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Ahmed Aboutaleb
Aboutaleb in 2016
Mayor of Rotterdam
Assumed office
5 January 2009
Preceded by Ivo Opstelten
State Secretary for Social Affairs
and Employment
In office
22 February 2007 – 12 December 2008
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Henk van Hoof
Succeeded by Jetta Klijnsma
Personal details
Ahmed Aboutaleb

(1961-08-29) 29 August 1961 (age 62)
Beni Sidel, Morocco
Nationality Dutch, Moroccan
Political party Labour Party (from 2003)
Children 3 daughters and 1 son
Residence(s) Kralingen, Netherlands
Occupation Politician · Civil servant · Journalist · Electrical engineer · Nonprofit director · Political pundit · Author · Columnist · Poet

Ahmed Aboutaleb (Arabic: أحمد أبو طالب; born 29 August 1961) is a Dutch politician of Moroccan origin, he is of the Labour Party (PvdA) and a journalist. He has been the Mayor of Rotterdam since 5 January 2009.

Early life and career

Ahmed Aboutaleb was born on 29 August 1961 in Beni Sidel in Morocco. He grew up as a son of a Riffian Berber Sunni imam in a small village in the Nador Province, Rif region. Together with his mother and brothers he moved to the Netherlands in 1976, when he was 15 years old. Aboutaleb had already noticed how he differed from other kids. As he says in an interview: 'I was so different, such a school dork. I wanted to learn, I wanted to know everything.'

Aboutaleb then studied electrical engineering with a specialisation in Telecommunication at different schools up to the Hogere Technische School where he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

After graduating he found work as reporter for Veronica TV, NOS-radio and RTL Nieuws. He also worked at the public relations department of the Dutch health ministry. In 1998, Aboutaleb became director of the Forum organisation, an institute dealing with multiculturalism in the Netherlands. He also obtained a post as a civil servant with the municipality of Amsterdam. In 2002, he applied for a government position with the Pim Fortuyn List party but chose not to take it up after disagreeing with the LPF's policies. He joined the PvdA a year later.


Aboutaleb is also a great fan of poetry, especially Arabic poetry. He translated poetry of Adunis, the most famous living poet of the Arabic language, very little of whose work had been previously translated into Dutch. In June 2010, he presented a few of his translated poems in Arabic in Rotterdam during the festival Poetry International.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ahmed Aboutaleb para niños

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