In an unprecedented step that came despite restrictions imposed by US president Donald Trump on the entry of citizens from some Muslim countries, the US-based young Egyptian doctor Abdul El-Sayed—born to two Muslim Egyptian immigrant parents—decided to enter the election for the position of governor of Michigan.
According to a report published on Business Insider’s website, the young doctor, who was born in Gratiot County, Michigan, is seeking to become the youngest governor of Michigan.
In 1978, former US president Bill Clinton achieved an unprecedented victory when he became governor of the southern state of Arkansas at the age of 32. El-Sayed told Business Insider that surpassing this achievement is his goal.
El-Sayed, who is less than 32 years old and is currently working as a doctor and a university professor in addition to his work as an activist in the field of public service, would be the first Muslim gubernatorial candidate in a US state; however, he noted that he is running in the election only because he thought that he would be the best governor for Michigan—whether he is Muslim or not.
The candidate has held several posts, including presiding over the health department in Detroit, Michigan in 2015, making him the youngest commissioner for health matters in the US.
According to Business Insider, El-Sayed grew up under the care of his father Mohammad—an engineering professor—and his stepmother, Jacqueline, in the Detroit metropolitan area. El-Sayed’s mother, Dr. Fatten Elkomy, is a nurse practitioner in Missouri.
Moreover, the website indicated that he was raised in Michigan’s public schools, where he was the captain of his high school football, wrestling, and lacrosse teams. He later on went to the University of Michigan and graduated with high distinction in 2007. El-Sayed was then provided with a dean’s scholarship for his medical degree at the University of Michigan and went to Peru for a medical mission trip, where he founded a student organisation to establish a local clinic to provide free medical care.
El-Sayed was awarded the Rhodes scholarship and received his doctoral degree in public health from Oxford University in 2009. He also earned a medical degree from Columbia University, where he became an assistant professor at the university’s Mailman School of Public Health.