The popular uprisings that swept the Arab world in the spring of 2011 were most likely the result of Mohamed Bouazizi’s amateurish efforts to decant petrol from a jerry can in the kitchen of his Tripoli basement flat, according to experts.
What initially appeared to be an act of self-immolation by a desperate and courageous man, may have been the result of a lit cigarette allowed to casually dangle from the side of his mouth in an attempt to appear ‘rakish’ .
Tunisian’s were warned of fuel shortages in the run up to Spring 2011 by the country’s Energy Secretary Ali Al Maudi after the country’s tanker drivers objected to driving in oppressive heat for 45k per annum. And restrictions were put in place in March 2011 after a camel gnawed through a major oil pipeline.
Bouazizi initially claimed he set himself on fire because he was pissed off with the filth. But in reality he gave a number of conflicting accounts, one of which was ‘acting on impulse to the poorly translated lyrics of a Doors record.’
However, when quizzed later at the Severe Burns Unit of Tripoli General Bouazizi he confessed that he had merely followed Ali Al Maudi’s advice to the letter and was filling up a jerry can for his daughter’s Renault Twingo.
Removing a bandage from around his mouth , Boauzizi is said to have whispered to doctors that ‘he could have done with a bigger funnel’ and that ‘it was probably not a great idea to have a chip pan and a ciggie on the go at the same time’
A North Tripoli Fire Service spokesman said ‘Members of the public should take extreme care when handling petrol and be aware of the risks associated with incorrect use and storage such as engulfing a continent in political turmoil with the inevitable bloodshed that follows. ‘
Although the wave of violent protests and alleged ‘self-immolations’ has now to Syria, President Assad has gone on record claiming several of these fires were started by a disaffected student trying to ignite a leaf with a magnifying glass.