Two days before the resignation, Leila ben Ali transferred 400 million euro to Dubai, besides this she also demanded that 1 1/2 tonn gold woud be flown out of the country. When the sentralbank didnt show any effort to accept this demand, she nagged on her husband until he transferred gold worth 45 million euro with just making one phone call. She would command her prostate cancer husband to do anything that she wanted but didnt understand that this would hit them in the face one day. January 14th 2011, the hated family and one servant was escorted to the runway where a Boeing 737 was waiting for them. The plane taking off showed that it was the end for the cleptocrate Leila Ben Ali who had gone from being a hairdresser to First lady. She was dissolved in tears as the desire and plans of being the first woman to take over power was destroyed.
In went from bad to worst in the plane. In the airspace somewhere between Libya and Egypt, the pilotes got order to land in Dschidda in the very religious Saudi Arabia, because it was here the family had got permit to stay. this didnt suit the former hairdresser well as she had never in her life worn hijab and never turned down a drink. Women in Saudi Arabi have to cover their hair and all alcohol is strictly forbidden.
Leila was born as Trabelsi and into poverty in July 20th 1957. She married just 18 years old with a newspaper dealer but the marriage lasted only for 3 years. The young and sexy woman had bigger plans for herself. She managed to catch then security minister Ben Ali and when he took over power in 1987 in a coup, the poor girl had become first lady. And she enjoyed the power as she treated the ministers as lackeys and reigned as a queen. First in the shadow of her husband, then in front of him leaving him in the shadow. She gave important and prominent positions to her relatives and plundered Tunisia for its money.
In the days before the escape, she worked hard to move and values out of the country and managed to buy an apartment near the triumphal arch in Paris for the safety of his son Mohammed’s name.
It is strange how a woman who was born into poverty could be so blinded by greed that it marked both her and her husbands end. She should have understood her people’s situation and have empathy with the needy, but instead they chose to look the other way and enjoy the power and wealth. The Ben Ali’s would have gone far with the 400 million euro they posessed, and she could at least have opened schools, orphanages and shelter for women and girls who had been victims of violence and abuse. Then at least she would have left with her dignity and self respect instead of shame.