Professor Ali Tarhouni’s Last lecture- 2/26

Wei Huang, TMMBA Class 11

On Feb 26, 2011, Professor Ali Tarhouni taught the first of his two final Microeconomics classes.  The Wednesday section was the first class during the morning.  Prof. Ali started off stating the topics for the lectures: Monopoly, competitive markets and showing that competitive markets are the way to go instead of monopoly and the expression of monopoly power and price discrimination.

As any typical Prof. Ali lecture, he asks for microeconomics news.   He warned he was losing his voice.  A fellow student mentioned baseball salary was evaluated using marginal analysis, which Prof. Ali stated when he hears “marginal” his heart beats.  Moments later, he jokingly states everyone wants to talk about Libya.  He stated he spent a good part of his life trying to bring democracy to Libya and was sentenced to death from the Libya government and the FBI told him he was on a hit list in 1980-81.  He later states that it was great seeing the new movement striving for democracy and freedom.  He describes the current Libya government as being ruled by thugs for centuries whether it was by fear or by a King and the country was suppress and blundered and never reaching the country’s potential.  He describes Gadaffi as a ‘killer clown’ who doesn’t want to go peacefully and wants to take as many people down as he can.   He stated he was going back to Libya due to family.    Joy and sadness were described about the situation in Libya.  He stated never anticipated the people trying to overthrow the Libya government.  Later he states he was usually on TV and was asked about the which country was going to be overthrown by the people and he said Egypt was the only country not going to be overthrown.  Later he admits that he is not good a predicting major events.  During the first four days of the movement, Prof Ali assisted in sending the pictures to media.  He goes on answering why the movement has started and describes Gadaffi as a thug, dictator for 42 years and destroying the infrastructure and not providing any political expression to the country.  He goes on saying that there is not government budget and the oil money all goes the Gadaffi and his kids.

Prof Ali’s classes were always entertaining.  He had a love for frozen pizza as he used it in many of his examples.  He blended his experience to class material so students could better understand the material.  During the lectures, he would always seem to make the class laugh.  It was never a dull moment.  Hearing the news he would go back to Libya was shocking especially know he was on Gadaffi’s hit list.  I thought he was going back to visit family.  It was surprising to hear he was going back for bigger things as he was later become the transitional government’s finance minister.  It was an honor to being the last class Prof Ali would teach and it’s an amazing story I can tell my children that my professor at UW TMMBA program became the Finance minister of Libya.  Now I regret not getting his autograph.

Here’s to wishing Prof Ali the best in bring democracy to Libya.

Good luck Prof Ali!!

- Wei