Content note: the images of Ayan’s injuries may prove upsetting and distressing, along with descriptions of a racist attack
The Metropolitan Police are investigating a shockingly violent racist attack on a Black Somali Muslim teen in Swiss Cottage, in the London borough of Camden.
18-year-old Ayan Mohamoud reached out to Tell MAMA on social media and consented for us to tell her story.
Ayan described how the assault occurred by the fountain located with the Swiss Cottage open space. Ayan had arrived there at around 7:30 pm on February 13, having finished work thirty minutes earlier.
During her walk, she noticed a single male walking in the opposite direction, and thinking nothing of it, paid no attention to him or made eye contact. The man, however, hesitated in his step as he approached before punching her in the nose. He said nothing and soon walked away.
The shock of the assault left her frozen, and with her nose bleeding profusely, she screamed and sought help from members of the public.
Sadly, one member of the public ignored her pleas.
Ayan soon called her mother in tears, and once safely home, called the police.
Officers attended the address that evening.
She also attended the hospital to have her injuries assessed.
The injuries and pains included issues with her eyes, which she remedied with eye drops, whilst the initial swelling on her nose has decreased – but described to our Casework Team that she is now suffering from severe headaches, neck aches, eye and nose pains. She disclosed photos of her injuries which appear below.
Ayan believes the assault may have been Islamophobic in nature, given that she was wearing a hijab and abaya when the assault occurred.
Posting her experiences of the assault on TikTok is another way she hopes will raise awareness and help police catch those responsible.
She thanked Tell MAMA for their support, stating, “Thank you so much for the support. I really appreciate it.”
We will continue to assist in this matter and will provide updates where possible.