NBC News reported that a 29-year old Syrian refugee, who fled his country years ago to avoid conscription in Germany, was recently elected as mayor of a small German town.
Ryyan Alshebl, a German mayor of Ostelheim with a population of only 2,500 people, was elected. Alshebl, who has only been in Germany for eight years, won the election early in April 2023. He received a total of 55.4 percent of the votes against two other candidates.
Alshebl claimed that many of his supporters were families who had lived in the area for generations. They voted for him solely on the basis of his platform. Serum reports indicate that his campaign focused on municipal infrastructure and social cohesion. He visited over 200 houses on his campaign trail.
He said, “Those who voted me are Germans and Swabians. People who have lived here for generations.” “The majority chose the concept that was better.” This shows that democracy works. “I can’t imagine a stronger proof that the democracy works.”
Alshebl stated, “I had two choices: I could either do my military service to be exploited and forced by warring parties in the conflict or I could leave the country to surrender to an unknown fate.” “I surrendered myself to this fate without reservation and began my escape route,” said Alshebl.
The new mayor said, “I could never serve under the Assad regime.” He crossed the border to Lebanon and continued on through Turkey, before embarking upon a dangerous boating excursion to the Greek Island of Lesbos.
He traveled through the Balkans and then made his way to Germany, where he took advantage of a German policy in 2015 that was called an “open arms policy” towards refugees. German leaders received 1 million refugees. This would strain the nation and even cause an alarming increase in sexual assaults.
The refugee explained that he became interested in politics after a stint in the city administration. His supervisor at town hall encouraged him run for office.
The new mayor, however, said that he was not focused on being an advocate for refugees or a role model. He instead wants to support his town.
He said, “I support Ostelsheim.” The realization that I can also be a role model or an example for someone else, is also very satisfying. It’s a matter of pride. My job is to help Ostelsheim move forward. I do not plan to support other refugees. “I’m not a commissioner for refugees, I am the mayor,” he said.
The integration minister of the state encouraged the move by the town, saying that he hoped “more people who have a history of migration would run for political offices.”
According to Deutschland.de the former mayor Jurgen Fuchs did not run for reelection, but noted that “local voters voted according the qualifications of the candidates.”