Habib Bourguiba

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Habib Bourguiba

Habib Bourguiba (3 August 1903 – 6 April 2000) was president of Tunisia from July 25, 1957 until 7 November 1987.


  • "When a house is on fire, the neighbors' duty is to put it out"
  • "I hate colonialism, not the French."
  • "The only Jews who interest us are our fellow citizens."
  • "Basically and profoundly, we are with the West."
  • "While I am alive, not a hair on Jewish heads will be touched."
    • "Religion: Exodus". TIME: p. 1. Friday, July 06, 1962. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. 
  • "We have the proof that our disagreement with the U.A.R. is more than a simple misunderstanding."
  • "Yes, I am Western, and I will remain so."
  • Bourguiba on Gamal Abdel Nasser- "not aware of the danger of Communism. Once the Iron Curtain drops, there is no escape."
  • "I have carried this abscess too far, Tunisia is going through a difficult period. Freedom is dangerous."
  • "At the moment of a revolution there is no question of setting up a democracy like that in America. If they accuse me of dictatorship, I accept. I am creating a nation. Liberty must be suppressed until the end of the war in Algeria—until the nation becomes homogeneous."
  • "You are wrong. The state and its existence are essential before everything else. All this preoccupation with liberty is not serious."
  • "How many times, have I had to seat women whom I received at audiences next to me, rather than facing me, in order to avoid general embarrassment? Nothing should compel us to suffer such trials. It puts the nerves of men and the modesty of women to a severe test."
  • Bourguiba on people who patronized the Zéro de Conduite (Zero for Conduct), nightclub- "practice a shameful exhibitionism in morbid and degrading dances."
  • Bourguiba on Ramadan's effect on Tunisia"stagnation, weakness and decadence"
  • "beautiful custom"
  • "pretext that paralyzes our activity.
  • Bourguiba quoting the Prophet Muhammed - "Break the fast, and you will be stronger to confront the enemy."
  • "humiliating backward condition of our country."
  • Bourguiba warning the French-"it will mean war."
  • "Today I am the President of the Republic, but I will be the first to join the Maquis."
  • "Tunisia is always ready to turn the page."
  • "I have promised the Tunisian people that the French army will go, If I fail, I will be swept away."

Quotes About Bourguiba[edit]

  • "a dangerous maniac who actually thinks he might become a figure in world affairs."-French Resident General
  • "Bourguiba is terribly awkward, but he said what most of us believe. The Egyptians take millions from the Communists and have the nerve to call us lackeys for accepting a penny from America."
  • Nasser's Cairo radio on Bourguiba- "the same destiny as Nuri as-Said," (the iraqi premier who was assasinated)
  • Interim Premier of Tunisia Tahar ben Amar-"I did not want to be Premier in the first place. I only accepted because Bourguiba pleaded with me to accept."
  • "Give us arms! Give us arms!"
  • Bourguiba's Neo-Destour Party paper, the L'Action,: "To be respected in 1958 one can no longer be a friend of the West. The day that Bourguiba decides to follow the path set by Nehru, Tito and Nasser, Tunisia will no longer be lied about and attacked. She will be wooed."
  • El Massa from Beirut- "Turn to Cairo, O Habib. Turn to the Arab Republic, to the camp of neutralism and to dignity and sovereignty."

External links[edit]

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