Syrian refugee elected mayor in Black Forest town as anti-immigrant sentiment rises elsewhere in Germany

By | July 29, 2023


Malcolm Brabant, reporting for PBS: In a small town on the edge of the Black Forest, a social revolution is taking its first tentative steps.

Ryyan Alshebl, Mayor of Ostelsheim, Germany (through interpreter): Germany is a country that has given hope to many in the past, and it’s also a country of hope for me.

Malcolm Brabant: Eight years after Ryyan Alshebl arrived in Germany as a 20-year-old refugee, the people of Ostelsheim have entrusted him to be their mayor.

Ryyan Alshebl (through interpreter): I am the type of person that loves and likes to be loved. I always felt this love over the past eight years. And I’m grateful for this. I’d like to give back where possible. And with such a public office, it is possible.

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