She moved to Somalia to tell positive stories but died in attack

“What a blessing to be back home in Somalia after 30+ years away,” Hodan Nalayeh posted on her Instagram on May 1 this year, in what she described as “her first Ramadan back home.”

But, eight weeks later, she was dead.

Nalayeh was a victim of a brutal terrorist attack that ripped through Kismayo, the normally serene and beautiful port city in Jubaland, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu.

She was among 26 people who died after several gunmen stormed the Asasey Hotel after a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives outside the hotel. The attackers battled with Jubaland’s security forces for 12 hours, authorities said.

Her husband Farid Jama Suleiman — a businessman and former regional minister — also died in the attack alongside three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and one Briton.

Nalayeh was a prominent Somali-Canadian journalist who was passionate about depicting Somalia — a country long blighted by war, famine and terrorist attacks, beyond the usual bombs and bullets narrative.

She was the founder of Integration TV, an online platform with millions of views on YouTube which describes itself as “building a community of inspiring and uplifting stories for Somalis worldwide.”

Nalayeh, 43, was a powerhouse on social media, where she used her large following to continue her theme of sharing a side of Somalia rarely seen in coverage of the country.

In her last tweet Nalayeh spoke of a new-found passion for photography, sharing stunning images of local young fishermen in the island of Illisi, near Kismayo.

“It was an incredible day to witness #Somalia’s beauty on the island of #Ilisi,” she wrote in a thread.

Nayaleh was born in Somalia in 1976 but her family moved to Canada when she was six years old.

In an interview earlier this year, she recalled what it was like to grow up in a family of 12 children, as well as the toll moving to Canada had on her family.

“My parents survived in a new country, learnt everything and my dad went from being a high profile governor in Somalia driving around in a Mercedes to working in a parking lot and taking care of his 12 children … My parents were traumatized having to start their whole life over,” she told the