Domestic war in Iraq: Wife's burning ambition to control remote leaves her at death's door
Baghdad was burning this week when a domestic struggle broke out between husband and wife over TV viewing, culminating in a desperate act of self-immolation.
The Middle East is no stranger to self-immolations - since a Tunisian youth set himself on fire in December 2010 triggering protests and revolutions in the Arab world, the act has become a viable political tool for ordinary people with a point to make across the region. Most recently, it has shed light onto the desperate economic situation of many Israelis and, just days ago, it led to the death of a 21-year-old unemployed Palestinian man in the depths of poverty. But, this week's Iraqi incident wasn't down to politics or economics but a spousal spat over the remote control!
The 30-something-year-old Iraqi woman set fire to herself after an argument with her husband over the TV, it has been reported. Her husband wasn't asking for daily X-rated viewing but for his fix of popular Arabic-dubbed Turkish series.
Turkish soaps have taken the Arab world by storm with the $3 million industry making a killing in the region. They have become an evening staple in many homes across the Middle East, offering relief from life's hard realities with daily doses of romance, controversy and drama. But, for some, what was once casual viewing has become obsession. There have been reports of the shows ending marriages and causing family feuds. And, as with every addiction there is a point when unhealthy becomes destructive.
In a scene maybe too hot for even Turkish TV, this Iraqi woman nearly saw her life go up in flames because of her husband's soap habit.
A local medical source said: "The woman who is a resident of the western Hamzeh region, situated 40 kilometers north of Haleh, in the province of Babylon south of Baghdad poured kerosine on her body then lit herself up. This caused severe burning and damage, which led to transferring her to the nearest hospital".
The woman is currently in a critical condition in intensive care in Al Hashimyeh hospital.
This near-fatal episode acts as a cautionary tale to Arab audiences - keep the drama on the screen!
Do you think the Arabic-dubbed Turkish soap craze has gone too far in the Middle East? Leave us your comments below!