The 2018 midterm elections included a lot of contributions from the Arab and Muslim community. There was high involvement from Arab women especially that led to a significant change for Muslim representation in government. It was an election of many firsts including Rashida Talib a Palestinian who is the first Palestinian and Muslim American to join Congress along with Ilhan Omar from Minnesota who is the first Somali Muslim to be elected in the house. Donna Shalala representing Florida is also the first Iranian women to join Congress. Not only did the Arab and Muslim community break records for those elected into office, but the number of candidates running for election this year from the community was high. Overall, there were more than 60 candidates running for a position in local, state and federal elections.
Arab involvement in the government allows for greater representation of the community in the American sphere. Arab and Muslim Americans continue to become threaded to the fabric of this nation, so it is rightfully deserving for them to now be represented to emphasize the needs of their community.
Arab and Muslim women display their finest cultural dress when attending special celebrations such as henna nights, weddings, and other group or community gatherings. The significance of wearing cultural dress while attending these celebrations surpasses its aesthetic meaning and reflects more on the deep connections that women establish with such an attire.
AMWRRI continues its mission of documenting the experiences and histories of Arab and Muslim communities in greater Milwaukee. Since 2010, it has addressed the dearth of information and marginalization of these immigrant groups, by creating an oral archive where men and women share their stories of immigration, integration, and identity.
AMWRRI newsletter connects women in the community together. The newsletter encourages women to be active participants in writing the issues that concern them the most. By publicizing other women’s success stories it spreads awareness of women’s potential to raise above their situations and encourages other women to pursue similar paths. These women, through the newsletter, now have an avenue where their voices can be heard and where they can learn from each others’ experiences. This helps women shift their position from dependent mothers, daughters, and wives to independent individuals who are able to lead their lives and shape their destines.