Who Is Rashida Tlaib? New Details About The First Muslim Woman In Congress

Rashida Tlaib was elected to Congress in 2018, one of the first Muslim women to do so.

Who is Rashida Tlaib? Instagram

Who is Rashida Tlaib? Women made monumental gains in the 2018 elections, with over 100 women winning seats in the US House of Representatives for the first time in history. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan will be joinging this groups after winning her race in suburban Detroit. 

While Tlaib will be new to Washington, DC, she isn't new to politics. Who is the Representative elect from Michigan's 13th district? Read on to learn more.


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1. Local girl

Tlaib was born and raised in the Detroit area. She is the eldest of 14 children. Her parents are immigrants from Palestine and her father worked at the Ford Motor plant while she was growing up. The family was working class but, during tough times, relied on government assistance to make ends meet. Rashida stuck close to home for college, attending Wayne State in Detroit then getting her law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in East Lansing. 



A post shared by Rashida Tlaib (@rashidatlaib) on Jun 15, 2018 at 7:40am PDT

2. Intro to politics

After completing law school, Tlaib interned with Steve Tobocman a member of the Michigan state legislature. He hired her as a full-time staff member when he took on a leadership role in 2007. He was the one who encouraged her to run for office herself.


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3. Michigan State Legislature

Tlaib ran for Tobocman's seat in 2008, as he had to retire due to term limits. She won a crowded primary to secure the nomination and eventually won the seat in the heavily Democratic district with over 90% of the vote. She was only the second Muslim ever to serve in the Michigan legislature and the first Muslim woman.

4. Environmental warrior

During her three terms in office, Tlaib was known for taking on tough environmental issues. She fought to remove pollutants from Detroit’s riverfront and she led a 'We Have the Right to Breathe' campaign to study air pollution. In addition, she stopped illegal routing of polluting semis through restricted areas. 

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5. Housing crisis

During the  foreclosure crisis in Michigan, Tlaib worked with her constituents to save their homes from repossession by lenders. Her campaign website says she "saved hundreds of families from losing their homes to foreclosure, securing over $1 million in tax refunds by providing her working-class residents with free tax preparation, and connecting seniors to grant money to help weatherize their homes and save on energy bills."



A post shared by Rashida Tlaib (@rashidatlaib) on Oct 30, 2018 at 12:55pm PDT

6. Working mom

Tlaib was married to Fayez Tlaib for many years and the two have two sons together. They are currently divorced. 


7. One of two

When Tlib is sworn into office in 2019, she will be one of two Muslim women serving in Congress. The other is Ilan Omar from Minnesota who congratulated Tlaib on election night.

Congratulations to this history-making candidate.


Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.