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Lulu Seikaly Could Be the First Arab Woman To Represent Texas

posted on: Sep 16, 2020

Lulu Seikaly, Democratic Candidate for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District/The Texas Signal

By: Laila Shadid/Arab America Contributing Writer

“A fresh voice for North Texas.”

If elected, Lulu Seikaly (D-TX) will be Texas’ first Arab American congresswoman. The 34-year-old lawyer and first-time politician is up against incumbent Van Taylor (R-TX), whom she describes as “an extension of Donald Trump.” Taylor is one of many white male representatives who have maintained the Third Congressional District’s Republican status for over fifty years.

“It’s definitely time for a change,” Seikaly said. “The community has become so much more diverse over the past six years…someone who says they are a seventh-generation Texan doesn’t resonate with people anymore.”

Lulu Seikaly Could be the First Arab Woman to Represent Texas
Lulu Seikaly for Congress/tenor.com

Born and raised in North Texas, Seikaly is a first-generation child of Lebanese immigrants. Her parents fled the Civil War in 1984 to pursue “a better life.” Once in the United States, Seikaly’s mother and father became successful medical professionals.

Their pursuit of the “American Dream” inspired Seikaly to run for office, she said.

“I wanted to make sure that every single American had the opportunity to succeed just like my parents did here,” Seikaly continued.

Lulu and her family in Lebanon/Glamour

As an Arab woman in America, she has faced discrimination, especially after September 11, 2001.

“[9/11] was the first time I really truly experienced racism,” Seikaly said – racism, which resurfaced after Trump’s election and subsequent Muslim ban.

“My worry was that Trump was launching an attack on the American dream,” she said, adding later that in Trump’s America, it’s hard to be someone who does not look like him.

Seikaly and her father at Dallas protests in October, 2019/Glamour

Seikaly believes that it is important to understand your roots, especially when running for Congress.

“I was American born and raised,” she said, “but I still understand what immigrants go through, what first-generation Americans go through.”

Seikaly added that representation in government is a key issue, and pointed to the lack of women and Arab Americans in Congress.

This Congressional candidate hopes to pave the way for future female Arab American politicians.

“We need diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, and upbringing because when you have a diversification of people, you are able to collaborate on ideas and make progress moving forward,” Seikaly said. “The fact that we have barely any Arabs in congress is important to recognize so that we can continue paving the way for people to follow us—to make sure that we have more women, more Arabs, more diversity of thinking.”

“For example, with greater Lebanese representation the United States government, we could have provided more aid to Beirut following the explosion in early August,” she said.

“It’s horrific,” Seikaly said of the devastating blast. “[Lebanon] can’t get a break.”

“We are resilient, happy people, and we will rebuild—we will come out from under the ashes.”

Lulu Seikaly/Facebook

Resilient is also a word she used to describe Arab women, especially as leaders.

“We need more Arab women to step up and run for office,” Seikaly said. “We’re brave, we’re strong, and we’re resilient.”

This Congressional candidate hopes to pave the way for future female Arab American politicians.

“When people say, ‘What kind of member of Congress are you going to be like?’ I say, ‘I’m going to be Lulu Seikaly.'”

Check out her website here!

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