World Mayor 20/21

Arnhem Mayor Ahmed Marcouch
Ahmed Marcouch, Mayor of Arnhem, Netherlands, since 2017
World Mayor Nominations 2021
Ahmed Marcouch, Mayor of Arnhem, Netherlands

The 2021 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on mayors who have been showing leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and who are now aiming to make their cities more resilient economically, structurally, socially and environmentally. In fact: Stronger | Fairer | Greener. The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for mayors who have shown exceptional leadership skills but also, and more importantly, acted at all times with compassion towards those most affected by Covid-19. The pandemic has shown how vulnerable even the richest cities are when confronted with a disaster like Covid-19. Forward-looking city leaders will now begin to re-think how their communities can be better protected against future threats, both natural and man-made.

Ahmed Marcouch, Mayor of Arnhem, Netherlands, has been shortlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize.

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Nominations for
Ahmed Marcouch
Mayor of Arnhem (Netherlands)

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Nominated by Anita de G., Arnhem:
Dear reader, I vote for my mayor Achmed Marcouch. I don't know if he is the best mayor in the world, but he is certainly the best mayor Arnhem has ever had.
He is visible, he is accessible, he gives attention, he connects and fraternizes people. He is a great role model for everyone in his town. Every day he writes a piece on social media for the residents of his city in which he shares what he does, has done or what he thinks from something. He pays attention to everything that is going on in the city and on the holidays of almost all different cultures he sends wishes. He gives attention and is understanding and friendly, approachable and tolerant that is also what stimulates the inhabitants of the city to do. He lives in an ordinary neighborhood among the ordinary people and acts like an ordinary person. With that he has won the hearts of the Arnhemmers.
During the corona crisis he also visits e.g. to the hospital and encourages people to stay at home and gives compliments when it has been quiet in the city and in the parks on days when it would otherwise be busy. He is visible and is very close to the people and shows it in this way. Empathizes, is present at the locations where things happen. For example, in December in a neighborhood where every night there were riots and heavy fireworks were set off, cars set on fire and vandalism took place because of Corona and the resstrictions and the fireworks with old and new were banned. He was there and he talked to people. And not in front of the cameras, but to have real contact with the people, the residents of the neighborhood, but also with the rioters.
His vision is that knowledge and understanding lead to connection and fraternity. And with his unwavering commitment, his attention, kindness and good example, he has already achieved a lot. This is the mayor of the future. And for me the best mayor in the world. 

Nederlands: Ik stem op mijn burgemeester Achmed Marcouch. Ik weet niet of hij de beste burgemeester van de wereld is, maar hij is zeker de beste burgemeester die Arnhem ooit gehad heeft.
Hij is zichtbaar, hij is bereikbaar, hij geeft aandacht, hij is verbindend en hij verbroederd mensen. Hij is een groot voorbeeld voor iedereen in zijn stad. Hij schrijft voor de bewoners van zijn stad dagelijks een stuk op social media waarin hij deelt wat hij doet, gedaan heeft of wat hij ergens van vindt. Hij besteed aandacht aan alles wat speelt in de stad en op de feestdagen van bijna alle verschillende culturen stuurt hij wensen. Hij geeft aandacht en is begripvol en vriendelijk, aanspreekbaar en tolerant dat is ook wat de inwoners van de stad stimuleert te doen. Hij woont in een gewone buurt tussen de gewone mensen en gedraagt zich als een gewoon mens. Daarmee heeft hij de harten van de Arnhemmers voor zich gewonnen.
Ook tijdens de corona crisis brengt hij bezoeken b.v. aan het ziekenhuis en hij stimuleert mensen thuis te blijven en geeft complimenten als het rustig is geweest in de stad en in de parken op dagen dat het anders druk zou zijn. Hij is zichtbaar en staat heel dicht bij de mensen en laat dat op deze manier ook zien. Leeft mee, is aanwezig op de locaties waar dingen gebeuren. Bijvoorbeeld in december in een wijk waar elke avond opstootjes waren en zwaar vuurwerk werd afgestoken, auto’s in brand gestoken en vernielingen plaatsvonden omdat het vuurwerk met oud en nieuwe verboden werd. Hij was er en hij praatte met mensen. En niet voor de camera’s, maar om écht contact te hebben met de mensen, de bewoners van de wijk, maar ook met de relschoppers.
Zijn visie is dat kennis en begrip leid tot verbinding en verbroedering. En met zijn niet aflatende inzet, zijn aandacht, vriendelijkheid en het goed voorbeeld heeft hij al heel veel teweeggebracht. Dit is de burgervader van de toekomst.  En voor mij de beste burgemeester van de wereld.

Nominated by Anni S., Arnhem:
I would like to formally vote for Mayor Ahmed Marcouch from Arnhem, the Netherlands. I moved to Arnhem 1.5 years ago and never have I lived in a city where the mayor was so active and present in city life, let alone where I knew the mayor’s name without researching it myself!
When you arrive in Arnhem by train (as many Dutch people do), Ahmed Marcouch’s motivating words “samen tegen corona” (together against Corona) are spray painted against the wall close to the exit.
At city hall, there are often flags that speak out on important social justice issues, such as the rainbow flag for the LGBTQIA+ community and “Stop geweld tegen vrouwen” (stop violence against women).
Ahmed doesn’t just look out for adults: children are just as important. He cameoed in last year’s Sinterklaas film that intentionally provided a substitute for the much anticipated St Nicolas festival in late November. It meant a lot to this city’s children, and I daresay for my partner and myself as well! Re-establishing a sense of normalcy.
He’s a man of the people – but also of the individual. I thought a mayor would probably have a business LinkedIn page, but he’s got a public one and accepted my connect invitation within a day. He keeps me, and all of us Arnhemmers, updated on current events in town and uplifted with motivational pictures and words of kindness.
These are just my personal experiences/impressions of Mayor Ahmed Marcouch, certainly just a few of many others.

Nominated by Moniek V., Arnhem:
Ahmed Marcouch for World Mayor 2021
Why? Because:
He knows what life is about
He knows what suffering is
He knows the struggle to reach the top 
He is a role model

He is inspired by his religion, the Islam
He lives in accordance with its values
He speaks out in public
He accepts the risks
He stands up for the weak
He fights against discrimination, racism and violence
He knows the fears of being beaten up
He defends the right of people to be free
He defends the right of women to be independent
He defends the right of LGBT community to be themselves
He condemns Salafism in public
He is so courageous

His heart is so big
His personality is so warm
He gives people hope!

Nominated by Tanja, Arnhem:
He is a great mayor and very visible. It seems he can be at several places in one time :-). You ran across him easily when walking through the city centre, or the park, or the railwaystation, or the forest, or the hospital, or etc....

He is in sync with his emotions. Shares the difficulties in his family life re COVID and the lock down. Does not deny the difficult times with Covid, and therefore motivates people to obey.

He is a good promotor of our lovely city and really shows his proud of the city and should therefore win!

Nominated by Marjolein P, Arnhem:
Ahmed Marcouch is our Mayor. He is the very best in my opinion. He has, when neccessary a strict policy. He can be very stern about things, but always straight forward. Compliments people often on LinkedIn with achievements. Reaches out to groups that feel left out. When people are well behaved and on it’s best he praises them. When things are at hand, he listens and truthfully tries to help and make things better. When people want to just be cross and make a mess, he is strict and stern.

You can go a long way with our mayo rif you are sincere and polite. Then still you are allowed to be angry or frustrated and voice that. He will honestly listen. Like when he needed to forbid alcohol in a parc when people were making a mess of the parc and not keeping to the Covid regulations. The day after he stated that is was an emergency statement, but no permanent one. He wants the people who are keeping themselves to the regulations to be able to have fun and do whatever is possible within the regulations, so not to punish them for the wrongs of a few. He is always like that. Seeking possibilities and preventing things from getting out of hand, trying to be fair so no one feels left out or punished bij the doings of others.

Nominated by B. O., Arnhem:
If some one deserves this nominee, it has to be Mayor Ahmed Marcouch. Under his administration he gained not only much love and respect from the people of Arnhem, and Dutch citizens. But even gained huge respect from overseas as he gets annualy visited by WWII-veterans from all over the world. As they come to attend the WWII memorial days, paying respect to millions who served to protect our freedom. Mayor Ahmed made it possible to raise national awareness for these heroes. Besides this, Mayor Ahmed is known as being a bridge builder and believes in dialogue and changes. Those are qualities which suits a World Mayor.

Nominated by Sandra T., Arnhem:
Marcouch is involved, names population groups by name, has an eye for the most vulnerable and shows commitment to everyone. He is also at the helm as a crisis leader. He gives direction and guidance to his colleagues and residents. He is accessible to young and old. He has also found his way on social media and shares his experiences with citizens. He is a mayor who stands for his residents. I wish every city a mayor like Marcouch.

Nominated by Willem Z., Arnhem:
Ahmed Marcouch shows commitment. He is proud of Arnhem and he shows the citizens Arnhem is a beautiful place to live during the Corona pandemic.
Mr. Marcouch wants to make Arnhem a better place to cope with climate change and to resist the loss of biodiversity. He stands close to all the people of Arnhem and he is able to guide us through this period of crisis.

Nominated by Willem van P., Arnhem:
Mayor Marcouch is able to connect people. With his positive but straight behavior and approach, he is a role model for others, and earns respect from all the levels of the society of the city of Arnhem. He is a real peoples manager. Great for entrepreneurs, stimulating the rich and the poor to connect and a great example for other mayors in the country.

Nominated by Hilde, Arnhem:
A message at LinkedIn made me aware of your requesting votes for the most inspiring mayor in the world. I think mayor Ahmed Marcouch is an inspiration to many people, because he sends us messages that are personal and come across as honest and positive towards everyone whatever their background or culture. For example he wrote about missing his own family in a post about the new regulations for Covid19. He also shares about being enthusiastic about how beautiful the city is and about his meetings with people that live there. I think his positive attitude is refreshing and inspiring people to look at their city and themselves with a positive attitude as well. 

Nominated by Hans K., Arnhem:
Mayor Marcouch has been able to capture the sentiment of the different nationalities and social groups in my city, and addresses the painful topics. Not only he is in favor off supporting the groups that need extra attention (typically people with a migration background) but also the addresses the risks of losing the connection with the indigenous population. This way he has been a mayor of all inhabitants of Arnhem.

Nominated by Jasper T., Arnhem:
As an inhabitant of the city of Arnhem, I am very pleased with our mayor Ahmed Marcouch.
Our mayor is a strong leader who has been able to bind all different parties in the city council.
During the pandemic, he has been leading by example, and always looking after his civilians, e.g. by visiting them and addressing them in his regular inspiring posts on social media, calling out to look after each other. This can be the elderly, school children, restaurant owners and a lot of other groups that are having a very tough time.

He is also able to bind the different religious groups in our city and treats everybody as equal. Some people were skeptic when he came: ‘an Islamic mayor who was born in Marocco, whe don’t want that’ but fortunately he silenced them all with his kind personality and strong leadership.
And he became a true Arnhemmer, he has a lot of respect for our city’s past and commemorates the heroes of the allied forces that fought for our freedom in the 2nd world war. You can tell he loves the city and the city loves him. I can easily say that he is the best mayor we ever had and with me a lot of people hope that he will be our mayor for many years to come.

Nominated by Jasper J., Arnhem:
Hearby my vote for Ahmed Marcouch:

"He is able to include and connect all layers of our population. From people with roots abroad, rooted in the Netherlands, or Dutch people who are unable to take root here due to circumstances. He does this by deeply feeling and sharing how his own background -born abroad- and opportunities in the Netherlands have determined his life. His quality is not so much being a human being, but taking being human to a professional level. He finds time to show his face everywhere, and at the same time fulfill his formal duties properly."

Nominated by David H., Arnhem:
I would like to vote for Ahmed Marcouch. The best Mayor a city can have (Arnhem) or dream of (all other cities).

In my opinion a mayor is a more symbolic function. Mostly for politicians of a higher level who made a booboo.. The real power is with the cities council and he opens museums.

Not Ahmed Marcouch. He wanted to be Mayor. He’s the first Mayor who is visible. He does a lot for the city and it’s people and let us know about it. On his social media he posts a weekly letter. About things which are going good in the city. About things that don’t go good, most of the times with immediate action. Never we had a mayor who was such a crime fighter, but at the same time helps young people to make other choices.

During the COVID period these letters are very important. You feel heard. You’re not alone. He really connects people, not on a shallow way, but a real connection. And he does it for everyone in the city! He congratulates people with important day’s. Islamic days, Jews days, Chinese New Year, coming out day, he doesn’t mis one.

He is not just a mayor, but an accessible father figure for everyone. I can’t say he must win, but he deserves it definitely!!

Nominated by Lisette E., Arnhem:
Starting his mayor carreer in Arnhem, people were skeptical. A (Dutch-Moroccan mayor, how could that be a good thing? After 3.5 years, I can fully say: he is the best mayor Arnhem has got as far as I know. Ahmed Marcouch is a visible mayor, which we saw during the Covid pandemic. He visited the hospital Rijnstate (were I am working) several times as well as the police, fire department and schools. He is very active on social media, helping us to keep strong and posting positive quotes about thing we CAN do and enjoy during this pandemic.

Nominated by Louise v. d. B., Arnhem:
Marcouch is an inspiring mayor. He is always at the forefront in better and worse situations. He does not hide and stands up for what he believes in. We’ve seen him act and stride for causes like equality, diversity, safety, sustainability. He has a great sustainable vision for Arnhem and inspires long beyond Arnhem while enrolling it and putting it in practice. I think he is the first in the already green city of Arnhem who stated that 15% of the tiles needed to be replaced with plants and trees. He is also a very good cooperator with other leaders securing the strategic position of Arnhem. He is a true leader and is in for it on the long run!

Nominated by Karin D., Netherlands:
Ahmed Marcouch is a very warm, enthusiastic and energetic major of Arnhem. Het is very connected to its people no matter who they are or where they come from. He is really a “burgervader”, a father for all Arnhem’s citizens. He has an eye for everyone who needs it together witch good advice and also compliments for the ones who deserve it. He is very visible and accessible, knows when to be there of when to stay in the background. A leader trough the corona crisis and all other small city problems. He is the best you can wish for. Although I do not live in Arnhem I admire hem a lot.

Nominated by Meryem K., Arnhem:
I vote for the Mayor of Arnhem to earn the title of ‘world mayor’ . In his rol as the mayor of a big city, he did not lose his identity. We do not only see a mayor, but also a compassionate citizen and someone who keeps an open door policy, even though he has an incredible busy schedule (especially now during Corona).

His humbleness yet strong leadership is what makes him deserving of this title and celebration of his work. I am sure, he sacrificed his private life to be able to keep an open heart for his city and the people that rely on his leadership.

Nominated by Frank H, Arnhem:
Ahmed Marcouch is the best mayor in the world because of his unique set of skills and especially his ability to convey true empathy to a all ranks of society. This man does not care about ranks, job titles and privileges. I have never seen him judge a book by it's cover. On the contrary mayor Marcouch continually reaches out to all groups within the Arnhem community. While doing so he remains down to earth and remarkably humble.

I have had the pleasure and honor to meet mayor Marcouch recently while he visited the Dutch Red Cross at a covid-19 vaccination site. I witnessed a very special conversation between the mayor and one of the vaccinated eldery people. Yet again mayor Marcouch showed true empathy and appreciation.

Policy wise mayor Marcouch rightly focuses on crime fighting, not by means of mere Police strength but by seeking out the underlying social issues.

Therefore Ahmed Marcouch is in my opinion the best mayor in the world and should be awarded as such.

Nominated by Hetty G., Arnhem:
I believe Ahmed Marcouch earns this title because he is a peace maker, he has been building bridges between all different communities in our city of Arnhem. 
He speaks with respect about all world religions and still expresses his own religion.

He helps people with less chances like people who cannot read and write, poverty, genders, children. He is like a father for all citizans. 
I vote for Ahmed Marcouch. 

Nominated by Leo, Arnhem:
Ahmed is een zeer waar en empathische burgervader, zoals hij wordt genoemd. Hij komt op voor alle inwoners van Arnhem. Even hun afkomst van geloof. Dat zie je ook terug in zijn 'strijd' tegen de pandemie. Hij schuwt hier zeker niet om alle nodige maatregelen te treffen en te houden. Dat doet hij samen met alle diensten die hem hier ondersteunen en raadplegen. Een burgervader naar vele harten in de gemeente Arnhem.

Nominated by Jelle van der S., Arnhem:
Mayor Ahmed Marcouch should be world mayor because of his great involvement in our city and the lives of our fellow citizens.

Mr Marcouch has been involved greatly in the lives of especially the less fortunate in the city and trying to make their lives better by setting up various projects to support them. He also does a great job at keeping the city safe with his influence and determination to adress certain issues in the regional safety council. As we saw when our city remained peaceful and quiet during the protests against the Corona measurements.

Last but not least, even though he isn't from our city originally he adapted so quickly to becoming a true "Ernemmer". Finally we've got a Mayor to be proud of.

Nominated by Samiya, Arnhem:
I vote for mister Ahmed Marcouch to win the World Mayor Prize! 
This man has such a warm heart for every human being. 
In the city of Arnhem are a lot of people with different backgrounds, culture, norms and values. Even though the Mayor has a busy schedule, he gives time, makes effort and is interested in ever citizen of his City. No matter who, why of where. The posts of the Mayor on LinkedIn are so heart conquering that you can feel his love for the people.

I am proud of this man who puts not only the city first but also brings a shining light on the people. So please give this man a medal or a prize because he earns it!

Nominated by Öziem, Arnhem:
Our Mayor is a great person, he is a humanist. He stands out and goes to the people in need. He encourages the people to be strong and tries to heal the wounds of the injured. No matter young, old, men, women and child. He spreads love and laughter. 

Nominated by Doremieke K., Arnhem:
Onze burgemeester is een mens die alle lagen can de bevolking vertegenwoordigen kan en dat ook doet. Hij verbindt. Hij laat zijn persoonlijk leven zien en koppelt dat terug naar de praktijk en hoe dat is nu met de beperkingen door de Corona . Met pubers en thuis lesgeven , met ongeduld met passie met genieten van het schaatsen op de vijvers , het Genieten in de parken in Arnhem en ook let hij op de armoede onder de Arnhemmers . Welke nationaliteit dan ook . Over angst en onrust over samen ervoor gaan. Als oud politie man spreekt hij zich uit en voel je je veilig in zijn benadering en aanspreken tot de Arnhemmers . We hoeven het niet alleen te doen, maar wel zelf . Trots op deze burgemeester

Nominated by W. S., Netherlands:
I have lived for several years in the city Arnhem of which Mr. Ahmed Marcouch is the mayor. It makes me proud to have had a mayor like him with the strengths he has: intelligent, poetic, charitable and just. He is a Muslim, but speaks well of all other religions and participates in all of their holy days as if he is one of them. He dares to speak out against people from his own religious community: to participate in the western society, to accept each other no matter what sexual orientation, colour or belief one has. And he urges the community to fight against extremism and terrorism, by educating the youth properly.

I don't live in Arnhem anymore but I still feel connected to the city. Mostly because of him. He is the mayor that accepts the Linkedin invitation of a (former) citizen and dares to ride his bike between the people. I am voting for Ahmed Marcouch.

Nominated by Pembegül I., Arnhem:
I am voting for Mr. Ahmed Marcouch because he is a very decent and compassionate human. He listens to his people and stands by their side no matter what. My husband and I are big fans of him. Hopefully he gets the recognition he deserves. Thank you!

Nominated by Carlyn C., Netherlands:
I'm voting for Ahmed Marcouch, mayor of Arnhem!

He really really should win the 2021 World Mayor Prize, because he is the best!
Always looking out for people, he visits everywhere. He cares for inclusion, also when you speak of religion. It doesn't matter to him if you are Muslim, christen, jew of what else. He's always posting thoughtful messages about things like jom kippoer, Ied-Al-Fitr, Christmas and so on. But also he shows he is proud of Arnhem, posting pictures of the city in the snow, or people ice skating, or just a beautiful picture of a part of the city.

And now with Covid, he really shows he cares. He visits people, sympathizes with everyone, tells people he's proud of them, but also he shows his humanity and sometimes anger when people mess up.

He is straightforward and lets the people know he is there for us! He tries to keep our spirits up. This is no sucking up, these are the facts!

Nominated by A. B., Arnhem:
My vote goes to Mayor Ahmed Marcouch, Arnhem, Netherlands. In times of crisis he manages to acknowledge the frustrations within the city, and not denying them. He gives people hope and has a very pleasant way of talking to the peoole of the city. He has respect for all backgrounds and is a very down to earth man. I feel privileged living in his city.

Nominated by Sylvie S., Arnhem:
Mijn stem geef ik aan onze burgemeester Ahmed omdat ik grote waardering heb voor zijn betrokkenheid met onze stad. Hij steunt de bevolking in moeilijke tijden. Maakt dit zichtbaar op sociale media waar hij ook waarderende woorden uitspreekt over groepen mensen maar ook met warme woorden steun betuigt. De prachtige foto's die hij deelt van onze mooie omgeving geven mij het gevoel dat ik met hem de wandeling samen maak.

Het pad wat hij in z'n leven bewandeld heeft is een voorbeeld voor de jeugd. Het laat zien dat je alles worden kan in je leven als je maar denkt in mogelijkheden.

Nominated by Thijs, Arnhem:
Mr. Marcouch has proven to be an empathetic and visible leader during COVID times. He felt very 'nearby' and understanding –– qualities that count, especially for our entrepreneurs, cultural makers and the ones who suffer from loneliness and feel disconnected. He reached out, sometimes just with a few kind words, other times with clear messages to those who felt they could ignore the danger. He voiced common concerns, pains and struggles and had a message of hope and perspective. 

Arnhem is historically a city of many differences –– cultural, economical and social. Mr. Marcouch has a clear vision on what his role is. He stands above the parties, is a mayor for every citizen. His vision for the city is one of bridging differences and connecting to one another. Himself of Moroccan descent, he understands the difficulties but foremost the opportunities this vision has for the people. We couldn't wish for a better mayor.

Nominated by Gerrit T., Arnhem:
Achmed Marcouch is a mayor for all inhabitants of Arnhem, regardless collor or gender or social state. He courages the people who are working in the healtsector and everyone who is connected to those. He is the most involved mayor you can imagine. Almost every day Achmed Marcouch talks by social media with the inhabitants of Arnhem about the (Covid) situation to stay put and help eachother so we get together to the end of this pandemic. As an inhabitant of Arnhem i cannot wish for a better mayor then Achmed Marcouch.

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