Ahmad Rafah (born December 26, 1988) is an Afghan American politician from California. Rafah is a former business and technology policy advisor to U.S. Representative Mike Honda. He is running for City Council in Santa Clara, California and is considered to be the first Afghan American refugee to seek public office in United States history.
Rafah is an advocate for affordable housing, smart zoning, fixing traffic congestion, and creating civic engagement programs for local residents. If Rafah is elected, he would be the first Muslim American to serve on the Santa Clara City Council.
Rafah credits his childhood experiences for his decision to run for office and his efforts to engage Muslim communities, particularly Afghan Americans, to get involved in politics. Much of his support has come from Muslims and Afghans in the San Francisco Bay Area, where 30,000 to 40,000 Afghan Americans reside, most of them living in Fremont, Hayward and Concord. According to Rafah, he is running to combat what be believes to be the rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric inspired by Donald Trump and others who have cast the community in a negative light.
Rafah's family fled Afghanistan in 1988, and one month after they arrived at a refugee camp in Austria, Rafah was born. In 1990, their application for political asylum in the U.S. was granted, and the family settled in San Diego. Rafah graduated with honors in Chemistry from California State University, Bakersfield and has worked as a teacher and community organizer. He currently lives in Santa Clara, California.
- Obeidallah, Dean. "Meet Muslim Refugees Turned American Political Candidates Ilhan Omar and Ahmad Rafah". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- Ravani, Sarah (2 November 2016). "Born a refugee, Afghan immigrant blazes trail in US politics". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Alexander, David. "Getting to Know the Santa Clara City Council Candidates" (39). The Santa Clara Weekly. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Internal Affairs: Ex-Honda aide seeks Santa Clara seat". Internal Affairs. The San Jose Mercury News. July 9, 2016.
- "Emerge USA Interviews Ahmad Rafah, American Muslim Candidate for Santa Clara City Council". Emerge-USA. Emerge-USA. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
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