Former Toronto journalist among dead in Somalia vehicle bombing

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 13, 2019

She lived in Alberta before moving to Toronto and started her own web-based video production company, Integration TV, which provided content to Somali viewers in Canada and around the world.

Somali Journalists Syndicate said in a statement that Hodan Nalayeh died along with another journalist, Mohamed Omar Sahal.

A former Toronto journalist was among those killed Friday after a auto bomb went off at a hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayo, according to local media organizations.

"Many of us could have lost our lives to bullets or hunger or diseases", she said of many Somalis who immigrated to Canada.

Nalayeh and her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, were among 10 people killed after gunmen stormed the Asasey Hotel in the port city of Kismayo, according to Mogadishu-based independent radio station Radio Dalsan.

Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper in Kismayo, told Reuters: "There were many people including officials and elders, mostly from one clan, who were discussing the coming Kismayo election".

They added that the death toll could be high.

The Islamist group Al Shabab later said it carried out Friday's attack.

Global Affairs Canada has not confirmed news of the couple's deaths but told The Canadian Press that it's aware of a bombing in Somalia and working to get more information.

Somali Journalists Syndicate said in a statement that two journalists based in Kismayo had been confirmed dead in the attack.

Her reporting was focused on positive and inspiring stories from Somalia and Africa, such as her April 2018 interview with Mahad and Mohamed Nur which she said inspired her to return to Africa.

She said Nalayeh was "a symbol of hope", having lived in hard conditions in Somalia in her young age before coming to Canada and succeeding in life and then returning to Somalia to help others.

She also had a considerable YouTube audience for her show, Integration TV, which promoted heartening stories within the Somali community, both in Canada and overseas. After living in Edmonton, the family moved to Toronto in 1992. "Her attractive spirit shined through her work and the way she treated people", Omar Suleiman, a Texas-based imam who knew the victim, wrote on social media.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she is sad and shocked to hear about her death.

"I admired her so much for her work, and I'm still proud of her for giving back to the Somali community", she said.

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