US: In a historic move, three Arab Muslims win mayoral elections

Three Arab-American Muslim candidates have made history after being elected as mayors in the US state of Michigan. Three Michigan towns—Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and Hamtramck—elected their first Muslim mayors on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

A 31-year-old, Lebanese-American Abdullah Hammoud, won 55 per cent of the vote and beat Gary Woronchak to become the first mayor of Arab descent for the city of Dearborn in Detroit, Michigan.

Hammoud’s father came from Lebanon via Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. His mother, from Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon, immigrated to Dearborn in 1974.

Hammoud will replace the sitting mayor, John B O’Reilly, who has held the seat since 2007.

Hammoud took to Twitter and wrote, “Dearborn, we won! Our residents spoke out. We want change and bold leadership to meet the challenges our city faces. We live in America’s greatest city, and I’m excited about what we can achieve together. Let’s get to work!.”

In the Michigan city of Hamtramck, Amer Ghalib, an immigrant from Yemen, was also elected to the office of mayor.

42-year-old Ghalib secured 68 per cent of the vote, beating his rival incumbent, Mayor Karen Majewski.

“Our victory is a testament to the American dream — that an immigrant like myself, who came here working a factory job at age 17, now has the honor and opportunity to serve the community that raised him, as its next mayor,” said Ghalib in a statement.

58-year-old, Bill Bazzi, born in Lebanon, has became the first Muslim and Arab-American mayor to be elected for Dearborn heights.

According to the media reports, Bazzi immigrated to the USA when he was ten years old. After high school, he joined the US marine corps and served in the active service from 1984 to 1988. He served in the Marine corps reserve from 1999 to 2016, and rose in rank to shooting sergeant serving in the military police and intelligence service. He retired from the Marines reserves in 2016.

Bazzi in his victory speech at his celebration at Antonio in Dearborn Heights said, that he is grateful to his wife, Nadia Fadel Bazzi, for her support. “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about Dearborn Heights. I am so grateful for the support of everyone and everyone. But a special thank you to Nadia.”

“I want to serve our city honorably. My objective is always: represent the people and the residents,” Bazzi added.