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Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi
Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi.png
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria
In office
Minister Counselor of the President of Algeria
In office
Minister of Information and Culture of Algeria
In office
Minister of National Education of Algeria
In office
Personal details
Born (1932-01-05) 5 January 1932 (age 92)
Setif, Algeria
Political party National Liberation Front (FLN)
Spouse Souad Taleb Ibrahimi
Children 2 sons – Bachir Taleb Ibrahimi (eldest named after his father) and Saadeddine Taleb Ibrahimi
Alma mater Académie Nationale de Médecine

Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi (Arabic: أحمد طالب الإبراهيمي) (born 5 January 1932) is an Algerian politician and intellectual.

He is the son of Islamic theologian and renowned scholar Bachir Ibrahimi, and served in multiple ministerial roles in Algeria from the 1960s until the late 1980s. A staunch anti-colonialist and proponent of Arab heritage through his writings and his actions, Dr. Ibrahimi was jailed by the French authorities as a militant of the FLN Party. He ran for president in 1999 but withdrew from the race along with all other opposition candidates hours before voting commenced, claiming electoral fraud by the army. In 2004, his proposed candidacy was disqualified because of alleged links with the proscribed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). His platform includes moderate Islamism and adherence to free-market economics. Dr. Ibrahimi is the father of two sons, and currently resides in the city of Algiers, Algeria with his wife Souad.

Early years

Ahmed Taleb-Ibrahimi was born on January 5, 1932, in the eastern city of Setif, 220 miles off the Algerian capital. He grew up in a family of modest means, which was yet in contrast intellectually and spiritually wealthy. His father, Sheikh Bachir Ibrahimi, a renowned scholar, was already fighting the French colonialism not with a military weapon but with his sharp pen and voice. He was Deputy President and later President of the “Association of the Oulemaa”, whose main objective was to build schools in order to inform & educate the populace, raise awareness about the Arabic heritage & a moderate Islam, and free Algeria from the shackles of colonialism. Because of his militant activities, the French occupiers extradited him numerous times, and assigned him under house arrest for “spreading subversion.” This in turn obliged the family to be scattered around the country.

As a child and an adolescent, Ahmed quickly acquired from his father a precious knowledge and a general culture which he will later rely and build on. In the late 1940s, he passed his Baccalaureate exam and went on studying medicine. In 1954 he moved to Paris to further his medical education, and after that he earned a degree in Hematology, interning at few Parisian hospitals.

French prison until Algerian independence

Whilst Ahmed completed his medical specialty, he was simultaneously a militant and an advocate for Algerian independence. With some other militants, he launched in 1952 "Le Jeune Musulman", a newspaper addressing the needs of the young generation in retrieving its identity after years of colonization. He was elected as the 1st president of l'UGEMA (Union Générale des étudiants Musulmans Algériens). Later he was appointed member of "Fédération de France", the FLN representation in France. No wonder that in February 1957 he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris. During almost 5 years in French prisons, he developed friendship in so far as brotherhood with other inmates who will later become the elite of a free Algeria. In September 1961 he was liberated and spent few months overseas, among other places, in Switzerland, Tunisia, and Morocco to physically heal from illness caused by years of incarceration.

Algerian doctor

In 1962 he pursued his career as a doctor in the main hospital of Algiers. After the independence, in July 1962, Ahmed continued his work of reforming, renovating the hospital, teaching the next generation of Algerian doctors, and learning from foreign professors who chose to remain in independent Algeria. Moreover, during the next 3 years, he received many enticing offers to be Ambassador, and had other senior government positions offered to him which he refused because he wanted to stay with his family which he missed from all those years of war and separation. Even the-then first President of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella, made several overtures to Ahmed so he works with him. Ahmed politely declined the offer and made it clear that he wished to continue practicing medicine rather than engage in Politics. In addition, Ahmed had the financial responsibility to find housing for his parents and ailing sister, and share his meager salary with them.

Though inconceivable and oddly paradoxical for someone of the stature of Sheikh Bachir Ibrahimi – a prominent scholar who spent all his life fighting and suffering along with his family to render Algeria a free and prosperous nation – the family was hard-pressed to find a place to live in an independent Algeria. This was indeed not a coincidence at all in as much as the-then President Benbella was hostile to Sheikh Bachir and his son Ahmed because the latter did not agree with his policies in general, and the extreme socialism that the President adopted in particular.

Minister under Boumediene

In 1965 President Boumediene offered Ahmed the position of Minister of Education. The latter went on a campaign of reforming the Algerian school and its educational system. In 1970, Boumediene reshuffled his cabinet, and appointed Ahmed Minister of Information and Culture until April 1977. By this date, the President chose to have Ahmed even closer to him, and created the position of “Minister Advisor to the President.” Throughout the years, it was clear that Ahmed earned the trust and confidence of the President.

Later years and the election of 1999

"If Abdelaziz Bouteflika takes office he will have no constitutional legality."
Ahmed Taleb-Ibrahimi, 1999, on the alleged fraud of the Algerian presidential election of 1999.

However, such allegations have been contradicted by the trust placed by the Algerian people in Abdelaziz Bouteflika three times again through the elections of 2004, 2009 and 2014. Although Most Serious Opposition Parties confirm that Bouteflika was repeatedly elected with massive fraud and the Algerian People finally overthrown him in 2019 , When he tried to run for a fifth term.

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