In Egypt, man sets himself on fire, driven by economic woes

Ahram Online, Monday 17 Jan 2011

In a mimic of the suicide by a street vendor in Tunisia last month, an Egyptian man set himself on fire Monday

A 49-year-old man set himself on fire Monday on Kasr El Aini Street in downtown Cairo by pouring a container of petrol on himself and lighting a match to his clothes.

Abdo Abdel Hameed, a restaurant owner, was driven to attempt suicide after bread coupons from the government were denied to him.

Pedestrians in the area tried to contain the flames, before a cab driver used his vehicle's fire extinguisher to successfully put the fire out.

An ambulance arrived on the scene, taking Abdel Hameed to the nearby Kasr El Aini hospital. Preliminary reports reveal that Abdel Hameed did not suffer any serious injuries.

The case mimics the incident that sparked Tunisia's riots and subsequent revolution, where a 26-year-old unemployed street vendor set himself on fire when the government confiscated his goods. His act was in protest to rife unemployment and lack of economic opportunity.

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