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All about Rashida Tlaib:

Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, is the daughter of immigrants from Palestine. In 2018, she was one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress.

Who is Rashida Tlaib?

Rashida Tlaib is the congresswoman for Michigan’s 13th district. In 2019, when she started her first term in the U.S. House, she was the first Palestinian American woman and one of the first two Muslim women to do so. Rashida is a team member of the Democratic Socialists of America and is part of “The Squad” with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley, who are also progressive congresswomen. Before she was elected to Congress, she worked as a lawyer and served three terms as a state representative in Michigan.

Early Life:

Rashida Harbi Elabed was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 24, 1976. This is where Tlaib grew up. She is the oldest of 14 children whose parents came from Palestine as refugees. Her family spoke Arabic at home, and when she was young, she was the family translator. She went to Southwestern High School and then Wayne State University. She was the first women in her family to graduate from both high school and college.

Start Work for ACCESS:

Tlaib started working for ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, after she graduated from the Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University.

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Early Years in Politics:

In 2004, Tlaib began working as an intern for a state representative in Michigan. In 2007, she joined the staff of the same representative. She became the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2008,. As a state legislator, she did things like fight against pollution that hurt the people she represented. She was in office for three terms, from 2009 to 2014, before she could no longer run. Tlaib ran for the Michigan Senate in 2014, but she didn’t win.

Michigan Director:

Before the “Me Too” movement, Tlaib talked about how a Michigan director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had sexually harassed her. In 2013, the director quit.

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice:

Rashida Tlaib worked for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice after her time in the state legislature was over. There, she worked on things like fighting against bigotry and speaking out against tax breaks for rich people and businesses.

Republican Nominee:

In 2016, when Donald Trump was running for president as the Republican nominee, Tlaib was kicked out of an event in Michigan because she yelled at him and asked if he’d ever read the Constitution.

Career in Congress:

In 2018, Tlaib achieve the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th district by 900 votes in a primary race. The region is one of the least fortunate in the nation and has a ton of Democrats. It includes parts of Detroit and the towns around it. It was taken care of by John Conyers Jr. for more than 50 years. In the general election of 2018, Tlaib didn’t have any opponents, so she got 88.7% of the vote. She was the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress because of her win.

Meeting with President:

Soon after Tlaib moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2019, she said of then-President Trump, “We’re going to go in there and impeach the m*****f****r!” This caught the attention of the whole country. As she took her oath of office as a member of Congress, she wore a thobe, an embroidered Palestinian dress, to show her roots.

Democratic Socialists of America:

Tlaib is a team member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She supports progressive goals like a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, immigration reform, and college that doesn’t cost anything out of pocket. She has pushed for more civil rights laws at the federal level, marched against police brutality, and spoken out against how corporate money affects politics. Tlaib’s mentor is Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who is also a progressive like Tlaib.

Trump Tweet:

In 2019, Trump tweeted about Tlaib and other members of “The Squad”—Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Pressley—telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-filled places from which they came.” Tlaib replied on Twitter by saying, “Hey, @realDonaldTrump, I’m fighting corruption in OUR country. As a U.S. Congresswoman, I do it every day when I hold your government to account.”


Tlaib’s district is mostly made up of Black people, but she beat another Black person in the 2020 primary. In the 2020 general election, she beat the Republican candidate by a large margin.

How we Get Along With Israel:

In an interview from May 2019, Tlaib talked about how Israel came to be. Some Republicans took her words out of context and accused her of being anti-Semitic. Rashida Tlaib defended herself in part by tweeting, “Policing my words, twisting and turning them to start hateful attacks on me won’t work.”

Tlaib Supports BDS:

Tlaib backs the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wants to change how Israel treats Palestinians by putting pressure on Israel to stop. The Israeli government is against this movement, and Tlaib and Representative Omar were not allowed to visit Israel in August 2019 because Tlaib supports BDS.

Plan to Visit Village:

Tlaib had planned to visit her grandmother, who is 90 years old and lives in a small village in the West Bank, while she was in Israel. After her visit was cancelled, she first asked for permission to see her family for humanitarian reasons. This was granted. But Israel told her she couldn’t go if she “promoted boycotts against Israel,” so Tlaib decided not to go. She said in a tweet, “Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions goes against everything I believe in, which is fighting against racism, oppression, and injustice.”

Personal Life:

In 1998, Tlaib married Fayez Tlaib. Before they split up in 2015, they had two sons, Adam and Yousif.

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