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Bismah Ahmed is Breaking Barriers …while wearing a crown!

Bismah Ahmed, a Pakistani American, is the new Miss District of Columbia. She now has a shot at becoming Miss America when the competition is held in August.

Ahmed, the first South Asian Muslim to win the Miss DC for America crown, spoke to SEEMA about her Pakistani heritage, her road to Miss Washington DC and what that win means to her.

Tell us about a little about your background, Miss Ahmed?

My parents are both from Pakistan. My mom went to college in Turkey and then came here. My dad came here when he was in elementary or middle school, so he was younger. Yeah, so then they met after college and got married. And they’ve always been in Virginia.

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Shrina Kurani

Shrina Kurani wants representation for all!

Shrina Kurani, the daughter of immigrant Gujaratis, has made a name as an engineer, and a serial entrepreneur. Soon she also could be the first Indian American Congresswoman from Southern California.

Barely 30, Kurani, a Democrat, is taking on the incumbent, 30-year Republican veteran Ken Calvert, in District 41 of the state, which leans Republican. The Democratic Party of Riverside, California, is taking the fight to Calvert, who has been in office since 1993 from the old District 42.

“We need representation for our community,” Kurani told SEEMA from her home in Riverside. “You can count on one hand how many representatives we have in Congress. That needs to change.”

District maps have been redrawn in California, and District 41, which Kurani is fighting from, has been traditionally been a GOP district. However, she sees opportunity in the fact that a quarter of the voter base is Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander. 

“So we have the ability to say, hey, we deserve representation,” Kuraii said. “This has never had a female representative has never had a person of color representative. And so it’s time.”

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