The teenage victim of an acid attack in Zanzibar has said she does not think she was targeted because she is Jewish.
Katie Gee, along with her friend Kirstie Trup, were volunteering as teachers on the African island last summer when they were doused in acid as they walked in the street.
Talking about the attack for the first time, Ms Gee, now 19, said she had been careful to not to show that they were Jewish during their time on Zanzibar.
Writing in the Sunday Times, she revealed that the two girls were aware that the fact they were Jewish might upset the local Muslim population, and that they had not worn any religious symbols.
The motive behind the attack mystified her. She said: “I find it astounding that anyone would have wanted to disfigure two harmless 18-year-olds they had never met.”
Ms Gee, from London, also revealed the extent of her injuries. She said she had suffered burns over 30 per cent of her body, with damage to the skin on her face, torso, legs and feet.
She has undergone 15 operations, including having a new ear grafted, and is facing 15 more, and has to wear a protective face mask.
She said in the moments after being covered in the acid, which was thrown by a man riding past the girls on a moped, the pain was so intense she had begged friends to shoot her.
But she was now determined to overcome her injuries, she said, “if only to prevent the cowards who attempted to destroy my life from winning”.
She added: “The nagging thoughts I once had that my life had somehow come to an end have started to dissipate because I know that with the help of my family and friends there is nothing I cannot achieve.”
But she remained frustrated by the Zanzibar police’s failure to track down the attackers, complaining that “little has been achieved” in the investigation.