A heavily pregnant Muslim woman who was targeted and stomped on during a racist attack while sitting in a café has finally broken her silence about the kind stranger who saved her and her unborn baby’s life.
Rana Elasmar was 38 weeks pregnant and enjoying a night out with friends at dessert café Bay Vista Parramatta in Sydney’s west on November 20 last year when she was brutally attacked.
Sickening CCTV showed Stipe Lozina, 43, dragging Ms Elasmar to the ground before he began stomping on her head and repeatedly kicking her.
Ms Elasmar feared she and her unborn baby would die in the attack, leaving her husband and three other children aged 7, 5 and 3, behind if it weren’t for the man who stepped in.
‘If he hadn’t stepped in, he probably might have kept going. I might have been killed that night, my son might have been killed that night,’ the 32-year-old mother of four told The Saturday Telegraph.
Rana Elasmar (left) was 38 weeks pregnant and enjoying a night out with friends at dessert cafe Bay Vista Parramatta in Sydney’s west on November 20 last year when she was attacked
Stipe Lozina, 43, leapt over the table toward Ms Elasmar (pictured) and repeatedly punched her causing her to fall to the ground where he continued to kick her
The former school teacher doesn’t know what triggered Lozina but felt ‘uneasy and uncomfortable’ when he approached her and her friends asking for change.
Lozina then leapt over the table and threw several punches at Ms Elasmar which caused her to fall to the ground as he continued stomping and kicking at her head.
In that moment, a brave Ms Elasmar didn’t care that Lozina was attacking her, and all she could think about was, ‘that’s OK, hit my head, as long as you don’t hit my baby’.
Lozina (pictured) pled guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and is due to be sentenced in October
As the punches and kicks kept coming Ms Elasmar couldn’t help but anxiously wonder why no one was stopping Lozina as her friends were unable to.
She prayed to Allah asking for his help as he was ‘the only one who can help me’.
Eventually, a man ran into the cafe and yanked Lozina off the terrified mother and others stepped in to help.
Ms Elasmar was taken to hospital with head injuries and lingering pain in her jaw and ear.
She felt something wasn’t right with her baby as it had stopped moving and kicking around inside her, which doctors explained could be from the trauma she felt.
But three weeks after the traumatising attack, Ms Elasmar gave birth to a healthy baby boy Zayn.
A man ran into the cafe and pulled Lozina off Ms Elasmar (pictured) who was being brutally kicked and punched
Ms Elasmar said she refused to ‘be controlled by fear’ and wants to be a role model for her children (pictured, Bay Vista Parramatta where she was attacked)
She said she refuses ‘be controlled by fear’ or be silenced by the attack, wanting to show her young children to be strong in the face of adversity.
‘I wanted to show them that no matter what happens we pick ourselves up and move on and I don’t accept people to treat me in that way,’ she said.
Unfortunately, Ms Elasmar said this was not the first time she was racially targeted because of her religion.
After putting on the hijab eight years ago, Ms Elasmar was told to ‘go back to where you came from’ and had others whisper crude comments under their breath.
‘Just because I wear the hijab doesn’t mean that I am not Australian.’
According to a report released by Islamophobia In Australia, 96 per cent of Muslim women who reported they were a target of Islamophobic abuse were wearing a hijab at the time.
Ms Elasmar said she wanted it ‘known’ that Lozina’s attack on her was because of her religion.
‘It’s a real issue. That man (Lozina) made it known that this attack was based on his hatred of Muslims.’
Lozina plead guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and is due to be sentenced in October.
The court heard he had a violent history targeting Muslim women, after abusing two hijab wearing women at Liverpool Westfields last September.