“It could only be love!” Who is the new first lady of Lisbon, the French Céline, who left everything to live the passion with Carlos Moedas – The Mag
“It’s great for Lisbon to be an international hub, it’s always great to have influences from all over the world.” Thats how the wife of the new mayor she responded when asked last year about what she wanted to see in the capital 10 years from now, no one knew yet that Carlos Coins was going to launch his candidacy.
One sentence says a lot about oneself Céline Abecassis-Moedas, 49 years old. She is French, the daughter of emigrants, one from Morocco and the other from Tunisia, and one of her grandmothers was Italian. As an adult, with her boyfriend Carlos, Portuguese, Céline moved to New York, then London, Lisbon, Brussels (for four years) … and Lisbon again.
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Despite wanting to see the city open its doors more, he assured that “at the same time it is very important that Lisbon continues with its soul. The problem with cities is that they lose their soul a little bit,” he said in an interview in the year passed to the ‘Home Hunting’ podcast.
Celine has seen with a curious eye the city that is now hers and that of her husband, recently elected mayor of the capital, change since 2004, when she moved to Campo de Ourique, where she lives to this day, with Carlos Moedas and two of the three children – Vera, now 19, and Arthur, 16. The youngest, Rebecca, is 12.
“I brought my wife to Portugal in 2004, I didn’t speak a word of Portuguese, I didn’t know anyone, I had no friends. It could only be love”, revealed Carlos in a recent interview on program ‘Júlia’, on SIC.
In the same year, Céline was “recruited” for the Catolica Lisboa, where she is now director of Executive Training, founder and Academic Director of the Center for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship and associate professor in the areas of Strategy and Innovation. Previously, Céline was a professor at Queen Mary University of London. The curriculum included a degree in Economics and Management from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan and Paris-Sorbonne, followed by a Master’s in Management from Université Paris Dauphine and a PhD in Business Strategy from École Polytechnique.
As a teacher, Céline has a very clear vision of how she likes to use it. “What you call the ‘lecture’, this amphitheater thing, has always been a big frustration in my life. Giving a talk means I’m talking to 200 people and if I meet some of them on the street, they’ll go to me but I won’t I recognize them. That’s a big frustration. I don’t want that. I want to interact with people,” he commented on the ‘Home Hunting’ podcast.
But it is not a single area where it has been successful. In the business sector, she is a non-executive director of CUF (since 2016) and Vista Alegre Atlantis (since 2020), having also worked at Europac (from 2012 to 2019) and at CTT (from 2016 to 2020).
A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY
The story with Carlos Moedas began in Paris, where both were students. “It was love at first sight. We had nothing in common,” the Chamber president told Júlia Pinheiro. “She’s French but comes from North Africa, I was Portuguese, from Beja. Since that day, we never left each other. She’s the great strength of my life. We met in 1997 and got married in 2000. In 1998, I went to the US and we basically decided we were going to get married but I had to go to the US so we got married in 2000.”
For Céline, a long relationship with Lisbon began, but even after 15 years she still feels “a foreigner with a part of her heart in Lisbon”. “I love the same city as Lisbon. I have three children, I always explained to my children that when a family grows, the mother’s heart grows. I also think that in terms of the city it’s the thing. I don’t have to divide my heart between Paris and Lisbon. My heart started, now I have a part for Paris and a part for Lisbon”.
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