Ahmed Aboutaleb gekozen tot 'beste burgemeester van de wereld"

Ahmed Aboutaleb is verkozen tot ‘World Mayor 2021'. De jury noemt hem een ‘gepassioneerd verdediger van vrijheid, tolerantie en solidariteit’. Hij deelt de prijs met de burgemeester van het Franse Grigny. Zo meldt het AD.

"The 2021 World Mayor Prize

Ahmed Aboutaleb
Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands
Joint winner of the 2021 World Mayor Prize

The 2021 World Mayor Prize was awarded to Ahmed Aboutaleb for his commitment to treat all citizens as ‘Rotterdammers’, irrespective of their origins and backgrounds. Without this obligation it is not possible to build a stronger, fairer city.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, one of the longest-serving and most respected mayors in Europe, has led the City of Rotterdam since 2009 with courage, patience and humility. He sometimes describes himself half-jokingly as the secretary-general of the United Nations of Rotterdam. The Dutch name for ‘mayor’ is ‘burgemeester’ (master of citizens) but most of his fellow citizens refer to Mayor Aboutaleb as ‘burgervader’ (father of citizens). During all his years as Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb has always acted as a father of a very large family.

In a public interview for World Mayor, Mayor Aboutaleb was asked how Rotterdam integrates thousands upon thousands of newcomers to the city. He replies to the questioner: “In a city of 175 different nationalities it is important that people get to know each other, get to meet. Meeting helps us to learn to understand each other better, and benefits peace and social cohesion in the city. That's why I’ve defined ‘meeting’ as one of my three priorities for my third term as mayor.”

Mayor Aboutaleb was also asked how he himself felt as an immigrant. The Mayor replied: “All migrants here have to work harder to build a life and prove themselves. On the one hand, this is due to the lack of a network, which traditionally isn’t a problem for a Dutch person without a migration background. For example, they have a network through their parents.”