In addition to Meryame Kitir, Belgium also appointed Moroccan-Belgian Zakia Khattabi as Minister of Climate.
Rabat – Belgium has announced the appointment of Belgian-Moroccan politician Meryame Kitir as the new minister of international development cooperation and urban policy.
The 40-year-old was born to Moroccan parents. Her father emigrated from Ouarzazate to Belgium in the 60s, according to RTBF.
Kitir’s father worked in the mines of Limburg.
She is a member of a “large family of eleven brothers and sisters, whose mother died when Meryame Kitir was two years old,” the Belgian news outlet reported.
Kitir, a member of the Socialist Union Party, was elected to the Maasmechelen municipal council in 2006 and became a member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2007.
In 2016, Kitir left Maasmechelen for Genk, where she assumed office at the municipal council.
Belgium’s new minister of development cooperation is known for her activism regarding labor issues.
She was notably involved in union activism to defend the rights of workers.
The official began working at the Ford plant in Genk in 1999, when she was only 19 years old.
A few years after joining the Socialist Union, the politician became the party’s general delegate.
The politician also was reelected to the House of Representatives in 2014.
In 2019, Meryame Kitir served as the leader of her political group until her appointment as a federal minister.
In addition to Meryame Kitir, Belgium also appointed Belgian-Moroccan politician Zakia Khattabi as the new minister of environment and climate.
Khattabi holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).
The 44-year-old politician joined the Brussels parliament in 20019, and her party appointed her to the senate the same year.
Khattabi served as the president of the Ecolo party from 2015 until September 2019.
The appointment of both politicians of Moroccan origin to the Belgian government is a first in the European country’s political history.