La Gazelle - Page 107

interview I interview I rencontres encounters ‫مقابلـة‬ ‫لقـــــاءات‬ Discreet business woman, Mouna Allani Ben Halima has marked the end of 2014 with the much awaited opening of her latest hotel, “La Badira“, located in Hammamet. After spending her childhood in Tunis, the young woman continues her studies in Paris where she begins a preparatory class at Louis Le Grand High School. For personal reasons, Mouna Allani Ben Halima is forced to return to Tunisia and take over the family business. At only 24 years old, she is propelled to the head of the “Sultan“ and four years later the “Sultan Beach“, both among the best hotels in the city. However, the young entrepreneur decides to go back to school and starts an MBA program before returning permanently to her home country. Mouna Allani Ben Halima is also a committed woman. After the revolution, she becomes project leader of the “Bus Citoyen“ which covers 22 governorates to raise awareness among Tunisians about their vote. The same year, she also founds the “Touensa“ association, a citizen’s pact aiming at political and democratic awakening. What does travel mean to you ? To me, a travel is a synonym of discovery. I like to encounter other cultures, see the local crafts of the country I am visiting. What is an exotic travel ? Exoticism is about novelty. So, to really feel the change of scenery, I need to see what I don’t usually see when I am home. It is also about learning new cultures. What do you always bring on a trip ? My first move is to buy a travel guidebook. I like to get a cultural overview before discovering myself. I also bring a pair of tennis shoes and jeans, which are perfect for the purpose of visiting a town. Your favorite museum ? I like the Museum of Modern Art in New York a lot, but also the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Your favorite things to do ? What matters to me the most is to meet the locals. I love sharing with them and learn about their daily lives, discover the country’s culture through them. I need to be in contact with the locals when I am travelling. The country of your dreams ? Without any doubt, I would say Tunisia. I love my country and above all my little beach spot in Hammamet during the low season. It is a quiet and peaceful place. A wish for the future ? Change the bad image of Tunisia, improve it and create a better country. I “ … I need to see what I don’t usually see when I am home… ” 109 I 60 ‫الغـزالــــة‬