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An American muslim Saad Almasmari created history by becoming a Councilman at Hamtramck in Detroit area

While presidential candidates are trying to prevent Muslims from coming to this county, they are becoming majority in one of the cities, said Osama Siblani.

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HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY 07: A pedestrian walks past the Islamic Center of Hamtramck on January 7, 2011 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The city of Hamtramck is considering filing for bankruptcy protection while it struggles to meet its financial obligations. If approved the bankruptcy filing would be the first for a city in the state of Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Despite all the hoopla over tolerance versus intolerance, USA continues to be the land of freedom of speech, justice and multiculturalism. Hamtramck- a town in Detroit area elected its first Muslim-majority city council. A town that was predominantly Polish Catholic in 1970s is today a Muslim -majority place.

That was in the first week of November of 2015. We profile one of the new councilman, Saad Almasmari.

Winning the majority of votes in Hamtramck City Council, Saad Almasmari described his excitement and experience about the race to it. “I am a social guy, I like helping my community, my city” says Almasmari.

Among three American-Muslim candidates on the ballot, Yemen born Saad Almasmari was one of them. All three received the most votes in a town that has the largest percentages of foreign born citizens in Michigan. “This is the city that has distinguished itself among others that the majority of the people on the city council are Muslims” Osama Siblani, publisher of Arab American News. But this news made a bigger remark due to its timing. “While presidential candidates are trying to prevent Muslims from coming to this county, they are becoming majority in one of the cities. I think this is the news” he adds.

Hamtramck was unhappy to know Mr. Donald Trump’s statement to ban Muslims from coming to America. “We have about 27% of Yemenis in Hamtramck, 22% Bengalis and about 11% Brazilians who are all Muslims” says Almasmari. From a Polish Catholic auto workers’ settlement, to Muslim American shop owners and businesses Hamtramck has been a case study for changing demographics by recent immigration. “Yes, it has all been quite surprising, all these national and international attention” Karen Majewski, Mayor- Hamtramck.

Saad Almasmari winning the city council elections.
Saad Almasmari winning the city council elections. Image source Al Arab news

But this attention couldn’t last longer. When Almasmari attended his first general city council meeting in January, only two media organizations were present to record the moment.  “In the council, I am an American before I am a Muslim. One of the newspapers asked me if I was able to meet Mr Trump, would you? I said yes I have no issues in meeting him. And then three days later, I received an email from their campaign asking if I can meet him for like 15-20 mins.”

If he ever meets Mr. Trump, he wouldn’t talk about his faith, but helping Hamtramck which is in financial trouble and has highest poverty rates in the state of Michigan clears Saad Almasmari.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

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  • Bill Meyer

    please make correction in quote above: it’s Bangladeshis NOT Brazilians. Thank you

  • bandmom

    Where are any women in that picture? Probably where most Muslim women are – in a body bag out of sight and not visible in public.

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Akshay Kumar Lends Support to The Niine Movement Through His #18to82 Campaign

New Delhi, May 10 : Even months after the release of "Pad Man", Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has continued his effort to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene. He has now lent support to a new campaign, bridging the gap between sanitary napkin users from 18 per cent to 82 per cent.

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The #18to82 campaign
Akshay Kumar Seems unhappy with the releasing clash. IANS

New Delhi, May 10 : Even months after the release of “Pad Man”, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has continued his effort to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene. He has now lent support to a new campaign, bridging the gap between sanitary napkin users from 18 per cent to 82 per cent.

The #18to82 campaign is a part of the Niine Movement, aimed at raising awareness about menstrual hygiene and tackling the age-old stigma against menstruation across both genders and all age groups.

Akshay, who boldly tackled the issue in Hindi film “Pad Man”, took to social media to support the campaign with the message: “Only 18 per cent of Indian women use sanitary napkins v/s 82 per cent who use unhygienic means. I support the #NIINEMovement which breaks the taboos on periods. Help bridge the gap from #18to82.”

The actor said in a statement: “Open and unafraid conversations on menstruation are powerful as they help to breakdown taboos… Menstrual hygiene is an urgent issue that we must resolve in India.

“Together, we can ensure that every female has the right to manage her period safely and with dignity, and the Niine Movement can drive the social revolution that India needs to initiate change for an entire country. The empowerment of women is the empowerment of a nation.”

The Niine Movement is conceived by social entrepreneur Amar Tulsiyan.

Tulsiyan said: “We each have a responsibility to do what we can to tackle the taboos around menstruation and educate the next generation about periods in the right way. It is my hope that through the campaign, the Niine Movement becomes the spark that leads the way in bringing menstrual hygiene and dignity to every woman and girl in India.”

Also Read: New Study Shows That Elderly With Symptoms of Depression Are More Prone to Memory Problems 

An ambitious five-year plan committed to grass-root change, the movement will be launched at the Menstrual Awareness Conclave, to be held here on Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day on May 28. It will convene film personalities, academics, policymakers, government officials, activists, business stalwarts, NGOs and thought-leaders, including Akshay, to discuss the impact that stigma and taboos on menstruation have had on holding girls and women back for centuries. (Bollywood Country)