British teens, Katie Gee and Kristie Trup, both 18, returned home from Zanzibar for burn treatment after both were attacked with acid in the popular tourist spot that has witnessed increasing sectarian violence in recent days. Both were volunteer orphanage school teachers, spending their last week in the country,but faced increased hostility in recent days from the mostly Muslim population. One of the girls was spotted singing during Ramadan by some Muslim women creating a recent incident in which she was assaulted by one Muslim woman, who treated this as disrespectful act, although the British girls were unaware of Muslim customs regarding Ramadan. And a recent trip to buy groceries for the two girls, turned into an argument, leading some to believe that this was what was the cause of this premeditated attack on the two girls, when two men drove up on a moped while the girls were walking to buy dinner and both were attacked with acid, causing both girls terrible burns to their faces, back, chest and hands as they tried to wipe the corrosive burning chemical from their faces. Both girls received some medical treatment in Zanzibar to stabilize their conditions, before both could be flown back to the UK for serious burn treatment. The horrific crime has outraged many in the UK, and the government of Zanzibar is now offering a $6,000 reward because this crime seriously threatens the huge tourist industry of Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is a semi-automonous region of Tanzania, which has developed a huge tourist trade. However, a wave of back and forth violence by Muslims and Christians has recently made the area . And, the president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, has shared the outrage that many feel in the UK about the brutal attacks on the two teenage girls and visited the girls in the hospital, stating that “This attack is a shame on our country”.
Both girls were intending to leave Zanzibar next week and begin college, but now both face many painful surgeries as acid burned skin must be removed and painful skin grafts are undertaken to attempt to repair the injuries as well as possible both for cosmetic reconstruction as well as to avoid infection. What is so vicious about these attacks is that the purpose appears solely to horribly maim. and not to kill, and sometimes over 100 reconstructive surgeries are required to restore some of the victims appearance or to prevent infection. Sometimes victims are blinded by these attacks, creating further disability beyond the social destruction caused by reducing a pretty woman to a horrible burn victim. In the Muslim world, acid attacks are most often a form of violence used against women to destroy them socially, and to destroy their worth as a woman. The family of Katie Gee released this photo today of her extensive injuries.