Ahmed Aboutaleb

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Ahmed Aboutaleb
Aboutaleb Dutch politician kabinet Balkenende IV.jpg
Mayor of Rotterdam
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 5, 2009
Preceded by Ivo Opstelten
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
In office
February 22, 2007 – December 12, 2008
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Henk van Hoof
Succeeded by Jetta Klijnsma
Personal details
Born Ahmed Aboutaleb
(1961-08-29) August 29, 1961 (age 52)
Beni Sidel, Morocco
Nationality Dutch
Moroccan
Political party Labour Party
Residence Rotterdam, Netherlands
Occupation Politician
Civil servant
Journalist
Religion Islam
Website Official Site

Ahmed Aboutaleb (born August 29, 1961) is a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). He has been the Mayor of Rotterdam since January 5, 2009. He served as State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment from February 22, 2007 until December 12, 2008 in the Cabinet Balkenende IV.

He is the first mayor of a large city in the Netherlands who is of immigrant descent or Muslim faith; Aboutaleb is of Riffian Berber ancestry and a dual citizen of the Netherlands and Morocco.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Aboutaleb grew up as a son of a Berber imam in a small Moroccan village in the Nador Province, Rif region. Together with his mother and brothers he moved to the Netherlands in 1976. Aboutaleb then studied telecommunications at different schools up to the Hogere Technische School where he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree. After graduating he found work as reporter for Veronica, NOS-radio and RTL Nieuws. He also worked at the public relations department of the Dutch health ministry.

Ahmed Aboutaleb in 2006

In 1998, Aboutaleb became director of the Forum organisation, an institute dealing with multiculturalism in the Netherlands. He also obtained a post as civil servant with the municipality of Amsterdam.

Career[edit]

In January 2004, Aboutaleb succeeded the scandal-plagued Rob Oudkerk as alderman in the city. Labour Party leader Wouter Bos in his book Wat Wouter Wil (English: What Wouter Wants) said that if the Labour Party was involved in forming the next cabinet after the 2006 elections, Aboutaleb would be offered a ministerial post. Aboutaleb himself claimed at the time he wanted to focus on his work as alderman and that it was "important first that the PvdA wins the elections."[1] When the PvdA really did become part of a new coalition, Aboutaleb was just offered the job of State Secretary for social affairs, but said that he did not mind the lesser function, and believed he could learn a lot from Piet Hein Donner, the minister of social affairs.[2]

Along with another deputy minister, Nebahat Albayrak, of Turkish descent, Aboutaleb was criticized at the time of their announced appointments by Geert Wilders for holding dual passports. According to Wilders and his party, government ministers should not have dual citizenship, which they say implies dual allegiance.

On October 31, 2008 Aboutaleb was appointed (in the Netherlands, mayors are not elected) as mayor of Rotterdam. He succeeded the former mayor, Ivo Opstelten on January 5, 2009. Jetta Klijnsma succeeded him as State Secretary.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Dutch) "Bos biedt Aboutaleb ministerspost aan". Elsevier. 2006-11-01. 
  2. ^ "New cabinet ministers announced". Expatica. 2007-02-14. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Henk van Hoof
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
2007-2009
Succeeded by
Jetta Klijnsma
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivo Opstelten
Mayor of Rotterdam
2009-
Succeeded by
Incumbent