HALEDON, NJ - Mohamed Khairullah, Democratic mayor of Prospect Park, launched his bid for re-election at La Neve's Restaurant in Haledon Thursday night to a packed house. The tiny borough of Prospect Park, whose population is just under 6,000 and total area is just under half a square mile, lies immediately west of Hawthorne, with its population of nearly 19,000 and area of 3.2 square miles. Yet the two boroughs, with their shared border, share much in the way of mixed business and family connections. While Prospect Park might be small, its mayor has not been overlooked in the past few years, especially as Khairullah emerges as a prominent leader in the Muslim community of north Jersey.
Khairullah, who emigrated to the United States in 1991 as a child from Aleppo, Syria, has been mayor of Prospect Park since 2006, five years after first being elected a councilman. Previously, Khairullah worked as a teacher in the Paterson school system. The mayor has garnered attention not just in New Jersey, but also nationally, for his humanitarian relief efforts with regards to the country of his birth, having been devastated by civil war since 2011. Khairullah's birth city of Aleppo itself was an important battleground in the on-going civil war, having been retaken from anti-Assad rebels by Syrian government forces with Russian support in December of 2016.
"Act locally, think globally," Khairullah said to his cheering supporters, echoing his campaign slogan. Prominent guests who came to speak in support of the mayor, among them State Senator Nelly Pou, County Surrogate Bernice Toledo, and New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie.
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