Tunisia- Suicide (Part I): A Matter Taken for Granted by Government Officials

A JOURNAL OF A BLUE BIRD CALLED MOLLY:

PAGE 2- Suicide (Part I): A Matter Taken for Granted by Government Officials in Tunisia

PLACE: Distopia
TIME: OF Suicide and Neglect
CHARACTERS: The Dead, The Deader and the Deadest

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Ever since Mohamed Bouazizi took his own life out of desperation (OMG, I’m growing sick of this occurrence!), suicide rates have been skyrocketing to reach 365 cases according to the data that have been released in 2015 by the Technical Committee Against Suicide (an agency established under the Ministry of Health – Tunisia). The average age of these ranges between 20 and 39. The most shocking of all was a case of an 11-year-old girl. Unfortunately, the document is no longer available as you can see from this link. I got my numbers from previously published articles about this topic. And, man! 365 suicide cases in one year is too big of a number!

This topic has been making it to the headlines of the local, national and international media outlets. It has been tackled in conferences and events held by different CSOs, NGOs and governmental entities. However, what difference have these latter ones made? I am not obsessed with the conspiracy theory; but, we all know that everything in this world has hidden meanings and hidden reasons that the common person cannot see and the knowledgeable mind can make theories about but never figure out. Media outlets have a readership level to maintain (and increase), and CSOs, NGOs and governmental entities have political and apolitical purposes to achieve. They do not really care about creating social change as much as they worry about creating a bigger audience, serving the needs of certain politicians, fulfill the demands of foreign donors to get more funds, etc.

Certain politicians, government officials or civil society pseudo-activists fake it so that they make it to headlines, and consequently upgrade their levels in the realm of hypocrisy, deception and deceit (AKA money and politics). We have certainly heard about/ came across people who eat corruption for breakfast; who fake invoices to justify the money they put in their pockets which they got from foreign donors, who bribe journalists to write good things about them (the bribe can range from a few dinars to an invitation to an open buffet coffee-break at an event), who write reports and collect data about people and sell them to foreign intelligence agencies, etc. No one voices these issues simply because doing so is a losing battle against evil; because the more you talk about it, the stronger it gets. So people tend to deny it in order for them to stay out of harm’s way.

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Photo Courtesy of Radio Bouhajla

 

Allow me to give you a for-instance. On March 25th, 2017, a scientific symposium was held by the governorate of Kairouan under the framework of preventing and reducing the suicide rates in the region. By ‘region’, they mean Bouhajla (it is what we may call one of many districts in Kairouan), as it is stated in the title of the event (see photo found above). However, Bouhajla was excluded from the attendees’ discussions, and the event was not even held in Bouhajla to begin with. It was held downtown at the headquarters of the governorate. This led to the primary schools and high-schools syndicates boycotting the event.

What added insult to injury is when the Minister of Religious Affairs, Mr Ahmed Adhoum, and the governor of Kairouan, Mr Taoufiq Ouertani, were present only during the morning session, and left after the coffee break. They did not stick around to listen to the participants’ opinions and live testimonies revealing valuable information about the situation in the region and the reasons behind this rising phenomenon of suicide that could lead to efficient solutions if only their ‘Majesties’ cared enough. Even worse, most of what was discussed was how suicide is religiously forbidden in Islam (‘Haram’).

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This is the moment after which their majesties lost interest in the conference. 

Once the minister, the deputies and the governor left the venue, the residents of Bouhajla decided to leave after denouncing the disorganization of this event and the government personalities’ behavior[see video]. This event was one of many cases of waste of public money which is one of the specialties of the regime of ousted president Ben Ali par excellence.

Ladies and gentlemen of Tunisia, bottom line, the well-being of our country is in the hands of a group of people who could not care less about us. Feel not sorry for the Dead who committed suicide, beware of the Deader due to their lack of morals and human qualities, and weep for the rest as they are the Deadest. Indeed, one does not need to be six feet under in order to be dead.

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