Terrorist Attack Kills Canadian Journalist Who Returned To Somalia To Show Its Beauty

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There was an incredibly sad story last week. A terrorist attack in Somalia killed 27 people in the port city of Kismayo. Among the dead was Canadian-Somali journalist Hodan Nalayeh, who was an inspiration for not just Somalians but women around the world who have grown up in highly restrictive religious nations. Nalayeh dedicated her life to showing the beauty of her native country, which is all too often in the news for terrorist attacks and extremists. She moved back to Somalia to work to facilitate the continued development of Somalia.

Few of us can comprehend the logic of these extremists who believe that God will reward them for killing innocent people by driving a car packed with explosives into the Asasey Hotel. The driver gave nothing but misery to his country and killed over two dozen human beings, including a journalist who spent her life trying to show that Somalia was much more than misery, poverty, and death.

According to a statement posted on Nalayeh’s Facebook page, her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, was also killed in the attack. They leave their two children without parents because this extremist felt killing them was his ticket to heaven.

Nalayeh was not just a great loss for Somalia but the world. She showed girls and women in Somalia that they could transcend their conditions and become respected professionals. She spent years showing the world that there was more to Somalia. There still is. However, others will now need to tell that story.

26 thoughts on “Terrorist Attack Kills Canadian Journalist Who Returned To Somalia To Show Its Beauty”

  1. The death toll is around 33, now, I believe.

    I had forgotten about Dan Eldon — a photojournalist who was stoned to death by a mob in Somali. Many of his photographs are stunning. Dan was another beautiful soul like Hodan Nalayeh.

    This was written by his sister, Amy:

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dan-eldon_b_3582633

    Excerpt:

    On July 12 — 20 years after his death — we commemorated the sparks that Dan and his friends lit in others by dedicating the Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism. Since we opened doors in Malibu two years ago, thousands of artists, musicians, social media creators and filmmakers of all ages, races, and cultures have mingled in a place that recognizes and celebrates the power of individuals to profoundly impact the world around them.

    Out of the greatest tragedy of my life has come the greatest joy — the sense of connection, community and co-creation with lively spirits like my brother Dan, whose courageous storytelling is changing our world.

    This month we are commemorating the more than 900 journalists who have died since Dan and his friends were killed. But through our work we are also keeping his passions alive.

    Just the other day, my youngest son, Daniel Eldon Turteltaub, age three, looked at me with a furrowed brow. “Can I tell you a secret mama? Uncle Dan is here,” he said. I replied: “I know.”

  2. She was pregnant, too.

    “Nalayeh – a 43-year-old mother-of-two…was pregnant at the time of her death.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48975875

    ‘In a Facebook post, her family said Nalayeh – a 43-year-old mother-of-two who was pregnant at the time of her death – had “spent her life devoted to serving the Somali people and reporting on positive, uplifting stories” in order to “spread light and love to the Somali world”.’

  3. “Few of us can comprehend the logic of these extremists who believe that God will reward them for killing innocent people by driving a car packed with explosives into the Asasey Hotel.”

    We start by realizing the only logic involved is they cynical calculations in those who train the poor in too many communities to hate reflexively. From that point, murder seems to be an acceptable way of venting the hate.

  4. She forgot they are misogynist by culture and creatures of habits of honor killings. She also forgot it only takes one.

  5. “Few of us can comprehend the logic of these extremists who believe that God will reward them for killing innocent people by driving a car packed with explosives into the Asasey Hotel.”
    *****************************************
    The logic is perfectly linear: there is no true god but Allah; all other religions are an affront to Allah; insulting Allah is punishable by death; infidels by their insolence in matters of religion are worthy of death as their very existence is an insult unless they convert; acting in furtherance of the faith is an act of piety; Acts of piety involving violence are excused; Acts of piety are rewarded in Heaven.

    1. Acts of piety are rewarded in Heaven.

      Let them move to America and they will learn as the Christians do here:
      YOLO.

    2. There were a few foreigners in the hotel, but it was largely Somalis there for a political conference. There’s a linear logic to it, but not the one you’re delineating.

  6. Brings back memories of the news media suckering Bill Clinton into thinking there was a famine in Somalia. Only to find out there was no food shortage. Everything was on the black market & controlled by Somalia war lords. Driving around doped up in pickup trucks with machine guns & RPG’s.

    1. I think you mean ‘brings back fantasies’.

      http://www.fao.org/3/t0800e/t0800e.pdf

      The Food and Agricultural Oraganization in 1993 had Somalia on a list of 24 countries which had suffered declines in per capita food production of > 10% year-over-year from 1991 to 1992 and on a more select list of countries which had suffered ‘catastrophic’ declines in production having suffered declines of that sort several years in a row.

          1. You back again absurd?

            Damn right, that’s what I posted. And Clinton got duped. “NO FAMINE”. All controlled by Somalia Warlords. Now get off my post!

  7. “They leave their two children without parents because this extremist felt killing them was his ticket to heaven.”

    Sad, but an all too frequent occurrence. One should look at Turley’s reason the woman was killed (“ticket to heaven.”). That tells everyone exactly the problem that is being faced but left unrecognized by all too many.

  8. I wish she would have chosen to perhaps work on that Congresswoman who curses at jews and hates Israel. All four of the Gang of Four need mental remediation. Perhaps a mental hospital in DC could work on them with shock treatment and LSD.

  9. Somalia (and the Somali portions of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya) consist largely of grassland juxtaposed to desert. It’s a reasonable wager the landscape isn’t much to look at (though people may be fond of it if that’s their home). Also, it’s tropical Africa. With some qualification, tropical Africa in 1885 encompassed a set of pre-literate cultures for whom the territorial state was an innovation which hadn’t happened yet. You’re not going to find much in the way of historic architecture to look at. And, of course, the place is impossibly poor and likely has the aesthetic unpleasantness of impossibly poor places. A lot of might-have-been in regard to Somalia. Prior to 1969 it was just about the most congenially governed country on the continent.

    Nalayeh was not just a great loss for Somalia but the world. She showed girls and women in Somalia that they could transcend their conditions and become respected professionals.

    I think it would be more consequential for Somalia’s well-being to have primary schooteachers, agricultural extension agents, and civil engineering technicians who can put together simple public works which can be maintained with local labor and know-how. Also, surveyors who can assemble a proper land registry. Scribblers in Canada sending home remittances just doesn’t cut it.

    Condolences to her family.

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