Abdelkader Tbarki, 24, at home watching television with his mother Jamila Habbechi, 55. Abdelkader suffers from sickle cell disease. The disease affected Abdelkader's education, he was unable to complete school or subsequent vocational training. His mother says she thinks the disease has affected his intellectual development (stroke is a common symptom), as well as his social integration. She says he has no friends, and is always by himself at home.

Consanguineous marriages are one reason for the relatively high incidence of sickle cell disease in Tunisia. Jamila Habbechi explains that hers was an arranged marriage, to her cousin.

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