Rashid al-Ghannushi, is a Tunisian politician, co-founder of the Ennahda Movement and serving as its "intellectual leader". He is a cofounder of the Tunisia's Ennahda Party. He is one of the most well-known Tunisian political dissidents and spent a number of years imprisoned first by Habib Bourguiba and then by Zine el-Abidine ben Ali.
He received his certificate of attainment degree, equivalent to the Baccalauréat, in 1962 from the University of Ez-Zitouna. He entered the school of agriculture at Cairo University in 1964 but, following the expulsion of Tunisians from Egypt, he left for Syria. He studied philosophy at the University of Damascus, graduating in 1968.
He became active in politics when he co-founded the Islamic Tendency movement in 1981, which later became the Ennahda (Renaissance) Party. He was imprisoned due to his political activism from 1981 to 1984 and again from 1987 to 1988. After the falsification of the 1989 legislative elections by former president Ben Ali, Mr Ghannouchi left for London where he lived in political exile for two decades, until his return home on 30 January 2011, after the Tunisian revolution.
Ghannouchi was exiled in 1989 by Ben Ali, who was toppled on January 14 by popular protests that have sent tremors through an Arab world where similarly autocratic leaders have long sought to suppress Islamist groups. He went into exile in London.