Rafik Abdessalem, 43, is a member of the moderate Islamic party, Ennahda, and the party leader Rached Gannouchi’s son-in-law. He is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs within Hamadi Jebali’s coalition government . He has been working as Senior Researcher and Head of the Research and Studies Office at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.
Abdessalem holds a BA in Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco, as well as a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Westminster in Great Britain.
During the late eighties, he was one of the prominent figures within the student community at the University of Tunisia. He was a member of the Executive Office of the Tunisian Students General Union between 1987 and 1990. At the time, Tunisia was still under Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s rule, and the regime and security forces were ruthless against members of Ennahda and other islamist formations, forcing many to flee the country. Abdessalem thus moved to Morocco in 1990, before settling in England where he completed his graduate course.
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