Young, Muslim and Progressive: Is There Another AOC Style Upset Brew in New York?
Rana Abdelhamid, daughter of Egyptian immigrants, is trying to expel veteran lawmakers in the Democratic primary. ‘My history in this area is rooted in my organization, community, spirituality and education. I feel really connected. Photo: Rana for Congress Steinway is a busy and noisy street in the Queens district of Astoria. Locally known as “Little Egypt,” the area is full of grocery shops and cyclists entering and exiting Shawarma stores to deliver their next order. It is located in North Africa and Southwest Asia and is made up of small businesses such as Halal butchers, Bong lounges and restaurants in the Middle East. For Lana Abdelhamid, this neighborhood is her hometown. On April 14, Abdelhamid announced a match against incumbent Democrat Carolyn Maloney, who represents New York’s 12th Parliamentary District, a region consisting of most of Manhattan’s East Side, Astoria, and northern Brooklyn. .. It ranges from the wonderfully wealthy penthouse apartments in Manhattan’s Central Park to the struggling working-class area where Abdelhamid grew up. If elected, Abdelhamid is one of the youngest members of Congress to date and the third Muslim woman to be elected to the House. She is backed by Justice Democrats, a powerful and progressive activist group dedicated to the victory of Alexandria Ocasio. -Cortez and Jamal Bowman in their respective New York primaries. Justice Democrats dominates the entire city of New York, where Abdelhamid has already had a major impact on the American people, as AOC and Bowman defeated long-established Democrats and then rapidly rose to the left of the party. Politics wants to continue the trend of the leftist revolution. “My history in this area is rooted in my organization, community, spirituality and education. I feel really connected. It comes from a place of love. So I’m doing it. “She told the Guardian in an interview at an outdoor cafe in Astoria. As someone who has made a tireless effort for her community against racism and economic instability, we are proud to support @RanaForCongress and her campaign for progressive change. # NY12 https://t.co/V7tQT9LuTh— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) April 14, 2021 Abdelhamid is confident she can win too. “”[Justice Democrats] I know we can win this. It gives me great confidence in me, my team, and my community. It makes me feel like I’m part of a wider movement-a movement for progressive politics in this country, “she said. In Maloney, Abdelhamid faces a formidable opponent. Maloney, who has been in office before his opponent was born, is one of the most senior Democrats in the House of Representatives. Maloney, chairman of a powerful oversight committee, called himself a progressive in the past, but Abdelhamid said it couldn’t be far from the truth. “This is the person who voted for the Iraq War. Frankly, leadership is not just a word. It’s a habit. It’s a result. It’s a way you connect to the community. It’s the people represented. Is the way to experience life. If she calls herself progressive, it is because she understands that the tide is changing. People want to choose a progressive. She is aware of it, “she said. The 21-year-old is becoming a busy year for the 27-year-old political aspirant who launched the campaign just one day after Ramadan began. In addition to following the campaign path and planning a wedding, Abdelhamid is still fasting. The young candidate had already had to fast in the middle of the meeting, but she called the chaotic timing of her political debut “actually a kind of beautiful.” Abdelhamid’s father ran one of the first types in the community, the very popular Haral Deli. The business closed when he couldn’t pay the rent to keep the store open, and he drove a taxi to achieve his goals. Born to Egyptian immigrant parents, Abdelhamid grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with three siblings in District 12. Now she is looking for an opportunity to express it. “Many working-class immigrants, like my father and mother, came here in the 80’s and early 90’s. They basically built this neighborhood from scratch. There was no such store. “I did,” she said, pointing to Duzan, the quick and casual Middle Eastern Shawarma restaurant behind her. “There was one Greek pastry shop. There was absolutely no mosque. I grow how my aunt and uncle built these institutions and built these small businesses in just a few moments. I saw a mother selling money as an Egyptian woman so that she could raise money to build these walls. ”Steinway is now the high, bright pink center of the street. It is the home of the Alyman Mosque. Due to the growing demand for Muslim places of worship in the area, this magnificent building has been replaced by a small building next door. For Abdelhamid, it acts as a community center where you can make friends and take karate lessons, and now has one black belt. In the years following the 9/11 attacks, she remembered that her mosque was being monitored by FBI and NYPD ads for voluntary informants. “Overnight I was considered a Muslim. They would make a terrorist joke. [at school] So I felt a deep sense of isolation. People were very scared. I will change the name if possible. This neighborhood was very important to me as I went to the mosque every week. It was the only place where I couldn’t be ashamed of my girl identity. Where people said my name correctly. I felt comfortable in the hijab and didn’t feel the need to remove it immediately after walking down the street, “she said. When a Muslim-American woman had removed the hijab for fear of profiling and harassment, Abdelhamid decided to accept it. Two years later, she was attacked by a man trying to strip off her scarf. “I remember I just didn’t speak right after the incident. I remember because I speak a lot. I didn’t tell my parents for so long. My parents were scared and grieved, but rebellious. It was also empowering me. They are not scared and I should not be scared. For many Muslim women since 9/11, it was a rebirth of identity. Definitely early on, when I was wearing a hijab, it was an act of “not embarrassing.” I’m proud. I’m not going to fall into these stories blaming the people I love most. Abdelhamid has a formidable enemy to Carolyn Maloney, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Photo: Tom Williams / AP Maloney was criticized in a 2001 stunt for wearing a burqa on the house floor to gain support for the US invasion of Afghanistan. In her speech, she said, “We pay tribute to the Bush administration for balancing war and compassion and dropping food and bombs,” and said she was afraid of her and her mother’s lives at the time. I sympathized with him. “This is the guy who wore a burqa on the house floor as a costume. When she did that, as a woman wearing a hijab, we were afraid to walk down the street,” Abdelhamid said. Said. “To date, women wearing hijabs, burqas and nicabs have been exposed to crime all over the world. She wore it to justify the story that we are being oppressed. My activities and organization began for both my class identity and my ethnic and religious identity growing up as a Muslim in New York since 9/11. They are both connected to this neighborhood. The most important issue for Abdelhamid is housing justice. Abdelhamid himself was priced by the neighborhood with his family. That is, she does not live in this area. It’s true that the New York State Democratic Commission immediately pointed out. “Currently, my family and I live a few blocks outside the district. Like many working class people, you are not based on where you live away from the boundaries of the district. Well, it’s based on the community and where you can afford to live, “she said. Abdelhamid, a strong supporter of the AOC’s Green New Deal on public housing, was forced to move several times as a child, blaming gentrification for family living conditions and rising rents. “I remember when we first received the eviction notice. Our landlord sold the business to developers and kept raising rent. They were really trying to get us out. It often happens when there are large real estate developers who don’t take into account cultural, financial, working-class community needs, and neighborhood-building community needs. ” Said. Ocasio Cortez and Bowman won the election during Trump’s tenure, which helped revitalize the progressives. Asked if he was worried about the activation of left-wing support after Trump, Abdelhamid said: We strongly feel that the entire district can excite young people, people of color, blacks, working class and immigrant communities. Anyone who is really excited about the progressive ideology of wanting to see something different will be behind this campaign. People understand that progressive movements and progressive changes are long battles that never happen overnight. The changes we seek require a sustainable level of organization, and this is part of it. “