Suicide story: Tok Tok driver sets himself alight over stolen wheel
A tok tok

CAIRO: A tok tok (motorized tricycle) driver, 35, has died after setting himself alight after disputes with his neighbor over a stolen wheel, reported Youm7 Wednesday.

The deceased engaged in a quarrel with his neighbor accusing him of stealing his tricycle’s wheel, right before he brought a gasoline jerry can and self-immolated.

Residents of the 10th district of Nasr City, Giza tried to intervene for reconciliation during the dispute, which has taken place several times before that date, but in vain.

The driver was pronounced dead after his neighbors failed to rescue him.

Some refer to cultural and religious taboos as behind the low rate of suicide in Egypt, which records less than five cases per 100,000 each year, according to World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012. The vast majority of Egyptians are Muslims, and Islam strictly prohibits suicide.

Some psychiatrists like Ahmed Abu el-Wafa have cited “change” in the Egyptian society in dealing with suicide news, where he was quoted by BBC as saying that the deceased are now “enjoying sympathy” on social media, while a “negative view” derived from religious restrictions has “declined.”

Suicide in the media

In June, social media was taken by surprise after news spread about the suicide of musician Nada Salama, before she denied her death in a Facebook post the next day, alluding to failed multiple suicide attempts.

In 2014, news about the death of young activist Zeinab el-Mahdy, who hung herself at home after leaving a note for her family, sent a shock in the political spectrum with many of her fellow activists mourned her saying she had developed depression.

Mohamed A., a 22-yr university student, threw himself off the Cairo Tower in June, due to suffering a “mental disorder,” according to his father’s accounts. In September 2014, a 48-year-old man hanged himself from a billboard; reports suggested he was facing financial hardship.

Around 2,700 Egyptian females tried to commit suicide in 2009 over despair at not getting married, according to a 2010 study by the National Center for Toxins at Cairo University.

At least 44 children committed suicide in Egypt in 2015, due to a November report by the Egyptian Foundation for the advancement of the situation of children, citing various reasons varying between psychological, family, health and economic reasons. Some cases reported due to fear of exams.

Around 40 people commit suicide each second worldwide, according to WHO’s September 2014 report “Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative,” which noted that rates in the Middle East region are higher among youths (15-29) as well as for those aged over 60 yrs, from both sexes.

The international organization launched an action plan to reduce the suicide rate by 10 percent by 2020.

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