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Bouazizi, whose nickname was Basboosa , had been unable to find meaningful employment, resorted to selling fruits and vegetables on the street in Sidi Bouzid to support himself and his family.
At least one media outlet reports that Bouazizi had a university degree in computer science. However, his sister, Samia Bouazizi, stated that Mohamed had never graduated from high school.Bouazizi went to a one-room country school in a village named Sidi Salah. In his late teens, Mohamed quit school in order to work fulltime.
Bouazizi lived in a modest and humble stucco home twenty minutes walk, down dusty roads, from the center of Sidi Bouzid. According to his mother, Mannoubia Bouaziz, He applied to join the army, but was refused, along with other job applications. However, Bouazizi, was honest and hardworking. Bouazizi supported his mother and younger siblings by earning approximately $75 USD per week selling his produce. His father died when he was three and he worked from the age of ten selling on the street after school.
Bouazizi had his dreams. "Mohamed hoped most to buy his own van," said his sister, Samia. "But he wanted it for work, not for himself. Even his private dream was to help his family." And, "His dream was to see his sisters go to university." said his sister Basma and her mother also said: "He had that dream himself when he was younger."
"He was funny, and generous. When he would get angry with me he always came afterwards and asked me to forgive him. When he had free time, he stayed at home with the family." said Basma.
Confiscation of wares and self-immolation
Local police officers had targeted Bouazizi for years, ever since he was a child.City authorities regularly confiscated Bouazizi’s small wheelbarrow of produce. "Since he was a child, they were mistreating him. He was used to it," said Hajlaoui Jaafer, a close friend of Bouazizi. However, on December 17, 2010, the police confiscated his wares again, ostensibly because Bouazizi did not have a vendor's permit. But Bouazizi had few options to try to make a living, and he bought his produce by getting into debt. He had contracted approximately $200 USD in debt to buy his merchandise. Some sources report that, on that day, the police slapped him and otherwise harassed him.
In one account, it was stated that street vending is illegal in Tunisia. Authorities said that Bouazizi lacked a required permit. However, no permit is needed to sell from a cart, said Hamdi Lazhar, the head of Sidi Bouzid's state office for employment and independent work.It was also conjectured that Bouazizi didn't have the funds to bribe the police officials to allow his street vending to continue. Salem and Samia Bouazizi accused authorities of trying to extort cash from their brother. "What kind of repression do you imagine it takes for a young man to do this? A man who has to feed his family by buying goods on credit when they fine him ... and take his goods. In Sidi Bouzid, those with no connections and no money for bribes are humiliated and insulted and not allowed to live." said his sister Leila.
That day, Mohamed Bouazizi was publicly humiliated when a woman municipal official, Feyda Hamdi, slapped him in the face, spat at him, confiscated his weighing scales and tossed aside his fruit and vegetable cart; all while her colleagues assisted her.It was also stated that she made a slur against Bouazizi's deceased father.Her gender made his humiliation worse due to expectations in the Arab world."From that moment, he became angry," his cousin, Rochde Horchane, said.According to Mohamed's mother, her son committed suicide because he had been humiliated and not because of their poverty."It got to him deep inside, it hurt his pride," she said, referring to the police’s harassment.
Soon after, Bouazizi went to the local Governor to complain, but the Governor would not see him or listen to him. "My cousin said, 'If you don't see me, I'll burn myself'," Mr Horchane said. After being rebuffed by the Governor, he left a message for his mother on his Facebook page asking her to forgive him after losing hope in everything:
I’m travelling, mother. Forgive me. Reproach and blame is not going to be helpful. I’m lost and it’s out of my hands. Forgive me if I didn’t do as you told me and disobeyed you. Blame the era in which we live, Don’t blame me. I am now going and I will not be coming back. Notice I haven’t cried and no tears have fallen from my eyes. There is no more room for reproach or blame in the age of treachery in the People’s land. I’m not feeling normal and not in my right state. I’m travelling and I ask who leads the travel to forget. —Mohamed Bouazizi
He acquired a can of gasoline(or two bottles of paint thinner). At 11:30 a.m. local time, less than an hour after the his altercation with the female officer, he doused himself in front of a local government building, and set himself alight.
According to Lotfi Tlili, the Bouazizi family lawyer, Mohamed Bouazizi was taken by ambulance to a medical facility in Sid Bouzid. The local hospital could not cope with Bouazizi's terrible burns and he was taken to the city of Sfax, more than 70 miles away.
Then, as the government's interest in his case grew, he was transferred to a hospital in the town of Ben Arous at the Burn and Trauma Centre. It was there where he eventually died, eighteen days after the immolation, on January 4, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. local time .
On December 20, 2010, the female officer, who accosted Bouazizi the day of his immolation, was suspended along with the secretary-general (Governor) of Sidi Bouzid. The report of this suspension was subsequently denied by the secretary-general of the Sidi Bouzid municipality, Mohamed Saleh Messaoudi.
5,000 or more people took part in Bouazizi's funeral procession through Sidi Bouzid to his nearby village, union official Kamel Laabidi said. But police prevented the procession from passing near the spot where Bouazizi set himself on fire. Bouazizi was buried at Garaat Bennour cemetery, 10 miles from Sidi Bouzid.
His brother Salem Bouazizi was quoted as saying: "Freedom is expensive and my brother paid the price of freedom" and "My brother has become a symbol of resistance in the Arab world".
source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi