WASHINGTON / LAS ANOD, SOMALIA - Among the 26 people killed at a hotel following a terrorist attack in southern Somalia Friday was Hodan Nalayeh, a television journalist who returned from the diaspora to help locals build a better life.
She was achieving her goals until al-Shabab militants gunned her down. Soldiers patrol the seaport in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo, November 29, 2012.
Nalayeh was trying to change the narrative of reporting about Somalia, which she considered “mostly negative,” according to Siad Ali, the director of outreach for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and a relative of Nalayeh.
“She was not a fan of promoting politicians or talking about the politics," Ali told VOA. "Her uniqueness was reporting the positivity of Somalia and the people of Somalia, from Somalia to diaspora. So that has attracted thousands of youth throughout Somalia, and to see the good side of Somalia and the prosperity side of Somalia.”
Nalayeh also thought she could impact the lives of the young Somalis who were not receiving an education.
Late last month, she visited her home town, Las Anod, where her family opened a school for 150 nomadic children. The family also opened a library for young children to learn painting, reading and storytelling, the first of its kind in the country.
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