Rashida Tlaib, an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. representative for Michigan’s 12th congressional district since 2019 (known as the 13th congressional district until 2023) was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants parents.
She is the eldest of 14 children born to her parents.
Rashida’s mother was born in Beit Ur El Foka, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Her father was born in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. A hardworking man, he first moved to Nicaragua, then to Detroit to make ends meet for his family.
He worked on an assembly line in a Ford Motor Company plant.
As the eldest, Rashida helped in taking care of her siblings while her parents worked.
Through the support of her parents, Rashida attended elementary school at Harms, Bennett Elementary, and Phoenix Academy.
She graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit in 1994.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wayne State University in 1998 and her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2004. She was admitted to the bar in 2007.
Rashida began her political career in 2004 when she interned with State Representative Steve Tobocman. When Tobocman became Majority Floor Leader in 2007, he hired Tlaib to his staff.
Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat from Michigan’s 13th congressional district in 2018.
She ran unopposed in the general election and became the first woman of Palestinian descent in Congress, the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature, and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, along with Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
In 2023, Tlaib was among 56 Democrats to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.