A ‘heartbroken’ Palestinian graduate thought he was going to die after he claims he was beaten up for being a Muslim when he wished someone a Merry Christmas.
The alleged attack happened at 8.40pm on Christmas Eve near the Happy Wanderer, in Framwellgate Moor, Durham,UK and the 27-year-old was treated in hospital shortly after. The Palestinian was in the Happy Wanderer pub with friends when he was called a “suicide bomber” before being attacked outside.
Abualrob said: ‘At one point I lost consciousness. I was helpless and thought this was the end of it. It was so scary and frightening.I felt not only in pain but humiliated. I come from Palestine, which is a very conflicted country, and I came here with the hope of having a peaceful life not having to live in fear.It’s my first Christmas ever outside of my country and that is my Christmas treat? They did this for nothing, but for me being a Muslim in this country.Christmas should be a time of love and hope, not violence.’
He continued: ‘They started insulting my religion. I said ‘Merry Christmas, enjoy your holiday’ and didn’t say any more.We started crossing the street and they followed us. One of them threw an empty glass towards us. Then one of them lunged at me and punched me on my left check and I fell to the ground.Then three of them started kicking me in the head, shoulders and body. I grabbed my head in my arms trying to protect my face. I managed to get away and tried to get into the bar for protection. Because I was so dizzy I fell in front of the pub.’
Police confirmed two men have been arrested on suspicion of racially or religiously aggravated assault in connection with the incident.