Hamtramck Board of Education Candidates explain their intentions for running


The Yemeni American News

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The role of education has become increasingly scrutinized in recent years. This leaves Boards of Education across the country grappling with new issues that are capable of defining the future for children in public education.

Hamtramck is no exception to these new challenges. Candidates are offering solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in southeast Michigan, such as the role of emotionally-mature content in school libraries.

Next month, voters will be asked who they want to join the Hamtramck Public Schools Board of Education. Three candidates have filed to run for two open seats: Abdulmalik Algahaim, Gamal Alturki and Victor Farris.

Along with the other three candidates, Moortadha Obeid is running unopposed in a seat with a partial term that ends on Dec. 31, 2024.

In order to help voters decide by Nov. 8, the Yemeni American News reached out to the Board of Education candidates with a questionnaire about their intentions for running. Below is their responses:

Abdulmalik Algahaim:

Yemeni American News: What made you want to run for the HPS Board of Education?

Abdulmalik Algahaim: As a former Hamtramck Public School student and a parent of 6, of which 5 are currently enrolled in Hamtramck Public Schools, I believe I have the experience and knowledge to make the right decisions for the benefit of our children.

YAN: What do you see yourself doing in the Board of Education position; 

AA: If elected I intend to preserve and improve the quality of our school system with a strong focus on:

—    The District’s budget and operating expenses.

—    Implement safety measures to protect our children.

—    Reviewing current bond measures and local levies for school facilities and operations.

—    Approving curriculum materials with input from our parents.

—    Transportation systems.

YAN: What are the issues that you advocate for most in education?

AA: Three top issues that I advocate most in education are Safety, bullying, and Technology.


Gamal Alturki:

Yemeni American News: What made you want to run for the HPS Board of Education?

Gamal Alturki: My name is Gamal Alturki, Master in Criminal Law / Aden university, Self-employed. I’ve lived in Hamtramck since 2004, and am a father for three children, one of whom is in Hamtramck High School. I have been a local activist since 2007, so I feel I can build bridges between our community and the education system. I also feel I have to do my role to protect our students from any knowledge that could confuse them or affect their values coming from their families.

YAN: What do you see yourself doing in a Board of Education Position?

 GA: Increasing ESL classes for students’ parents, re-evaluating the transportation system and improving security in schools.

YAN: What are the issues that you advocate for most in education?

GA: Working against any amendments in the schools’ curriculum that our kids are not ready for.

YAN: I’d also like to ask, since you’re a write-in candidate, why did you choose to become a write-in candidate instead of going through the normal ballot process?

GA: I couldn’t register as a regular candidate because I never expected only 2 people to run for the two seats. This shows how our community needs to reevaluate its concerns and priorities.



Moortadha Obeid, who is running unopposed in the partial term, did not respond to our survey. Victor Farris, who was contacted multiple times, also did not respond.

Early absentee voting has already started, and allows for voters to return ballots to the clerks office any time before Nov. 8 at 8pm. For voting in-person, polls open on Nov. 8 at 7am, and close at 8pm on the same day.