Ali Rabeh, close protection

Ali Rabeh, close protection

The mayor of Trappes, Ali Rabeh, on February 9.

© Cyril Zannettacci
The mayor of Trappes, Ali Rabeh, on February 9.

Lunch time at the town hall. At the end of a long corridor, a collaborator notes each other’s desires on a small piece of paper. The mayor also places an order. In a room next door, another atmosphere: two armed police officers. Ali Rabeh, the Trappist burgomaster, is threatened with death. He is now under police protection. The Versailles prosecutor’s office opened an investigation after a report on the Pharos platform. The councilor makes the presentations with his guardian angels. He lets out jokes. They laugh back. We do not find out. The thirty-something has been prowling in politics for years in the shadow of Benoît Hamon. He took the light this summer by sweeping the town of Yvelines. The former socialist did not expect the storm that arose a few months later: a professor of philosophy, Didier Lemaire, goes around the airwaves to denounce a city «perdue» for the Republic and under “islamist influence». He did not forget to pin the mayor in the camp of accomplices. The media machine is set in motion. Ali Rabeh, 36, lives a strange Warholian quarter of an hour.

In his office, the Paris-Saint-Germain supporter takes off his jacket, settles down on a small sofa and looks back on the days that have just passed. “People know me, they know that I am a real layman, much more than those who squat on the TV shows, and no one came to my aid. Fortunately, the prefect took the floor to restore the truth ”, he said with his legs crossed. Ali Rabeh does not put another reality under the rug: the departure to Syria and Iraq of 67 inhabitants, violence between neighborhoods, trafficking, etc. The anger escalates: “Since my election, I have been working with all the state services to repair our city, it’s not nothing, it’s embroidery and it took a few seconds to send everything in the air.”

The blows overtook him. He sinks into the sofa and lowers his head a little. He tried to lie to his parents and four brothers about the reality of the threat. Not obvious when its paper clip becomes the wallpaper for news channels. Among the Rabeh, words of love are as rare as a heatwave in Brest. The valves serve as a sign of affection. The chicken farmer (his “bobo side») Grew up in Poissy, another town in Yvelines. Her parents still live in the same apartment. A part of the family found themselves one Sunday in a storm. The voice changes, it weakens: “My mother was silent and didn’t eat anything. She sat down next to me without a word, she was at my bedside like when I was little and I suffered from the flu. It hurts me. And when my brothers saw the police car in front, they turned quite pale. ”

Rabeh’s parents never dreamed of this life for their child. They are proud but the fear “problems” is stronger than anything. They prefer discretion, that of his other brothers who turbinate at SNCF and RATP. The daron secretly hoped that his son would bow at the last municipal. He was perfect in his eyes when he was chief of staff of an association for adults and young people with disabilities. The retiree does not know that the virus is coming from him. The former Peugeot worker was unionized. Not the type to speak in front of crowds. He accompanied the struggles in silence. He often came home with leaflets. Ali Rabeh was the only one to read them. He quickly fell in love with politics, and Arlette Laguiller, a figure of Lutte Ouvrière. The years pass, and the click rings in 2002 with Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election. The good student looks for a commitment. He does not know anyone. At the University of Versailles, he randomly picks up a tract from the Unef.

One evening, a student union leader drags him to the Sorbonne to listen to the speech of a socialist: Henri Emmanuelli. He hears a “guys” who says “Without notes” everything he dreams of hearing. His eyes sparkle. Ali Rabeh enlisted in the wake of the Unef, then the Socialist Party. The math student is on top. He defends his ideas and learns tricks. The son of a worker is always up for a fight between the different currents and motions. Not the last to slip banana peels. He is noticed by Benoît Hamon of whom he will become a «near ”, as we say in the jargon. He will be part of all adventures, including the presidential campaign and the departure of the Socialist Party in 2017.

At the start of the controversy, Benoît Hamon contacted several elected officials to help his foal: “It’s disgusting, he found himself accused because his name is Ali and he is the son of Moroccans while he does good to his city, he has an incredible sense of politics. I can’t understand how this country is trying to destroy one of its children. ” The former Minister of National Education tried to calm “a little” the angry Rabeh. He convinced him not to press charges against the philosophy professor. The chosen one fulminates: “Does he realize the harm he is doing to us ? He dirties a city and its youth. How can we say that Trappes is not France ? I cannot lower my head without defending my people. ”

In the corridors, we come across Mohamed Sylla, a local child, who knew Ali Rabeh at the University of Versailles. They no longer cut off the ignition. After having done the National School of Bridges and Roads and worked for large companies, Sylla charbonne at the town hall – engineer in charge of technical missions. The salary is lower than elsewhere but the “More important role”, he said. The thirty-something doesn’t see the situation well: “It’s amazing what’s going on around our city and the mayor. People have to get used to us, we do our job conscientiously and we are the future. ” Words that do not suit everyone. The mayor’s father called “In secret” his daughter-in-law – who works in the professional reintegration of the disabled – to ask him a question: “Why doesn’t your husband quit in order to find a peaceful life?” The idea crossed his mind. Then, the mayor asked himself another question: “What did I do wrong

The light is not yet about to go out. After an appeal filed by the opposition, the administrative court of Versailles has just canceled the municipal election. According to the judgment, Ali Rabeh carried out “Propaganda actions” between the two towers, using its association Cœurs de Trappes to “For purposes of propaganda and personal promotion”. The city’s chief magistrate appealed to the Council of State. He said to himself “quiet”. The trappist has the «sentiment» that the whole city “Block” around him. If he’s telling the truth, it’s bad news for his parents.

17 December 1984 Born in Yvelines.

2003 Join the UNEF.

June 2020 Mayor of Trappes.

February 2021 Polemic Didier Lemaire.


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