims from entering the country was in office. Rashida Tlaib means so much to Palestinian-American women like me, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. Thanks to her, Palestinian-Americans finally have someone fighting for them in Congress. 

 

Congresswoman Tlaib is unapologetically vocal and is not afraid to criticize people she doesn’t agree with. We have seen this many times with President Trump and Netanyahu. She is proud of her heritage and fights for the rights of Palestinians while being aware of the backlash she will receive for this. I look at Tlaib with pride because she embodies the voice of so many Palestinian-Americans like myself… When given the choice to visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank or speak her political mind, she chose the latter. As a result, she was banned from Israel. Rashida never visited her grandmother because her grandmother expressed how she did not want her granddaughter to be “silenced and treated like a criminal”. Sadly, Congresswomen Tlaib is not the only Palestinian-American who faces this issue.

 

 

What Tlaib did was astounding, and she brought a lot of light to how Palestinian-Americans are treated by the Israeli government. She has continued to fight for Palestinians by expressing her opinions on Trump’s new “Middle East Plan” which had no Palestinian voices represented whatsoever. Simply put, a peace plan without Palestinians is not a peace plan — it’s a plan for disaster. She has also expressed her disapproval of Trump’s Muslim Ban on numerous occasions.

Tlaib began her political career in 2004 when she interned for Representative Steve Tobocman, and in 2008 she made history by becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in her home state’s legislature. Now, today in 2020, she is Michigan’s 13th district Representative, and she focuses on issues such as environmental and economic justice. She is someone who is fighting for clean water for her state, affordable housing, and cleaner energy. Congresswoman Tlaib has already passed her first bill in Congress. She is a woman who is fighting for change and I am so proud to share the same heritage as her. I can’t even begin to explain what it’s like to have someone finally fighting for you in Congress. Rashida Tlaib is a trailblazer for Palestinian-American women!

 

You can learn more about Rashida Tlaib here.

 

 

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Farah majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. She is the Director of Recruitment and Director of Social Media of Her Campus Utah for the 2020-2021 school year. She loves painting with coffee and drinking lemonade.
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