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Bourguiba, Habib ben Ali

1903 August 3 Born in Monastir.

Bourguiba was educated from Sadiki College, to the Lycee Carnot in Tunis and the University of Paris, France, where he studied law and political science. He married Mathilde Lorrain a French who bore his only son Habib Bourguiba jr.


Bourguiba returns with his newly formed family to Tunisia.


He starts practicing law and taking defence cases.


Bourguiba starts the newspaper L'Action Tunisienne.


The Neo Destour Party is formed, with Bourguiba as its leader. Bourguiba demands independence from France, and his party is outlawed. Bourguiba is arrested.


Bourguiba is let out of prison.


After violent demonstrations, Bourguiba is arrested again He was jailed first in Tunisia. The French had him moved to France, In Marseilles then Lyon.


Bourguiba is transferred to Rome, Italy, as the Italians hoped that they could get his support in their claim on Tunisia. Bourguiba on the other hand, supported the Allied countries during the World War 2.


Bourguiba is sent to Tunisia.


Despite the support that Bourguiba had given to the Allied countries (which include France), he has to escape Tunis, to avoid arrest by the French. He settles in Cairo, Egypt. In the following years, Bourguiba visits many countries, where he holds speeches about his country's cause. With his strong personality, he can count a large number of diplomatic victories.


The French accepts Bourguiba as a Tunisian negotiator.


Bourguiba is exiled to Tabarka in northern Tunisia.


Negotiations with Bourguiba start.

1955 June 1st

Triumphant Bourguiba returns to Tunis, and was received by the ecstatic Tunisians.

1956 March 20

Independence Day, Bourguiba becomes premier minister in newly independent Tunisia.

1956 August 13

Bourguiba introduces new laws abolishing polygamy and giving equal rights to women through the “Code du statut personnel”.


Bourguiba deposes the Bey of Tunis, and is elected president.


April: Bourguiba marries the love of his life, Wassila Ben Ammar

1965 March 3

Bourguiba makes a speech in Jericho asking the Arab countries for the recognition of the UN divide of Palestine and Israel.


The constituent assembly appoints him president for life.


Bourguiba divorces Wassila Ben Ammar

1987 November 7

Bourguiba is ousted by his newly appointed prime minister. He is placed under house arrest in Monastir.


Bourguiba's health is not improving with old age.

2000 March 5

Bourguiba is hospitalized with a critical health condition, but returns to his home after 8 days.

2000 April 6

Bourguiba dies in Monastir at the age of 96 he will be buried on the 8th of April in the family Mausoleum in a very controversial ceremony.



Bourguiba, Habib ben Ali (1903-2000),
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