Suha Arafat: I am the First Victim of Leila Ben Ali - Tunisia Live Suha Arafat: I am the First Victim of Leila Ben Ali - Tunisia Live
Suha Arafat: I am the First Victim of Leila Ben Ali


Suha Arafat: I am the First Victim of Leila Ben Ali

The following is a full translated transcript of Suha Arafat's interview with the Tunisian National
Television Station Al Wataniya, broadcast as part of the 8PM news on October 31st, 2011.

Interviewer: In a phone call with Agence France Presse you said that you are ready to face the
charges that the Tunisian judicial system has leveled against you. Is that true?

Suha Arafat: (unintelligible)

I congratulate Tunisia and the Tunisian people for their revolution that eradicated oppression and

I am Suha Arafat and I was one of the first victims of oppression caused by this dictatorship.

I was thrown out of my beloved country Tunisia, in the most brutal manner. All my luggage was
thrown into the street.

I trust the new Tunisian judicial system. I want to give my blessing to this clean revolution.
This was the cleanest revolution in modern Arab history.

The International School of Carthage

You can ask my lawyers Mondher Khaldi and (unintelligible) Arfaoui they have the documents proving that I gave up my share of the International School of Carthage when the French
ambassador came to me and said Leila was going to shut down the (competing) Bouabdili School.

And I said to her, Leila I can't accept that. She said to me, ˜this is my country, I can do whatever I want here.'

Then she sent me Miss Raja Ismail, her personal accountant, and Asma Mahjoub, her niece, and I signed a contract giving up all my shares in the school and the 300,000 Tunisian Dinar  (approximately $210,000) loan I took out from the Bank Al-Iskan (Tunisia's Housing Bank).

Leila and her niece took it all.

Interviewer: There may be new charges of corruption against you given you had a business
relationship with Leila Ben Ali. What can you say about that ?

Suha Arafat: I received threats from the former Minister of the Interior Abdelwahab Abdallah (during
Ben Ali's regime).

Now I have become a suspect after I was a victim of Leila Ben Ali.

The Bouabedili School

There are no other charges that the Tunisian judiciary could possibly bring.

The only case was the International School of Carthage and I gave it up.

I defy anybody to prove that I had any other business with Leila Ben Ali.

It was a humanitarian deal, I wanted to start a university for unprivileged people.

Leila Ben Ali was the real President of Tunisia for 23 years.

All of the Tunisian people were oppressed. I congratulate Ennahda and I congratulate (Moncef)
Marzouki (the next highest vote-getter) and all the winning parties (of Tunisia's election).


Myriam is a communication consultant for the World Bank working as part of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) team in Marseille, France. Since Joining she has been working on reinforcing the communication strategy of the CMI. She has over five years of experience in the field of media and communication having worked as a journalist with both local and international organizations in Tunisia and abroad.

  • Youssouf

    It comes to my mind a quote given by a Tunisian businessman who admitted that ” there s no one who may pretend he has not collaborated with BinAli”
    Suha cannot claim to innocence now. She should admit that she wanted to invest and get rich under an unjust regime which might have contributed to her husband s poisoning.
    Even if the court proves sheis not guilty, she should stay where she is now. We don t want any turmoil anymore. What we already have is enough.

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