Rashida Tlaib will wear a Palestinian gown as she’s sworn into Congress
US Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib will be sworn into office next month while wearing a traditional Palestinian gown.
The Michigan Democrat announced on social media Friday that she intends to wear a thobe to the ceremony.
“Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress,” she wrote on Instagram, including the hashtags #PalestinianThobe and #ForMyYama (Arabic for mother).
Palestinian women traditionally wear hand-embroidered gowns. Each gown’s embroidery is unique and represents the city that its wearer is from. For Palestinians, it is considered a way of showing pride in one’s heritage.
Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants from Beit Our al-Foqa, a village in the West Bank near Ramallah.
Tlaib will fill the seat formerly occupied by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office last year amid accusations of sexual misconduct. She ran unopposed in the general election following her August primary win in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.
Following that win, Tlaib appeared at a celebration rally where she was draped in a Palestinian flag and her mother broke out in ululation, a high-pitched vocal sound many Middle Eastern women make in celebration.
A self-styled progressive, Tlaib is a critic of President Donald Trump and was arrested two years ago for disrupting a Trump speech in Detroit.
She will be one of the first two Muslim women heading to Congress early next year. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, will be the first US lawmaker to wear a head scarf or hijab.
Only two other Muslims have been elected to Congress, and both are men currently in office: Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Democratic Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana. Ellison is leaving Congress at the end of the month after being elected as Minnesota’s attorney general.