Pakistan

Chakwal-Born Fauzia Janjua Becomes First Pakistani Muslim Woman Mayor in US

Fauzia Janjua, a Pakistani-American woman from Chakwal, has achieved a historic milestone by being elected as the mayor of Mount Laurel in the state of New Jersey, USA. Accompanied by her husband and four sons, she proudly participated in the swearing-in ceremony at the Township Hall in Mount Laurel, holding a Quran during the event.

She is the first Pakistani and Muslim woman to hold the mayoral position in the township, which has a population of over 40,000 people. She is also the first Democrat to become the mayor in 36 years, as the town was previously dominated by Republicans.

In her speech, she expressed her gratitude to the voters and her supporters, and vowed to serve the community with honesty and integrity. She also highlighted her Pakistani heritage and her commitment to education and social justice.

“I am humbled and honored to be the first Muslim and South Asian mayor in the history of Mount Laurel,” she said. “I am proud of my roots and my faith, and I will always uphold the values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.”

She added: “I have dedicated my life to education and community service. I have taught poor children and prisoners, and I have volunteered for various causes. I believe that education is the key to empowerment and opportunity, and I will work hard to improve the quality of education in our town.”

She also thanked her family, especially her parents, who migrated to the US from Pakistan in the 1970s. Her father, Idris, is from Chakwal, while her mother is from Lahore. She said her parents instilled in her the values of hard work, resilience, and compassion.

“My parents are my inspiration and my strength. They came to this country with nothing but dreams and hopes. They faced many challenges and struggles, but they never gave up. They taught me to be proud of my identity and my culture, and to respect all people regardless of their background or beliefs,” she said.

She also received congratulations and praise from New Jersey State Representative, Carol Murphy, who administered the oath of office to her and her deputy mayor, Nik Moustakas. Murphy posted a picture of the ceremony on X, and wrote: “It is such a great honour to administer the oaths of office tonight in Mount Laurel. It was extremely special to celebrate my dear friends — Mayor Fozia Janjua (1st Muslim & South Asian Mayor in township history) & Deputy Mayor Nik Moustakas on this historic occasion.”

Fauzia Janjua’s election as mayor is a remarkable achievement for the Pakistani-American community, which has been making strides in various fields in the US. According to the latest census data, there are over half a million Pakistani-Americans living in the US, and they have contributed to the economy, culture, and society of their adopted country.

Fauzia Janjua’s election is also a sign of the changing political landscape in the US, where more women and people of color are taking leadership roles and challenging the status quo. She joins the ranks of other prominent Pakistani-American politicians, such as Saira Rao, who ran for Congress in Colorado, and Sadaf Jaffer, who became the first Pakistani-American woman mayor in Montgomery, New Jersey, in 2019.

Fauzia Janjua’s election is a moment of pride and inspiration for Pakistanis at home and abroad, who can look up to her as a role model and a trailblazer. She has shown that with determination, passion, and vision, anything is possible. She has also shown that Pakistani women are capable of leading and making a difference in the world.

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