Somali woman who lived in Kenyan refugee camp elected to US Congress

Rashida Tlaib

Modal Trigger Rashida Tlaib AP

The first Somali-American elected to Congress, Omar joined Rashida Tlaib, a daughter of Palestinian refugees, as the first Muslim women to be elected to U.S. Congress.

Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will become the first Muslim women to be elected to the US Congress after securing their respective seats in MI and Minnesota.

Omar will fill the seat of Rep. Keith Ellison (D), who is running for the state attorney general and is also a Muslim.

"I made a decision to run because I was one of many people I knew who really wanted to demonstrate what representative democracies are supposed to be", the hijab-wearing Omar said in a recent magazine interview.

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Republican runner up for the fifth congressional House seat in Minnesota Jennifer Zielinski gives her concessionspeech on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Double Tree in Bloomington.

This is the first time that Muslim women have been elected to the House.

Now age 29, she has become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Elise Stefanik previously held the record when she was elected to Congress at age 30 in 2014.

Omar was leading with more than 80% of the vote when the Associated Press called the race for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District at 8:33 p.m. She spent four years in Dadaab until her family was cleared to emigrate to the US.

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The pair's election to the US House of Representatives comes amid widespread negative feeling against American-Muslims by their compatriots.

Sending her best wishes to Tlaib on the shared historic achievement, Omar wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to my sister @RashidaTlaib on your victory!" "If they tell you who they are, believe them the first time", she said.

Omar, 36, is a vocal advocate for single-payer health care, tighter gun restrictions and more expansive immigration policies. "But really I am not going from a first to another first", Omar said in an interview with The Associated Press. Democrat pro-Israel Jews have very little representation left in Congress, and momentum is heading in the other direction.

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