Chouaieb Nemri’s success story, a pride for Tunisian Youth

-Success is not measured by position as much as it is measured by the difficulties overcome by man.

-It is not easy to get rid of what is imposed on you by fate … to have your body locked in a chair but your soul wants to fly … And because he believes in his ability to fly, he actually did it in the sky of success …

-He was able to register his name among the geniuses of the world … We can learn from the inspirational story of Shouaib Nemri how to overcome the disappointments of destiny.


To start with, can you tell us about yourself?

I was born in “Thala” Kasserine. My family then moved to Fouchana, Ben Arous (I was 9-month-old at the time). I started my education at the Primary School of El Hidhab Fouchana neighbourhood.

The first year was hard for me. My teacher did everything to get me out from school. She believed that I had a mental disability and that I should absolutely go to a specialized institution.

The Ben Arous Regional Education Department Director had another opinion and the teacher opposed that opinion.

 A 6-year-old child at the time! For a whole year, she did everything to humiliate me and belittle me in front of my classmates.

This did not break my heart. So I fought even harder and excelled in my studies. In 2010, I had my bachelor’s degree (math section) with a 18.49 grade.

I studied in MPSI and then PSI at IPEST. I was then sent to the ENSEEIHT in Toulouse, and was given the school’s reputation in power electronics and automation/robotics. I was top of my class when I graduated.

I also completed a double degree (Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering) at Georgia Institute of Technology (ranked 5th worldwide in Engineering) in the USA, I had 4 out of 4 grade, of course, it was the best grade you can get.

When I resumed France, I held a first position as leader in alternator starter engineering at the car manufacturer Renault.

A year later, I joined the General Electric Group as a member of the Graduate Programme: Edison Engineering Development Programme.

Selected with 42 other candidates from all over Europe, I went through a very rigorous selection process.

I have a passion for technology, management and leadership skills, the ability to analyse and solve problems, as well as international experience have formed the basis for admission.

Today I am 27 years old, I am married, I am expecting a baby in June. I am slowly but surely building my family and my career.

– When did you discover that you had the talent of an extraordinary intelligence?

To be honest, I’ve never thought about it. I don’t want to pretend I am smarter than average. All I’ve done is simply loving myself, believing in me and doing what must be done every day to make it the best day of my life.

– What motivated you to succeed?

When I was a kid, I was not able to play, run and jump like other kids. I mainly played mind games such as puzzle, chess etc… Sky was my childhood’s best imaginary friend, clouds and stars would come to me in all shapes and sizes and I was enjoying the hours I spend looking at them and recognizing objects, animals, patterns etc…

The sky was also my biggest wonder and darkest mystery. It triggered my interest in science at an early stage.

My curiosity, along with the exceptional love and support I received from my parents motivated me to succeed.

– A book or a person has a positive impact on your life?

Stephen Hawking is my idol. The movie “A short history of time” literally changed my life.

What do you want to say to the school teacher today after you were frustrated at a younger age and as you said to convince you that you are stupid?

What is your message to teachers who have a child with special needs in the classroom? What is your advice to deal with him?

I do not want to tell her anything, I consider her from the past. My advice to every teacher is that he is not an ordinary employee. The teacher is the author of a message and has a trusteeship and must fully perform it. I think that every child, whether disabled or not, has special needs, especially at that critical stage of life. The child needs care. He needs someone to listen to. The child does not need answers. He needs tools to think alone, and needs company in the site to build his opinion on what surrounds him.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of public education in Tunisia?

I think the subjects are integrated and the programmes cover most of what the student needs today and for the future. What I blame to the system is the method of presentation and how to communicate the information to the student. The current educational system provides canned answers and relies exclusively on students’ memory, not on their analytical abilities, which inhibits all creativity and kills the entrepreneurial spirit of the student. Human Sciences, Languages, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Soft Skills are all marginalized skills while they are highly articulated and required in the labour market.

What do you think of the Tunisian youth ? – What is your advice to them?

I want to tell them not to give up your dreams and love yourselves and your hobbies … Choose the field you love… Choose universities away from your family that make you live alone and push you to assume responsibility… Read a lot of books and learn languages and participate in the work of associations and then success will come.

Can you advice parents with a child with special needs?

I tell to them, Love your child, and be proud of him, and do not be afraid of him, especially because he is a deficient person… Try to provide him with a normal life so as not to feel the difference and frustrations… And then he will succeed because he was raised in a safe environment.

TunisianMonitorOnline (Interviewed by Douha Essaafi)

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