Our condolences to Hodan Nalayeh's family, friends and everyone that loved her and her stories.

nna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon, many of you have already heard that Hodan Nalayeh and her husband were killed in a recent Al-Shabaab attack in the city of Kismayo. May Allah have mercy on Hodan, her husband, and all the people that were killed today. I pray that Allah grants their families ease and comfort.

Hodan was an amazing woman who loved her country and her people. She was so happy and excited to be in Somalia and to be able to share our stories. One of her goals was to share positive stories and to change the narrative of Somalia in the west by showing Somali people thriving in their country instead of the images of famine and war that we see in western media.

Today I was supposed to publish an interview we did during Ramadan about her story and her work in Somalia. One of the things that amazed me about Hodan was that regardless of the hate she got from a few people she said that she didn’t let those things bother her because she had a goal, and stories that needed to be shared and for every person who had something negative to say many more people benefited from her stories. I’m one of those people that enjoyed her stories of Somalia. I loved every single city she visited because she gave me the opportunity to see Somalia in a new light. Many of the diasporas haven’t been back to Somalia and her stories, visits, and interviews with the people who lived and worked in those towns gave us a new appreciation for our motherland.

Hodan had so much good to share and it’s heartbreaking that her life was taken by terrorism. I know that she would want the positive stories to be shared so if there is anything you ever benefited from her show please share those, share her smile, and the stories of the amazing people in Somalia because they cannot take away her good actions with their acts of terror. Hodan was a beacon of light that will outshine the evil that killed her.

During our interview, Hodan talked about digital media, and how important it was for Somalia and us because everything we share will live on, her stories will live on and I ask that you share your favorite stories from Toronto or Somalia that Hodan shared with us. Our interview together will not be posted today like originally planned.

Please remember Hodan, her husband and all the lives lost in your prayers.

And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision (3:169)