Student union activism for change
Zied Mahdhi, member of the General Union of Tunisian Students’ executive bureau (26th congress), was born and raised in Tataouine (a marginalized far-south governorate which stands at the bottom of development ranking). In 2011, driven by his socio-economic situation and willingness to improve living conditions of young people, especially students, he got involved in the youth union activism. Zied’s conservative family opposed his involvement with a leftist organization. Their opposition intensified because of his several unsuccessful academic years, which are a result of his full-time commitment to political and syndicalist work. He is deeply convinced that change is a collective duty that transcends personal interest and requires sacrifices. Zied participates in student protests for a universal scholarship, improving the conditions of university accommodation, the democratization of education, and against the privatization of higher education. He also participates in political protests, calls for prosecuting those who deepened the marginalization of poor regions, and advocates more inclusive transitional justice. Zied the example of a marginalized Tunisian young man that believes in changing the status quo and repudiates the widespread idea of immigration.