Tamam Abou Hamidan – a Palestinian woman from a migrant to mayor of a Swedish town


Tamam Abou Hamidan, 34, left Gaza in 2014 after the brutal Israel war on the besieged sea enclave. She and her family emigrated to Sweden where she settled and was able to get residency papers within two months after her arrival in the European country.

“A week after arriving in Sweden, I worked in a pizza restaurant,” Abou Hamidan told Jurnalist’s.

Finding a job at the pizza restaurant facilitated her application for a residency permit, which she got shortly after.

The Gaza migrant then learned the Swedish language, which helped her get jobs in other fields, including a job as an advisor to help new migrants enter the labor market. She was then employed by the labor office in Blekinge County in the south of Sweden.

“Getting this job motivated me,” she said. “Things began to look better, and that gave me the strength to continue and pursue more goals.”

Abou Hamidan, who had a journalism degree from Al-Aqsa University in Gaza, meanwhile returned to college and got a master’s degree in Leadership and Organization from the University of Malmo.

She joined the Social Democrat Party in the town of Olofstrom in Blekinge County and in 2018 she was nominated to the Blekinge County council. Eventually, she became deputy mayor and when the post of mayor became vacant, her party nominated her to become the mayor of Olofstrom.

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