POLICE are probing an allegedly racist attack that has left a Syrian refugee critically ill.

Twenty-five-year-old Shabaz Ali was trying to protect his young female cousin when he was stabbed twice in the side and four times in the chest.

A group of two men and two women launched the frenzy on Ali in the hostel in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, where he had been living.

Ali’s dad, Sivan, was on the phone to his son when the group attacked.

He says he could hear them shout “Why are you still here, why are you not back in your own country?” as they struck his son.

Ali, who arrived in Scotland five years ago, is working as a barber in Portobello, and was staying in the hostel as he looked for a new home. His cousin was also living in the hostel, occupying a room just two doors down.

According to Silvan, Ali had been concerned about the lack of security in the Upper Gilmore Street building saying anyone was able to come in, and that it had often become a hotspot for trouble makers.

The group of four were trying the doors in the hostel and were giving Ali’s cousin grief when he stepped in, asking them to leave.

Ali’s family contacted The National, desperate for anyone who knows what happened to contact police.

Silvan, who works in the city’s Rojava restaurant, says he rushed to his son as soon as he heard the commotion: “I got a taxi round there and I walked in and I saw my son bleeding. There was so much blood. And the security man ran away, he didn’t call the police, he didn’t do anything.

“We’ve been in the hospital now for three days. My son is in a dangerous place. He had surgery on his stomach, his chest is open.

“My son has never been in a fight before. He works and he sleeps. He’s a good boy.

“We ran from death in Syria, we don’t want to die here.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said there were investigating after a man "was seriously injured at a flat in Upper Gilmore Place shortly after 12am on Thursday 3rd May.

“Anyone with information which may be able to help can contact Gayfield CID via 101, quoting incident number 0072 of 3rd May, or report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


A crowdfunding page has been set up by Positive Action in Housing, to help Shabaz “recover and rebuild his life”.

The group will pass every penny on to the family.

You can donate here - https://mydonate.bt.com/events/saynotoracism/464056