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Sakher El Materi

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Title: Sakher El Materi  
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Subject: Leïla Ben Ali, Turks in Tunisia, Tunisia
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Sakher El Materi

Sakher El Materi (Mohamed Sakhr El Materi, Arabic: محمد صخر الماطري‎, born 2 December 1981 in Tunis) is a Tunisian businessman. He is the son-in-law of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia.[1] In 2010 (prior to the Tunisian revolution), his company Princesse El-Materi Holdings was operating in six industry sectors: News and Media, Banking and Financial Services, Automotive, Shipping and Cruises, Real Estate and Agriculture. A former member of the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally, he was elected as a Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Tunisia for the constituency of Tunis on 25 October 2009[2] and struck off by the party after the Tunisian Revolution.[3]


El Materi was born on 2 December 1981, in Tunis into a family of Turkish origin.[4] In 1973, his father, Moncef El Materi, founded El Adwya one of Tunisia's largest private pharmaceutical companies.[5] El Materi's uncle, Dr Mahmoud El Materi, was known for his involvement in the fight for the Tunisian independence and for being one of the co-founders of the Neo Destour political party with the first president of Tunisia Habib Bourguiba.[6]

After studying for a Business Administration degree [7] in Brussels, Sakher El Materi joined his father’s company Adwya. Shortly afterwards he married Nesrine the youngest daughter of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In 2005, he led a controversial business agreement with the company Nestlé in Tunisia.[2][8][9][10][11]

The Tunisian Revolution in early 2011 pushed out the President of Tunisia and all his family members. Interpol issued a global alert to arrest Ben Ali and his relatives, including Sakher.[12][13]


In the summer of 2008, he entered the Central Committee of the Democratic Constitutional Rally. On 25 October 2009, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies and struck off by the party after the Tunisian Revolution.[3]

In a 2009 diplomatic cable from the United States Ambassador Robert Godec that was leaked by WikiLeaks during the United States diplomatic cables leak, the diplomat opined that El Materi and Nesrine and other members of Ben Ali's family were disliked and even hated by some Tunisians for their perceived lavish lifestyle.[1]

Some reports in the The Canadian Press described him as "one of the most powerful members of Tunisia's ruling class",[14] and before Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia and Materi's father in law, left Tunisia after the 2010–2011 Tunisian protests, Materi was considered by some to have been a possible successor of Ali as president of Tunisia.[14]

In January 2011 after the 2010-2011 Tunisian protests it was mistakenly reported that Sakher was going to a house he owns in Montreal, Canada, a group of people critical of his father in law's regime in Tunisia then gathered outside the property. Sakher is still on the title deed of the house and the address listed, and although there are reports saying it was sold, no record of any sale has been found according to the official home listings.

Personal life

His father, Moncef El Materi, and mother, Naima El Ati Boutiba, are both of Turkish descent.[15] El Materi has three siblings: Beya (born in 1976), Hafiz (born in 1977), and Holya (born in 1979). In 2005, El Materi married the daughter of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.[4]


  1. ^ a b Lister, Tim (15 January 2011). "Tunisian protests fueled by social media networks". CNN. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Daoud, Arezki (15 January 2011). "Tunisian People Fixated on Sakhr El Materi, Imad Trabelsi and First Lady Leila Ben Ali". The North Africa Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b TelQuel. "TUNISIE. Où s’arrêtera Sakhr El Materi?". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  5. ^ Ordinance instituting measures against certain individuals from Tunisia
  6. ^ Moncef el Materi. "Mon père Hafiz El Materi". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  7. ^ (French) , 24 octobre 2009Le MondeFlorence Beaugé, « Le parcours fulgurant de Sakhr El-Materi, gendre du président tunisien Ben Ali »,
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b "Tunisian politician denies fleeing to Montreal". The Canadian Press. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Moncef el Materi. "Ma femme Naima Boutiba El Ati El Materi". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 

External links

  • Sakher El Materi Official Website
  • Princess Holdings El Materi Official Website
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