The turmoil in Tunisia can be traced to an unemployed man who set himself on fire last month in protest, and now more people across North Africa are doing the same. Today, two men set themselves on fire in Egypt.
Independent Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm reports that two men, in separate incidents today, have set themselves on fire: A lawyer named Mohamed Farouk near the People's Assembly in Cairo — following a man (pictured above) who did the same there yesterday — and another man, Ahmed Hashim al-Sayed, on the roof of his apartment in Alexandria.
Several men in Algeria and one in Mauritania this week have taken to self-immolation as a form of protest and they're doing this for basically the same reasons: living conditions in their respective countries are, in many cases, appalling. There are few, if any, job prospects and their countries are ruled by despots (who also happen to be our regional allies). As Tunisia remains in limbo and protests roll on, tensions in Egypt — a country with nearly eight times the population of Tunisia — are steadily on the rise and have been for years. It's not at all surprising that people across the region are in the streets demanding a change to the status quo. Hopefully their leaders will start to listen and this incredibly sad form of protest will stop.
[Image via AP]