The number of Syrian candidates for the Dutch municipal elections scheduled for mid-March in the country has risen to five, including two newcomers. The most prominent of these candidates is a 19-year-old girl.
Abd al-Salam Abbas, a 35-year-old Syrian-Palestinian, was nominated by the Turkish-backed DENK party. “I decided to run because I know very well the suffering and obstacles of every new or old comer, while in the Netherlands,” Abbas said in an interview with Syria TV. “I have always tried to help others overcome these obstacles.”
Abbas arrived in the Netherlands in 2013 and lived in Amsterdam. He moved to the southern city of Schiedam in 2015. He is currently working in the healthcare sector and is seeking to create his own business, he said.
Abbas, who was working in the field of real estate contracting in Syria, continues: “I found that working in the government field or under the cover of a party has a greater impact and influence in creating change and making our voice heard.”
The Syrian young woman, Alaa Al-Hajj Hussein, 19, ran for the municipal elections for the independent city of Papendrecht, and her number is nine in the municipality of Papendrecht in the south of the country.
Alaa is one of the youngest candidates in the Netherlands’ elections, Syria TV reported.
She is currently studying at the Willem de Zweiger school in Papendrecht and has lived in the Netherlands for six years. Alaa says she had to flee under difficult and dangerous conditions.
The family of the young Syrian woman was forced to leave the country in 2011 for Turkey before later moving to the Netherlands.
Alaa explains that she chose to join the independent Papendrecht list because of her background as a refugee. Above all, she says, she seeks to help people, noting that she belongs to “a different culture, and I can use that to help and understand others.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.