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Ali & Huda TV.

Hijabi Makes History as Youngest Candidate for Rome City Council

A young Muslim law student is hoping to make history as the youngest member for Rome’s city council in upcoming elections, saying she aims to rejuvenate the ‘majestic’ city.

Participating in October 3 elections, Mariam Ali, 20, promised “to give voice to the young, the elderly and the needy in this majestic city which needs a hand,” Arab News reported.

She is a candidate for the center-left coalition with the “Demos — Solidarity and Democracy” party, supporting Roberto Gualtieri, the former Italian finance minister, in his campaign for the mayoralty.

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Ali’s family migrated from Egypt before she was born. Over the past days, she has been campaigning online through her 200,000 followers on Instagram and 40,000 on TikTok.

Moreover, she has been meeting “so many people in person during this campaign to hear about their needs,” and that she “has been learning so much about this marvelous city.”

Proud Hijabi

Donning her hijab proudly in elections posters all around Rome, the young candidate does not hide her Muslim identity.

“I am on a journey to learn more and more: My father told me that I have been maturing so much more in terms of knowledge since I started my campaign,” she said.

Ali flaunts the hijab on her social media profiles as she is proud of her customs as a “woman with a hijab in a mostly Christian country.” 

She has pledged to improve “the social life of many boys and girls in this city in their daily life. I want everyone to have their own rights, just like I want every young person here, not only those who study law as I do, to be aware of their rights.”

“Islam gives me the push to be able to give more without receiving. The only thing I would like to receive and that I am receiving is the support of people. There is nothing more beautiful than to hear a good word. Surely it also gives me an extra sphere on which I can work and help know more about a community by being a part of it.”

Muslims represent a small minority in Roman Catholic Italy, with a Pew Research Center projection saying there are 1,400,000 Muslims in Italy (2.3% of the Italian population).

The majority of Muslims in Italy are Sunni, with a Shi’ite minority.