She was known as ‘Munni’ as a child in Hyderabad before her family moved to the US. Fifty years later, Ghazala Hashmi scripted history in the land she has made her home.
A Democrat, Hashmi unseated incumbent Republican Senator Glen Sturtevant in the 10th senate district of Virginia. With this win, she became the first Muslim-American woman and the first Indian-American to serve in the Virginia Senate. The win comes at a time when a growing number of Muslim women are foraying into US politics. It was only last year that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first two Muslim women to make it to US Congress.
“Ghazala Hashmi is an American name,” she emphasised during her campaign. This is her first run for public office. An educator for more than two decades, Hashmi recently left her job to campaign full time. “This victory is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia,” Hashmi said after her victory.