Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tunisia's Suicide Option

Several disappointed job seekers tried to commit suicide in southern Tunisia:
"Five Tunisians have tried to hang themselves after failing a competition to become teachers in the impoverished western Kasserine region, witnesses and media reports said.

"The men climbed an improvised scaffold outside a branch of the education ministry and tied rope nooses around their necks, witness Rachid Jabbari told the AFP news agency.

"One of the men, aged 43 - the age limit for entering Tunisian civil service - sustained a head wound before the group were rescued by a crowd of bystanders on Friday. They were taken to hospital, where the governor of Kasserine visited them, the official TAP news agency reported.

"The other four were later released from hospital, reported Radio Mosaique FM."

We don't know what was on the minds of these five, but it worries me. Tunisia's revolution began with the public self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi, an economically frustrated young man who has since been lionized. My fear is that this is making suicide, especially public suicide, a trendy option in Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world. Admittedly this is the first real possible copycat case I've run across.



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