The state of Tennessee in the United States is set to witness the emergence of the first Muslim lawmaker.

The woman Zulfat Suara, an immigrant from Nigeria is standing election as the Metro At-Large candidate to represent Nashville at the Metro Council, Tennessee, US. She is a Certified Accountant, who left Nigeria in 1993 and became a US citizen much later. And in 1998, she moved to Nashville where she and her family have lived then.

Originally from Nigeria, she went to America in 1993 and chose to make Tennessee her home when the opportunity for her husband, Dr. Rahaman Suara, to do a fellowship at Vanderbilt presented itself. She has been active in community service and leadership since she moved to Nashville in 1998.

According to her, the desire to run became necessary being driven by the need to give back to the community that has accommodated her and her family for years, “running on higher wages plus school funding and participatory budgeting”.

“I am an American citizen, who happens to be black, who happens to be a woman, who happens to be a Muslim. But I am an American. I have every right to give back, and I have every right to run,” she said of what was her driving force for running for the office. “People were surprised and said, ‘why are you going to Nashville? It’s next to Mississippi.’ But when I got there, people are actually nice,” she added.

She noted that though she faced stiff opposition being from a Muslim background, however, being supported by her immediate family and other fellow Americans in her electioneering campaign brought her this far in the process that may lead her to victory, being the first Muslim woman to have ever run for any position in the state of Tennessee. In 2014, she ran in Bolivar, Tennessee, for school board.

She is a proud mother of five children with her children at Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt, and UPenn

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