Salina teacher Ms. Saidi had her students invite newly elected Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud to their class for an interview. Seventh grader Hanan Ahmed penned this article from the notes she took during the interview. We look forward to featuring other stories written by Dearborn students.
“I couldn’t be in my place without Dearborn,” stated Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, the newly elected mayor of Dearborn and graduate of Fordson High School. During an interview with Salina Intermediate students, Hammoud shared his wins and struggles in his life and made sure to leave the crowd inspired.
Mayor Hammoud was born on March 9, 1990. He is the second-youngest mayor in the history of the city. A son of an immigrant, Hammoud wanted to be a medical doctor but his application was rejected from 100 medical schools. After thinking of giving up, he remembered his brother who passed away six years ago. Hammoud looked up to him, and when he died, Abdullah knew he had to carry on his legacy of helping people.
Hammoud was raised to believe that education brings happiness. He fondly remembers attending McDonald Elementary School, Woodworth Middle School and eventually graduating from Fordson. He also looked up to his 5th grade teacher, Mr. Setz. In school, he played chess, wrestled, played tennis, and generally had fun while learning. Hammoud’s advice to current students: “Be proud of who you are and don’t hide your name.”
Mayor Hammoud’s family moved 12 times by the age of 14. Hammoud was raised to love his neighbors no matter what. When he was young, his family struggled financially, and Hammoud and his four brothers had to stay with his neighbor sometimes. His father lived by the saying, “There is no such thing as embarrassing work.” This upbringing is why Hammoud, with his wife, Fatima Beydoun, are raising their daughter in Dearborn with the same value to love neighbors no matter what.
A product of Dearborn and its schools, Hammoud is a three time graduate of the University of Michigan and he believes in the transformative power of education. As he put it, there is no other city he would rather call home.