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Seoul awards honorary citizenship to 15 foreign nationals

Dec. 8, 2023 - 15:45 By Lee Jung-joo
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (second from right) waves to the camera with the recipients of the certificate of honorary citizenship at Seoul City Hall on Friday. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

The Seoul city government named 15 foreign nationals from 13 countries as honorary citizens on Friday for their contribution to the city's development.

Rahil Ahmadova, a honorary citizen from Azerbaijan, was recognized for her efforts as a lecturer to spread awareness about multiculturalism and for her efforts to help other foreign nationals adjust to living in Seoul.

Daniel Chukwunonso Nwagbala, another recipient from Nigeria, was recognized for his fundraising efforts for people with developmental disabilities and for delivering coal briquettes to the underprivileged.

The city government selected the 15 recipients after a two-month screening process that involved nominations from embassies, heads of public organizations, heads of social organizations and letters of support from more than 30 citizens.

In the future, the recipients will also be invited to attend major events and participate directly in making policies by serving as policy advisors in their fields of expertise.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the 15 honorary citizens who have loved Seoul and helped make it a city full of warmth and vitality,” said Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon during the award ceremony.

“I would like to congratulate the honorary citizens for their efforts and for not overlooking issues that may be difficult to notice as someone from a foreign country. I hope that you will join us to create a city that more people want to live in and visit.”

Since 1958, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has awarded honorary citizenship to foreign nationals who have made significant contributions to the city’s development and inspired the city’s residents. Some notable figures that have received the award include Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan and former South Korean men’s football head coach Guus Hiddink.