Rashida Tlaib Sworn in as 1st Palestinian-American to Serve in U.S. Congress

Published January 4th, 2019 - 10:41 GMT
 Rashida Tlaib along with her kids during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Rashida Tlaib along with her kids during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Arabs across the world donned traditional dress on Thursday, as Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was sworn in, making her the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.

Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian parents who moved to America, won a decisive mid-term election victory for the Democratic Party in November.

She joined Somali-American, Ilhan Omar, to become the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Tlaib said last month that she intends to put her Palestinian heritage on display when she is sworn into Congress - on Thomas Jefferson's Quran, no less - by wearing her traditional thobe dress at the ceremony.

 

On Thursday, Palestinians across the world gathered around their TV sets to watch the BDS champion and Democrat Congresswoman as she was sworn into office.

Palestinian-Americans used the hashtag #TweetYourThobe to show their support for Tlaib.

Palestinians across the world also wore their thobes to celebrate the historic moment.

Tlaib has said she intends to shake-up Congress, and rein in the US' "most pro-Israel" president in history, Donald Trump.

The Democrat has already stated her support for the pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and said she would lead a delegation to the occupied West Bank.

"Calling out the oppressive policies in Israel, advocating for Palestinians to be respected, and for Israelis and Palestinians alike to have peace and freedom is not antisemitic," she tweeted in December.

"We all have a right to speak up about injustice any and everywhere."

In an exclusive interview with The New Arab earlier this year, Tlaib said backing from Arab-Americans helped drive her on during her relentless campaigning.

One woman told her: "Please win, my kids are struggling with their identity, with who they are. They need to see somebody who has the same face in a position like Congress, to say 'yeah, we do belong here'."

She also said that she would fight for the rights of all her constituents - regardless of their background - particularly in the era of Trump politics, where divisions and racism have re-surfaced.

The BDS champion also had a treat for her sons on Thursday, giving him permission to join her in making history by becoming (maybe) the first people to "dab" in Congress.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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