Earlier this week, surveillance footage of a young man jumping off of the 187-meter Cairo Tower circulated the internet. The incident stirred up discussions about suicide in Egypt.
The victim, Nader Mohamed, recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Helwan University. He committed suicide by throwing himself from one of Cairo’s landmarks located in Zamalek.
In early November, 19-year-old girl Shahd Ahmed was found dead in the Nile River near Gazirat AL Waraq located in South of Cairo in Giza. Shahd was a third year Faculty of Pharmacy student at Suez Canal University.
Zamalek is a part of Giza governorate. Giza has the highest number of suicide attempts totaling at 334, according to Daftar Ahwal’s report. Last year, Daftar Ahwal released a report tracing the suicide trends in Egypt from 2011 to 2017. The report highlighted that Cairo governorate has the second highest cases suicide-13 percent.
Daftar Ahwal’s data noted that more than 17.8 percent of people commit suicide by jumping from high places.
The study collected and studied 1,746 suicide attempts – 1,463 of which were successful. It revealed that men are more prone to commit suicide with over 70 percent of the victims being men.
At least 287 cases were by students making up 16.4 percent of the total suicide cases.
Almost 60 percent of the cases where by adults from both genders. This indicates that this age bracket is more susceptible to being victims of suicide.
However, the most common tool is not jumping from high places. Instead, the most common method to commit suicide is by hanging. Over 37 percent of cases attempting suicide by hanging and almost 40 percent of adults chose this method.
Jumping from high places is a close second, where 17.6 percent of adults attempting suicide using this method. Whereas, over 8 percent of victims commit suicide by drowning.
According to the study, around 5 percent of victims attempt suicide due to study stress. Only 3.6 percent were successful. However, 28 percent of victims attempt suicide due to family.
The World Health Organization said that Egypt’s suicide rate is 4 persons per 100,000 population as of 2016. This equates to 3,828 people with respect to the country’s population at the time. Almost 80% of the victims are men, while 18.3 percent are women.
It is important to note that there are no official data indicating the suicide rate in Egypt. Furthermore, there is no annual statistics of the number of suicide cases. This lack of recognition for the matter is a result of social stigma and cultural reservation despite the various attempts of private groups to raise awareness to suicide.