Rached Ghannouchi President of the Nahdha Party in Tunisia Speaking at: United States Institute of Peace Columbia University Yale University

Rached Ghannouchi
President of the Nahdha Party in Tunisia

Speaking at:
United States Institute of Peace
Columbia University
Yale University


01United States Institute of Peace

MENA Region in Crisis: Islam, Democracy and Extremism
Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
10:00 am – 11:30 am
U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC


02Yale University Law School

The Foundations of the Tunisian Model
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014
4:15 pm – 6:00 pm
Yale Law School – Room 127
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT


03Columbia University – World Leaders Forum
Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
2:10 pm – 4:00 pm
The Italian Academy
1161 Amsterdam Av.
New York, NY




Biography of Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi:

ghannouchiSheikh Rachid Ghannouchi is the President of Nahdha party, the leading political party in Tunisia, and a leading Islamic thinker. Since the early 1980’s, Mr. Ghannouchi has been an advocate of the compatibility between Islam and the principles of pluralism, freedom, modernity and democratic governance. His views and writings are influential in Tunisia, and across the Arab and Muslim worlds.

While Arab spring countries are threatened by violence and crises that may destabilize the entire region and that is forcing more military intervention by a reluctant Obama administration, Tunisia is steadily moving along on the path toward democracy at a critical point in its transition. Earlier this year Tunisia ratified a constitution widely hailed as the most progressive in the Arab world. Political parties are preparing for a new round of legislative and presidential elections in October and November that may usher in a new era in the history of Tunisia.

Born in the village of El-Hamma in the south of Tunisia in 1941, Mr Ghannouchi was educated in Tunisia’s Zaitouna university, and then continued with studying philosophy in Cairo, Damascus, and Paris. Mr Ghannouchi became active in politics by setting up the Islamic Tendency movement in 1981, later changed to Ennahdha (Renaissance). He was imprisoned due to his political activities from 1981 to 1984 and again from 1987 to 1988. After the falsification of the 1989 legislative elections by former president Ben Ali, Mr Ghannouchi left for London where he lived as a political exile for two decades, until his return home on 30 January 2011, after the Tunisian revolution.

Since the Tunisian revolution in early 2011, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi has played a key role in the success of the Nahdha party during the 2011 elections, in the formation of the ruling Troika coalition, and in the success of the national dialogue which led to the adoption of the most democratic and progressive constitution in the Arab world (with 200 out of 216 Constituent Assembly members voting for it), and the appointment of a new, neutral and non-political government to lead the country until the next elections, scheduled tentatively for October 2014.

He has written several books, which have been translated in several languages, including:

  • Public Freedoms in an Islamic State
  • The right of citizenship in an Islamic state
  • Democracy and Human Rights in Islam
  • Women between the Quran and reality
  • Essays on secularism and civil society
  • From the experience of the Islamic movement in Tunisia
  • Our path to civilisation
  • The Islamic movement and the issue of change
  • Destiny in Ibn Taymiah’s thought