DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Early this afternoon, the call to prayers could be heard in Hamtramck. 34 years ago, the city that is also known as Poletown made world history when Pope John Paul II visited.
27-year-old State Rep. Abraham Aiyash was born and raised in Hamtramck and is Muslim. He says just because he prays differently, he’s still elected to fight political battles for the people who voted for him.
The voters have spoken and elected new Arab and Muslim Mayors in three major Detroit suburbs, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Dearborn Heights.
In Hamtramck, Amer Ghalib becomes the first Yemeni Muslim Mayor defeating longtime Mayor Karen Majewski in a city that has become very diverse. We could not reach Ghalib today.
Inside the Yemen Café, owner Ali Alzuvaili says the new Mayor will have to pass the test that he’s working for the people.
In Dearborn, the new Arab American Mayor is 31-year-old Abdullah Hammoud who was also elected to State Representative before Mayor. He said last night after winning 2 to 1, he’s humbled and will work for the people.
Osama Siblani is the Publisher of the Arab American News and has watched Dearborn evolve over the four decades he’s been here. He ties this major cultural change to former Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido who died 16 years ago.
Siblani said Guido was elected by using a flyer to voters saying he would “solve the Arab problem.” Siblani says Arabs are solving the problems now.