The Trebelsi clan

Discussion in 'Tunisian News & Current Events' started by johnnn, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. johnnn

    johnnn Member

    Aug 25, 2015
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    The Trabelsis are the family that overthrown Tunisian dictator Ben Ali's wife Leila comes from, and who together with Ben Ali's own family kept a tight grip on many sectors of the Tunisian economy during the last two decades of his presidency, basically exacting rent and tolls on anything that moved or didn't move. (Some articles: Trabelsi clan (in French); Leila Trabelsi; another article on Leila; articles from Al Jazeera and the BBC.) The head of the family is Leila's eldest brother, Belhassen Trabelsi, who is now at liberty in Canada while Leila and her husband are in Saudi. Leila has 10 brothers and sisters.

    I am not sure how common a surname Trabelsi is, but here is my question: are the Trabelsis of Djerba, who are Jewish, related?

    The head of Djerba's large Jewish community, and president of the Ghriba synagogue, a pilgrimage site, is Perez Trabelsi, whose son Rene, who backed Ennahda, was in line to become the Tunisian Tourism Minister on the nomination of then prime minister Hamadi Jebali. No doubt Rene Trabelsi is heroically able to keep his people serving and his private interests completely separate, but let me just mention that he controls sizeable tourism interests in Djerba and further afield through the company Royal First Travel, of which he is chief executive.
  2. DarkTown

    DarkTown Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2014
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    Trabelsi is a very commun last name in tunisia
    ijs, Big Bang Theory and Heidi like this.
  3. Big Bang Theory

    Big Bang Theory Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2013
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    The difficulty is that surnames in Tunisia do not run through generations like they do in Europe. A son will have his given name, for example Mohamed, followed by Ben (son of) and then his fathers name, for example Houcem. So his name would be Mohamed Ben Houcem. His fathers name would be Houcem (his given name) followed by, for example, Ben Taher - son of Taher... Etc etc. So a surname, as we use them, would not be any indication of family links
  4. Laurence

    Laurence Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2010
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    In Tunisia you could pave lots of streets with the name "Trabelsi" means litterally "from Tripoli" (Trabels) and it's a very common family name...
    ExNorway likes this.

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