How Standing Up For the Poor Helped Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib Get Elected to Congress

Tlaib Calls for Peaceful Coexistence between Palestinians and Israeli

How Standing Up For the Poor Helped Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib Get Elected to Congress

Illustration by Ali Almandalawi

(1)    Rashida Tlaib was born on Saturday 24 July 1976 in Detroit, Michigan to Palestinian migrant parents. Tlaib is the oldest of 14 siblings and her father made a living by working on an assembly line in a Ford car factory.

(2)    Tlaib graduated from Detroit’s South-Western High School in 1994, and then went on to Wayne State University from which she earned a BA in Political Science in 1998. 

(3)    Straight after her graduation in 1998, she married Fayez Tlaib, another Palestinian-American. She did not follow her parent’s decision to have many children, and has instead opted for just two sons with her now ex-husband. Tlaib’s marriage and children did not stop her from pursuing a law degree, which she earned from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2004.

(4)    Throughout her adult life, Tlaib had a desire to pursue humanitarian causes and it was this desire that inspired her entry into politics nearly ten years ago in 2008.  Since then, she has been dedicated to providing a voice for the needs of Detroit’s poor and disenfranchised.

(5)    Tlaib joined the Democratic Party and has since fought for the following issues: universal healthcare, increasing minimum wage, protecting the environment, lowering university fees to more reasonable levels and abolishing the gender pay gap.

(6)    In regards to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Tlaib has expressed her support for a two state solution in which both nations live in peaceful coexistence.

(7)    In 2004, Tlaib started an internship with Michigan State Representative Steve Tobocman who in 2007 became Majority Floor Leader. Tlaib’s hard work impressed Tobocman so much that he appointed her a member of his staff in 2008.

(8)    Tlaib has been a vocal critic of Trump since his campaigning days. In August 8, 2016 while Trump was giving a speech in Detroit, she loudly heckled and protested against the then Republican presidential candidate. She was eventually removed from the venue so that he could continue his speech.

(9)    This incident did not deter her as she continued to criticize Trump’s policies outside the venue as well as throughout her own election campaign for a seat at the House.

(10) Now Tlaib will still continue to oppose Trump, but not at street protests but through political decorum in Congress.   

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