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Sunday, August 26, 2012

A man set himself on fire in Cairo due to job loss

Protesters in Cairo

A 40-years old man set himself on fire on Saturday in front of Presidential Palace in Cairo. The man was identified as Arafa Kamel. He was a worker at the Assiut branch of Middle Egypt Electrical Distribution, the state-owned company.

The reason of his self-immolation was reportedly the job loss. Arafa Kamel was fired from the electrical company due to the problems between him and the chairman of the company, according to the Kamel’s account.

Kamel’s brother-in-law, Abdel-Hafez Mahmoud, told the reporters that Arafa Kamel was facing a trial, but then he was fired by the chairman of the company, and it happened before the court ruling. Kamel was proven innocent later, but the company chairman refused to rehire him and ignored his request for coming back to work without explaining the reasons.

Arafa Kamel referred to the Complaints Diwan, special body created by Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy for looking into complaints of Egyptian citizens, which started its work at the beginning of July. But Kamel’s request to the Complaint Diwan was neglected. The man was frustrated by this situation and refusal of the company’s chairman to rehire him, and he saw no other way except self-immolation.

After Arafa Kamel set himself on fire, the fire was quickly put out by the security forces, and the man received the help immediately. The security forces were present at the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis today, due the Friday’s protests against Muslim Brotherhood which took place in Cairo close to the Presidential Palace. The ambulance took Kamel to the hospital.