Mehdi Ben Abdallah: Taking an Active Role in the “Arab Spring”
Since the January revolution, Mehdi Ben Abdallah (MBA ’01, MACD ’02) and his wife Safia have taken an active role in the “building of a free and democratic Tunisia” for their daughter Meya. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we don’t want to miss it,” says Mehdi, but chuckles when he explains that they do not agree on everything. Mehdi joined the historical opposition party “Ettakatol,” and his wife is the founding member of a new political party called “Afek.” Mehdi admits that he worried at first that this would lead to family conflicts, but says that instead it is “a perfect example of how democracy should be!”
Mehdi is the vice president of policy, corporate affairs and commercial operations for BG Tunisia, the largest producer of gas in the country. The transitional business environment has made his efforts to lead and direct the company’s policy and commercial efforts even more demanding than before, but Mehdi seems to relish the challenge.
“For me there will always be a before and after MIIS,” says Mehdi, who says his education gave him a solid professional foundation, but that the relationships and interactions he had with other students taught him something equally important: “to value the beautiful diversity of all of us.”
Mehdi and Safia are likely to continue to strengthen the Tunisian democratic traditions, leading by the example of their own marriage. Safia, a financial expert, is currently assisting the nation’s finance minister through the transitional period, and Mehdi is energetically participating in ensuring the success of Tunisia’s democratic and political transition.
Asked about the future, Mehdi says: “I am very positive about Tunisia’s future, we in the younger generation are the future, and it depends on us and our engagement to build the country we want to live in.”