Ben Ali attempts to clear his name

April 21, 2011

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first Arab president to be toppled by his people in modern times, is writing a book to clear his name, sources have claimed.

In his memoirs, Ben Ali who was forced out of power by an angry nation on January 14, will defend his actions and will highlight his “achievements” for the country that he ruled with an iron fist for 23 years, the sources told Al Bayan daily.

The 75-year-old ex-leader, who now lives in Abha, 500 kilometres south of the Red sea resort of Jeddah, hopes that his version of history will set the record straight amid what he believes is a media campaign targeting him and his presidency.

Ben Ali, who reportedly boycotted the media since he is undergoing medical treatment, believes that Tunisian, Arab and foreign forces conspired in the campaign to ruin and mar his reputation.

The former army general is now spending time reading books to help heal his psychological wounds and has become a devout Muslim.

He is reportedly in “unannounced divorce terms” with his wife, Leila Trabelsi, following clashes over her and the Bin Ali family’s role in the dramatic events that caused his downfall, the source said.

His son, Mohammad, six, takes up a lot of his time.

Ben Ali became president of Tunisia in November 1987 after a bloodless coup that deposed the country’s first post-independence president Habib Bourguiba, 84.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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