Alsawaf announces run for Senate District 22

Alsawaf announces run for Senate District 22

SMITHFIELD - Dr. Hasan Alsawaf, a 44-year-old Greenville resident and owner of Family Dental Center of Greenville, has announced he will run on the Republican ticket for Senate District 22, serving Smithfield, North Providence and Johnston.

He will face the winner of the Democratic primary - either incumbent Stephen Archambault or David Fasteson - on Nov. 4.

A native of Syria, Alsawaf said he had long dreamed of "living in America and enjoying its freedom."

"On May 8 of this year, I was honored to become a citizen of this great country," he said. "The first thing I did was register to vote, and now I am seeking public office because I believe in change."

Alsawaf said Rhode Island can no longer afford to be satisfied with the status quo, to be the smallest state with the highest unemployment rate, or to be ranked the 48th least business-friendly state.

"With a focus on improving our school system and our economy, we can make Rhode Island the jewel of New England," he said. "I'm running to represent District 22 in the State House because I want to represent my constituents to the best of my ability and work to give Rhode Island the best possible future for our children and grandchildren."

Alsawaf, who is married to Republican School Committee candidate Elizabeth Senik-Alsawaf, has a step-daughter and two children, ages 11 and 9, in Smithfield public schools. He has lived in Greenville since 1998.

He first came to the United States in 1991 when he attended a short externship at Marquette University, where he was a frequent visitor to the library, pausing lecture video recordings every 10 seconds so he could better understand what the professor was saying.

With only $200 in his pocket, Alsawaf said he lived with several roommates in a small studio apartment, working odd jobs from cleaning dishes to cooking to delivering pizza.

"Realizing I needed a more complete grasp of the language, I started memorizing the Webster Dictionary word-by-word," he said.

He then began studying toward a master's degree in oral science from University of Buffalo in New York, where he met his future wife, now a registered nurse who manages the family dental practice. But called into dentistry, Alsawaf left Buffalo to instead earn a doctorate of dental surgery from Boston University.

Within 10 days of graduation, he purchased his current practice on Putnam Pike.

"We love this town. People here have been so friendly and receptive," Alsawaf said. "We have worked hard for what we have achieved, and that is basically the story of my life, which began in a third-world country and culminated in the realization of my goals and dreams in America."

He continued, "I want to tell my fellow Americans that with hard work and determination, anything is possible."