City Beat, Detroit, Success Stories

Michigan’s newest county commissioner was born in Lebanon


(DETROIT, MI) — Lebanese-American Abdul Haidous is one of Michigan’s newest county commissioners having carried a swift primary election and uncontested general election.

Haidous is the former mayor of Wayne, Mich., where he served for 13 years as the first Muslim of Arab descent to be elected mayor in the United States, according to his biography.

Haidous was born in the southern Lebanese village of Bint Jbeil, where he spent his early years before moving to Senegal to work at a family business.

After deciding to immigrate to the United States, Haidous worked for a Monroe area restaurant and General Motors before opening “Al’s Friendly Market” in Wayne, which he ran from 1974 to 2007.10868096_10152574396346437_4345506690406031292_n

On January 21, Consul General of Lebanon in Detroit Bilal Kabalan and several community activists visited Haidous to congratulate him on his recent election.

“Commissioner Haidous is an American Lebanese success icon with more than two decades of regional political history,” Kabalan said in a statement. “His high ethical standards are an example to be followed.”

Haidous is the recipient of dozens of prestigious honors, including being named “Person of the Year” in 1991 by the Wayne Chamber of Commerce and receiving a “Service Award” from the Arab American and Chaldean Council in 2007, among others.

Haidous and his wife Balassem celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on election day. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.

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