Rashida Tlaib to be sworn in to US Congress in Palestinian gown
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Rashida Tlaib to be sworn in to US Congress in Palestinian gown

Democratic representative, whose parents are from a West Bank village, gives ‘sneak peek’ of traditional hand-woven garb she’ll don at Washington ceremony next month

In this November 6, 2008 photo, Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, is photographed outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
In this November 6, 2008 photo, Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, is photographed outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Rashida Tlaib, the newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, plans to wear a traditional Palestinian robe for her swearing-in ceremony next month.

Tlaib, whose parents are from the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Foqa, near Ramallah, posted a photo to her Instagram account Friday showing the hand-woven garment, called a thobe, she said she will wear at the event.

“Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress,” she wrote of the thobe, which was black with a deep red flower pattern.

Palestinian women wear hand-embroidered gowns with a unique pattern that represents the city of origin of the wearer.

Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, is one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to the United States Congress. The other is Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, who will become the first US lawmaker to wear a hijab, the Muslim headscarf for women.

Earlier this month Tlaib said she plans to lead a trip of incoming US lawmakers to the West Bank.

Tlaib told The Intercept that her trip will focus on issues like Israel’s detention of Palestinian children, education, access to clean water and poverty – and perhaps a visit to Beit Ur al-Foqa, where her grandmother still lives.

Her trip is a counterpoint to the traditional Israel trip for first-term lawmakers sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which includes touring and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government, and the military.

She said at the time she did not yet know when the trip will take place and which Palestinian advocacy group she would partner with to provide the thousands of dollars in needed funding.

Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., reacts after drawing her number during the Member-elect room lottery draw on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 30, 2018. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Tlaib in the interview also came out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, which she said brings attention to “issues like the racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.”

J Street withdrew its endorsement of Tlaib during her campaign for Congress after she called for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tlaib also called for a reduction in foreign aid to Israel, and told Britain’s Channel 4 that she supported slashing US military aid to the Jewish state.

J Street, the liberal Mideast policy organization, advocates for a two-state solution to the conflict, among other things. Tlaib had previously received the endorsement of the lobby’s JStreetPAC based on her support for two states.

Democrat Ilhan Omar on November 7, 2018, in Minneapolis after winning Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District race in the 2018 US midterm elections. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Omar of Minnesota, the other Muslim woman elected to Congress in November, said in an interview shortly after the November election that she supports the BDS movement, after saying during her campaign that it was “counteractive” and prevents dialogue.

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