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.