El Badeel reports: According to a report presented to the people's assembly by independent MP Gamal Zahraan, 12.000 young men in Egypt committed suicide in the last 4 years. The main cause, according to Zahraan, is high levels of unemployment. Zahraan also accuse the government of denying the true extent of the unemployment problem. While the government talk about unemployment levels of 9 percent, the IMF and the World Bank put the numbers at 18 and 22 percent.
While there is no way for me to judge the scientific credibility of this report, the numbers - if they are correct - point to a horrifying trend: In 2005 there was around 1100 suicides, in 2006 the number had risen to 2300 and in 2007 to 3700. In 2008 the number had almost doubled again, making the total 12.000 for the last 4 years. It's not unlikely that this trend is related to the dramatic rise in food prices and increasing economic hardships for Egypt's poor during the last years. With the global depression about to hit the tourism industry and other sectors of the Egyptian economy, the future looks dark.