Ahmed Aboutaleb has been chosen to be the new Mayor of Rotterdam (second Dutch city after Amsterdam). He would be the first Dutch Mayor of Moroccan native . Aboutaleb imigrated with his parents to the Netherlands when he was 15 years old. Till the end of this year, his occupation is Secretary of Social Affairs & Employment (since 2006), before that Aboutaleb was a succesful alderman of Social Affairs in Amsterdam.
His appointment in Rotterdam caused such reactions, especially from the right wing. The second political party of the city, Leefbaar Rotterdam, objected this due to double nationalities Aboutaleb has. Another important details are Aboutaleb was an Alderman of Amsterdam and he still holds season membership of FC Ajax Amsterdam.
For you who are wondering, what do these things have to do with being Rotterdam Mayor? These are big issues indeed. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are two competitive cities. While Amsterdam is very proud of the old canals, Rotterdam is very fond of its Skyline, built with Marshall Plan after the second World War. In Amsterdam you find historical buildings, but Rotterdam has the Europoort (Rotterdam’s Haven). This competitiveness comes very clearly to the surface when the Football Clubs Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam meet.
As a foreigner living here, it is fine for me that Mr. Aboutaleb would be the Rotterdam Mayor. This country has citizens from different backgrounds & cultures. The Moroccan Mayor of Rotterdam would be a reflection of a term the Dutch love to use: Multicultural Environment.