Alternate MP for the Social Democrats Amal Tamimi became the first foreign-born woman in the history of the Icelandic parliament today.
Sitting in for Lúðvík Geirsson, Amal came to Iceland some 16 years ago from Palestine, and has been an Icelandic citizen since 2002.
Speaking to Morgunblaðið, she said that her first arrival in Iceland had been very difficult, working everywhere from cleaning services to fish factories. However, Amal soon became active in immigration issues in Iceland, working for the immigrant help centre Alþjóðahúsið. She is one of the founding members of Women Of Multicultural Ethnicity Network, and is today the director of the Equality Centre in Hafnafjörður.
When asked for her feelings on being in parliament, she said, “There’s excitement, there’s fear, there’s satisfaction, there’s honour, there’s all kinds of feelings.”
Amal says her first order of duty will be to focus on the interests of minorities, among them immigrants, the disabled, and the gay community.