Ihsan Abualrob, a Palestinian student, was kicked in the head just after wishing three men ‘Merry Christmas’ on Christmas Eve. Abualrob, student of Master’s degree in Politics at Durham University, was sitting in the Happy Wanderer pub with his friends before being brutally assaulted outside.
“We don’t drink and were sitting there chatting when out of the blue a British guy approached us, pulled up a chair uninvited and asked us where we were from,” Abualrob told the Northern Echo.
“My friends said from Egypt and myself from Palestine. The British guy said: ‘Egypt, Palestine. You Muslims. Are you suicide bombers?” and started to mock Muslims and the religion.
The “heartbroken” Palestinian student wished them “Merry Christmas, enjoy your holiday” and left the pub but were followed by the trio.
One of them threw a glass towards us,” he said. “Then one of them lunged at me and punched me on my left cheek 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.
“Christmas should be a time of love and hope, not violence,” answered Abualrob lying down with the bruising on his face and knee.
Two of them were arrested by the police. “A 49-year-old man and a 23-year-old have been arrested on suspicion of racially or religiously aggravated assault with injury,” a Durham Police spokesman stated.
The beaten Palestinian student was taken to the hospital with intense bruises and injuries on his body.