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Lobna Jeribi

President of Solidar Tunisia
© Maurice Weiss/Ostkreuz

What encouraged you to go into politics?

For years, we had been frustrated of seeing our country left to corruption, dictatorship and injustice. When we went into the streets during Tunisian revolution of 2011, we asked for “a full citizenship”… Then, I had the conviction that it’s everyone’s duty –including myself- to honor the people’s hopes and the sacrifices made by the brave youth that have broken the wall of fear and oppression.

What makes/made you do the right thing during your political career?

Feeling the responsibility of the role I am playing, the trust of people and all the expectations they’ve put in me became with time my compass to stick on the right line. Every night, when I read bed time stories to my children, I look at them asleep and ask myself: did I do the right things today to ensure a better future for them? Did I do the right thing to save the future of all the children of the country?

In your opinion, what would a good life/good society look like?

I dream of a society where equity, solidarity, fair laws are the core principles, shared and respected. I believe it should be a place where everyone’s right in a descent life is ensured, and the aim to a better future is guaranteed.

What do you usually do to get your mind away from politics?

Watching cartoons with my children.

What was the strangest thing that ever happened to you?

In the 2011 elections’ day, I was so happy to take part in the first free elections in the history of my country, so proud to be Tunisian and to live fully my citizenship, to be standing in the endless queues of men and women calmly waiting to vote, that I simply forgot that I was myself candidate!
I had the strange feeling that it doesn’t matter anymore who would win or would lose. .. that, no matter what will be the results, I was already the biggest winner… finally feeling as a “citizen”, a hero of the day!
6. If you could only change one thing in the world within seconds what would it be?
End with poverty, especially with rural women, and offer to every man and woman the right, and the conditions, to freely believe in a better future and in wider horizons.

What is your driving force for your political work?

When I feel tired or desperate, I have the feeling that people’s hopes and expectations are driving me forward, and making me remember the responsibilities I have on my shoulders, sending energy in my veins and renewing my strength.

What is your biggest wish for the future?

To see my people completely freed of the weight and the heritage of the ugly past; achieving the revolution’s goals, and becoming the free, democratic and prosperous country it deserves to be.

What advice did your parents give to you? Did you put it into practice?

Always honor your values and principles, always stick to your convictions and never play dirty politics or go through tricks and lies to score some goals.
I believe I could follow this advice in most of my political career… Even if it was sometimes “politically costly” for me, I know it brought people’s respect and trust. I believe this is the most worthy, and I don’t regret it.