In November, Rashida Tlaib made history as the first Palestinian and one of the two Muslim women elected in US Congress. She is set to be sworn into office next month, and for the occasion, has decided to wear a traditional thobe from her motherland. She made the announcement via an Instagram post on Saturday. “Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress,” she wrote on Instagram alongside an image of a traditional red and black hand-embroidered dress, with the hashtags #PalestinianThobe and #ForMyYama.
The daughter of Palestinian immigrants who hail from Beit Our al-Foqa, a village in the West Bank, Tlaib ran unopposed on the general election ballot following her primary win. The Democrat, who served in Michigan’s state legislature from 2009 to 2014 before working as an attorney, is also known for disrupting a speech given by then-presidential nominee Donald Trump two years ago. She will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office last year.
Following her win, Tlaib, who has actively campaigned her roots, draped herself in a Palestinian flag during a celebration rally in Michigan.
She joins Ilhan Omar as one of two Muslim women elected in US Congress. Omar, who ran as her state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s nominee, will secure the seat vacated by Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who became the first Muslim elected to the United States House of Representatives. The Somali-born Democrat, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp before fleeing to America aged 12, also made history as the first African refugee and hijab-wearing woman to serve in Congress.
Both Tlaib and Omar ran progressive platforms in their primary races, including access to affordable housing and health care for all, a US $15 minimum wage, increasing the number of refugees admitted to the United States, and the abolishment of ICE, to become the Democratic nominee.