Skip to comments.Saudi Woman Runs for US Congress
Posted on 02/29/2004 3:18:58 AM PST by jempet
JEDDAH, 28 February 2004 Faryal Al-Masri hopes to be the first Saudi-American to enter the US Congress, contesting elections in California to become a member of US House of Representatives.
Al-Masri is running on a Democratic Party ticket in the 37th electoral district in California, which has been a Republican stronghold for over half a century. But Democrats have high hopes for her. They are optimistic as they see my birth in Makkah as a good omen, she said.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News sister publication Al-Majalla, which hits the stands today, Al-Masri said it is going to be a tough fight but she is ready for it.
Ours has been a Republican constituency for more than 50 years. So if I win, Ill be the first Democrat to get elected in five decades, and people are eagerly looking forward to this election, she said. Standing against her are three other candidates, including the wife of a former Congressman.
She described herself as well prepared to counter any Republican smear tactics.
I am ready to counter any attack because of my Saudi, Arab and Muslim background. If they say I am getting oil money for the campaign, Ill tell them that I dont accept any donations from outside the United States, she said.
If they accuse me of having links with terrorism, Ill tell them they are lying because I am a staunch opponent of terrorism. I dont have any connection with terrorists, and terrorism is not limited to a particular people.
If they try to attack me because I am a Muslim, Ill tell them: I am proud of my religion, which is a religion of peace and urges people to worship God and fear Him.
Al-Masri is equally ready to confront probing on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
There must be a two-state solution, she said. She also emphasized that the US must pressure both parties as Presidents Carter and Clinton did during their tenure.
Al-Masri is proud to be a Saudi-American woman. My childhood in Saudi Arabia crucially influenced my life.
Saudi women are capable of achieving success in any area if they are given the chance. They have proved their excellence in medicine, education and higher education. Saudi women have more to be proud of than any other Arab women because of their heritage, religion and the country of birth, she said.
Although Al-Masri opposed the US-led war on Iraq, her son Omar, 24, serves with the US forces there. That has attracted some media attention as Omar is a practicing Muslim, but he has defended his role in the military.
Al-Masri came late to politics. My interest only started after the first Gulf War and when the US forces were sent to the Gulf, she said.
She was born in Makkahs Ajyad neighborhood about 50 years ago. Her father, Mahmoud Ameen Baithulmal, served as a pilgrim guide (mutawwif) until his death. Since I havent visited Saudi Arabia for 30 years, I dont remember much, she said.
But Ill never forget the Grand Mosque and the Holy Kaaba, where I used to go with my family when I was a little girl, she told the weekly.
Her mother lives in Jeddah, and she has three brothers Talal Ameen and Adnan Ameen, both professors at King Abdul Aziz University, and Tareq Ameen, a surgeon and three sisters Siham, a doctor, Abla, a school director in Britain; the third is a businesswoman. Faryal met her husband Waleed Al-Masri, a Lebanese engineer, in London while she was studying for a higher degree in journalism there. We have been married for 28 years, she said.
Faryal now works as a teacher in American history at a Los Angeles high school. In addition to Omar, she has two daughters:, Laila, 22, and Samer, 21, who are both university students.
The Baithulmal are one of the oldest families in Makkah and had been providing mutawwif service for about 100 years. Their roots go back 300 years when their great-grandfather Abdul Qader was keeper of the baithulmal or treasury in Makkah.
SSSUUUUURRRREEEE it is! As long as there are no people of OTHER religious persuasians around. If there are, then the "religion of peace" becomes the "religion of pieces", as any non-Muslims are FORCED to either convert to Islam or be reduced to piles of quivering, dead, hamburger.
She forgot 911.
Her biography says:
Rep. Millender-McDonald honored to be named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans
Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald has been the powerful voice and legislative pioneer of the people of California's 37th District, which includes part of the county of Los Angeles, Carson, Compton, Long Beach, Signal Hill and Watts, since 1996. She is a Democrat with an abiding passion for fairness and justice and is known nationally as a powerful advocate for women, families and small business.
Given her current status coupled with her statements in favor of her old country, I would say she is a bit short of a byte.
One of these days, there is going to have to be regime change in Saudi. Wouldn't want anyone voting against that, right?
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