MEPI Alum of the Month – Allaeddine Rezgui
A Passion to Serve the Community
In case you are unable to do much after your day job and need inspiration, this month we chose an alum who juggles many responsibilities with great skill and passion. Allaeddine Rezgui is a jurist, conflict resolution trainer and civil society activist– all done outside of his day job in the legal department at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Allaeddine was recognized by former president Beji Caid Essebsi in 2017 following years of social activism, including helping to organize the National Youth conference, building a national strategy for youth (Tunisia 2030), and participating in the National Youth Employment conference.
Allaeddine is currently pursuing a Masters in Humanitarian Law. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Tunis, Allaeddine was selected to participate in the MEPI Leaders for Development Fellowship (LDF) for 3 months in Lebanon. He used this fellowship to pursue courses in conflict resolution, project management, and democratic processes at the American University of Beirut.
The LDF program was the first time he was in direct contact with young leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the diverse environment influenced his world view. For instance, Allaeddine witnessed civil society organizations (CSOs) in Lebanon respond to the needs of their communities, such as their effort to counter the trash crisis. Allaeddine shared: “When I came back to Tunisia, I felt the need to be more aware of the Tunisian context and the need for young leaders to act, especially since Tunisia is going through a period of difficult democratic transition. I felt I was needed, like many other youth, to make a change.”
After participating in the LDF program, Allaeddine was excited to apply what he learned by teaching other youth about conflict resolution, developing community projects, strategic planning and crisis management. Allaeddine also decided to get his hands dirty. For example, he implemented a project in close collaboration with the local authorities in La Marsa to protect the rights of immigrants. As a result, the project created a center dedicated to providing social services and legal support to immigrants.
In another venture, he partnered with the United Nations Development Program, other CSOs, and local authorities to implement the “Makch Alone” initiative to combat violence against women and strengthen women leadership. Allaedine has also pioneered projects to: help hospitals fight COVID-19; instill youth with democratic values; and teach women about climate change. For his efforts supporting the community, the local authorities in La Marsa honored Allaeddine in 2020.
His many years of civic engagement has made Allaeddine more motivated to use hope and optimism to make Tunisia a better place to live in for the next generation.