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Death of Hodan Nalayeh, Canadian-Somali journalist killed in terrorist attack, mourns "big loss"



A prominent Canadian-Somali journalist killed in a terrorist attack in Somalia's southern port town of Kismayo on Saturday is being hailed for her efforts to change the narrative of her country.

Hodan Nalayeh family and friends say she dedicated her life to telling stories about Somalia, which did not focus solely on the devastating civil war that has struck the country since 1991. The car was packed with explosives and continued a long firefight in which 27 people were killed and 56 others were injured.

In a statement on Nalayeh's Facebook page, her family reported that her husband Farid Jama Suleiman had died in the attack.

"Hodan leaves behind her two children, 1

1 siblings and beloved parents," the statement says.

"She spent her life serving and reporting positive, uplifting stories to the Somali people, and her dedicated mission was to bring light and love into the Somali world through her journalistic work, which she died in the service of the Somali Community and did what she loved best, bringing inspiration and hope to the Somali people through storytelling, and she is deeply missed. "

Amal Nalayeh, who lives in Canada, told NBC News by phone from Nairobi, Kenya, that she was Nalayeh said she should fly in from Canada on Saturday to stay with Hodan for the summer

"But it did not happen and me "She finally buried her," she said.

After she had spoken to Nalayeh shortly before the attacks, she said her son had told her that in a hotel in Ki smayo something is going on.

"It took us a while to figure out that she was taken to the hospital. I think she lives, "said Nalayeh. "Everything she said was, 'my children, my children, my children & # 39 ;," Nalayeh said, referring to her sister's sons at the age of nine and seven.

"I do not know how to tell them,

She described her sister as" an incredible person "who will be missing.

[She is a] Great loss, great loss to the Somali people, especially for the young, they loved them at home all over the world, and they all weep for them. "

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Hodon Nalayeh for" inspiring Somali stories "and" broadening people's perspectives and diversity and defend inclusion. "

" Their loss is deeply felt in Canada and Canada Somali and journalistic communities around the world, "Trudeau said in a statement. "Canada strongly condemns this atrocious attack and will continue to work with Somalia and other international partners to eradicate the causes of terrorism and violent extremism."

In 2014, Nalayeh founded Integration TV, the first English television program for Somalis around the world, which she also frequently presented.

Nalayeh named her project in a promotional video on YouTube "the first television channel dedicated to the Somali narrative".

She focused on stories about Somalia's people, businesses, nature, cuisine, and history.

Nalayeh also frequently tweeted about her life in Kismayo and Somalia under the #MySomalia hashtag.

Nalayeh's family emigrated to Canada at the age of five.

Prior to working in Somalia, Nalayeh worked in the Canadian media industry. She moved to Kismayo last year where the deadly attack occurred.

Canada's immigration minister, originally from Somalia, tweeted that Nalayeh "has become a voice for many."

"Through her work as a journalist, Hodan has highlighted the community's positive stories and contributions in Canada," Ahmed said Hussen in a tweet adding, "We deeply grieve for her loss.

NBC News has asked Global Affairs Canada for further comments.

Sadiyo Siad, a British Somali man, said she has known Nalayeh for five years, NBC said News, the 43-year-old is "full of life" and "a lovely human being."

"I'm incredibly devastated," said Siad, who returned to the country like Nalayeh to help Somali youth. [19659002] "She wanted to make positive stories about Somalia stories and wanted people to see the positive side of Somalia, not the negative stories that you hear in the mass media.

Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic terrorist group, took responsibility for the attack. NBC News has not confirmed the claim.


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