Kuwait police thwart street suicide attempt

August 10, 2012

Kuwaiti police thwarted an Egyptian man’s attempt to commit suicide on a busy street in Kuwait City on Thursday.

The expatriate doused himself with petrol on Fahad Al Salem Street and threatened to set himself ablaze with a lighter as he screamed that he wanted a job, local Arabic daily Al Rai reported.

“I have left everything behind to come to Kuwait, but there is no job available. I want to find a job or I will burn myself right now,” he reportedly said as people tried to dissuade him from committing the desperate act.

The police, alerted by witnesses present at the scene, tried for around 90 minutes to convince him not to torch himself before they succeeded in snatching the lighter away, the daily said.

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The man, whose name and age were not given, was taken to a police station and will face either charges or deportation.

Several online comments called for stringent action against people who trafficked in visas and brought foreigners into Kuwait with fake promises of employment.

“The suicide threat cannot be condoned, but the real blame lies on those who exploit other people by bringing them into the country under false promises, but do not secure jobs for them,” Abu Ghayeb said.

A large number of foreigners, mainly from Arab and Asian countries, are lured into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by lucrative offers that often do not materialise.

Seeking work to help repay their loans back home and survive in the host country, they often take up odd jobs and are under threat of deportation by the local police for breaking residency regulations. In some cases, frustration leads them to committing desperate acts.

Self-immolation in the Arab world has become more common since a Tunisian man torched himself on December 17, 2010 after he was denied the right to talk with officials on his social status.

His suicide attempt sparked a popular uprising in the country that eventually led to the end of the political regime of Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, the man who ruled Tunisia for 23 years before he was forced out.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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