Dearborn, Michigan, elects its first Arab American mayor

Abdullah Hammoud, the son of Lebanese immigrants, was born and raised in Dearborn, the place he was elected mayor on Tuesday. With the victory, he additionally turns into the town’s first Muslim mayor.

Dearborn is house to one of many largest Arab-American communities in america. Dearborn’s inhabitants is about 42% Arab, based on Census figures. However more recent surveys suggest the town may very well be greater than half Arab.

Regardless of the town’s massive Arab group, it has by no means been led by an Arab- or Muslim-American.

“It is only a humbling expertise. It is humbling that on this city, individuals are prepared to vote for somebody based mostly on the route during which they lead, not within the route during which they pray,” Hammoud, 31, advised CNN. “It is humbling as a result of it exhibits that somebody like me, who has a reputation like Abdullah Hussein Hammoud, does not have to alter or shrink back from their identification to attain success.”

Hammoud is serving his third time period as state consultant for Michigan’s fifteenth District, which incorporates Dearborn. He was first elected in 2016 and has since been re-elected twice.

He’ll take workplace as mayor in January.

“It’s a big deal for the Arab group in Michigan and nationwide,” Sally Howell, director of the Middle for Arab American Research on the College of Michigan-Dearborn, advised CNN. “The symbolic capital of Arab America, Dearborn, Michigan, lastly has an Arab American mayor to talk on behalf of this distinctive inhabitants. Illustration issues.”

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Hammoud says he is able to get to work and instantly start tackling points that have an effect on his metropolis, together with local weather change.

“There is a clock on the wall, and there is the query of when is the following heavy rain that is going to set in that is going to steer into the following catastrophic flooding, much like what we skilled up to now summer season when almost 20,000 properties skilled some sort of flooding,” Hammoud mentioned.

“We now have to right away begin adjusting the local weather disaster by placing forth daring and modern proposals,” he mentioned.

Hammoud will even work to cut back taxes and help residents in combating the well being and financial penalties of the coronavirus pandemic, based on his campaign website.

Hammoud says he hopes his win sends a message to Dearborn’s youth — particularly those that are focused due to their variations — that nothing is out of attain.

“By no means shrink back from who you’re,” he mentioned. “Be pleased with your title, be snug in your identification, as a result of it’s going to take you locations for those who work onerous, you are passionate and also you encourage folks.”

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