Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Tunisians, Democracy Activists Mourn Passing of Tunisia’s Lioness Activist, Maya Jribi


On the evening of Saturday, 30 June, at the Tunisian Cultural City, a procession memorializing Maya Jribi, the general secretary of the Republican Party, as well as 40 years of political activism since the 1978 general strike. Hundreds came from every direction to talk about her career and defend the value she championed for so long.

She fought long and hard against an oppressive dictatorship and eventually won, but she lost her battle with cancer on 19 May of this year.

Jribi was a distinguished and intelligent woman, the lioness for Tunisia on democracy, human rights, and activism.  She dedicated her life to women's rights, political empowerment, youth issues, vulnerable groups, national unity, and the creation of Tunisian democracy, playing a major role in drafting Tunisia’s new constitution after the 2011 revolution. The audience was moved when Jribi 's friends spoke of her as a sister and a friend.

Jribi became politically active as a student and remained at the forefront ever since, becoming the first female leader of a political party in 2006 and later even going through a hunger strike as her party was being suppressed, an act that left her in poor health until her death.  Beyond fighting for her native Tunisia, she also embraced the cause of Palestinian right, noting that "The time has come for the free world to agree unanimously on the Palestinian cause."

Maya Jribi leaves a rich legacy that spans many causes and issues, and though she may be gone, the impact of her work will long outlast her death.

The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) celebrates women like Maya Jribi, drawing strength and inspiration from their activism.  It is through passion and engagement and values embodied by people like her that ARDD hopes to spark a New Arab Renaissance.

Below is the video clip in which the young activist Ferial Sharafeddin spoke about the role played by Maya Jribi in "feminizing" political work.

ARDD was present at the 30 June procession to pay its respects.