Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi

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Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi
President of the Comoros
In office
26 May 2006 – 26 May 2011
Vice President Ikililou Dhoinine
Idi Nadhoim
Preceded by Azali Assoumani
Succeeded by Ikililou Dhoinine
Personal details
Born (1958-06-05) 5 June 1958 (age 59)
Mutsamudu, Comoros
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Hadjira Djoudi
Profession Businessperson
Nickname(s) Ayatollah

Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (Arabic: أحمد عبدالله محمد سامبي‎‎, born 5 June 1958) is a Comorian Islamic leader and politician, and former President of Comoros. He is popularly known as 'Ayatollah'. After easily winning the 14 May 2006 presidential election with 58.02% of the national vote, Sambi was inaugurated as President of the Union of the Comoros on 26 May 2006. It was the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the Comoros.

Personal life[edit]

Sambi was born in Mutsamudu, on the island of Anjouan. He is a father of seven children including two named Intisware and Fatoumat. He owns factories which produce mattresses, bottled water and perfume - a key Comorian export. He lives above a shop called The House of Mattresses in Mutsamudu, the capital of Anjouan. He also set up a television station called Ulezi (education).[1]

He is of Hadhrami ancestry, descending from the Ba 'Alawi family of Hadhramaut (now part of Yemen).[2] Therefore, he is a descendant of Ali al-Uraidhi ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq and hence a Sayyid.[original research?]

"The Ayatollah of Comoros"[edit]

He was educated in Islamic studies in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Qom, Iran. According to the Tehran-based Tabnak news agency, while Sambi was there he studied under Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi.[3] Despite his Sunni background, Sambi's time in Iran and his penchant for turbans earned him the nickname "The Ayatollah of Comoros".[1][3]

Political career[edit]

Running as an independent candidate in the 16 April 2006 presidential primary election on the island of Anjouan, Sambi placed first out of thirteen candidates, winning 23.70% of the vote.

In the 14 May election, Sambi was declared the victor on 15 May by Secretary of State for elections Ali Abdallah over retired French air force officer Mohamed Djaanfari and long-time politician Ibrahim Halidi, whose candidacy was backed by Azali Assoumani, the outgoing president.[4]

Political views[edit]

Sambi has been quoted as saying that Comoros is not ready to become an Islamic state, nor will anyone be forced to wear a veil under his presidency. He is also the first president from the island of Anjouan. He also promised to fight corruption, create jobs and build better houses for the majority of Comorians living in poverty.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile: The 'Ayatollah' of Comoros". BBC News. 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  2. ^ الفضائية - برامج القناة (in Arabic). Al-Jazeera. 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  3. ^ a b Javedanfar, Meir (2009-05-06). "Ahmadinejad's messianic connections". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  4. ^ "Islamist elected Comoros leader". BBC News. 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Azali Assoumani
President of the Comoros
Succeeded by
Ikililou Dhoinine