By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 22 April 2017:
The Omar Mukhtar University in Beida has closed for three days following the presumed suicide of one of its students. The body of a young women who was studying English and in her first year was found hanging in one of the faculty bathrooms today.
There appears to have been a spate of suicides in Beida – this is said to be the tenth in the town since the beginning of the month – four more than a week ago. It has caused alarm and incomprehension resulting in allegations of suicide grooming and even demonic possession as the result of playing a game known as “Charlie Charlie”.
Although the university authorities have said that they are stopping classes for three days as a memorial to the suicide victim, it is believed that concern over possible panic or even hysteria among students following this latest incident is the real reason.
It is not clear, however, if there is a genuine increase in suicides in Beida or if it is a case that, for the first time, they are being reported. Suicide is a taboo subject in Libya and is rarely admitted, let alone discussed.
It is also not clear, if there is an increase, if it is due to depression resulting from the country’s crisis and the widespread sense, particularly among younger people, that the revolution has been destroyed by the country’ politicians.
Meanwhile, despite the three-day closure, it has been announced that the university’s faculty of dentistry is to link with the dentistry faculty at Benghazi university.
Plans for a link between the University of Sebha and the new University of Jufra have also been announced. The objective is to provide the latter, which is being hived off from Sirte University, with sufficient staff and facilities as it begins life as an independent entity.