Mr. Abidine Merzough was born 1968 in the West African country Mauritania but has lived permanently in Germany since 1988. He is a mechanical engineer and works in the field of product development in the automotive industry. He manages his own engineering and consulting business for Ford Motor Company as well as other clients in Europe and Africa.
As a descendent of former slaves, Mr. Merzough has been involved his whole life in the fight against slavery and discrimination in his native country, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. His father, with support of activists from the liberation movement EL-HOR (the Free), was the community leader of the Haratine village (community of slaves and former slaves), Chogar Gadel that revolted against their masters in 1976. During this insurrection, Mr. Abidine Merzough helped the cause through engaging in written correspondence with authorities, as he was at that time the only literate person in the community.
Mr. Merzough is one of the few Haratine activists among the Mauritanian Diaspora who decided to join the fight against slavery and who publicly supports the recognition of the Haratine identity as an independent ethnic group from the Beydhan. He serves as the European coordinator for the anti-slavery NGO “Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA)”. He is also a member of the International NGO “ The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)”, based in Goettingen, Germany, as well as the Mauritanian Anti-Slavery NGO, SOS ESCLAVES, led by Mr. Boubacar Messaoud. He is fluent in Arabic, French, German and English