Journalist Who Promoted ‘Somali Positivity’ Killed In Terrorist Attack

Mona Nalayeh/Handout/Reuters

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A journalist who promoted “Somali positivity” died at the hands of terrorists in the country when militants attacked a hotel.

Hodan Nalayeh, raised in Canada, moved to Somalia to show aspects of the country that are often missed by media outlets, The Washington Post reported. She founded Integration TV, a channel that shared stories about Somalia and its people. The stories included citizens starting a new library and female business owners succeeding in a marketplace.

Nalayeh was killed in a terrorist attack in Kismayo, Somalia, on July 12 at the Asasey Hotel. The were at least 26 fatalities, including the 43-year-old journalist. Her husband was also killed and 56 people were wounded, WaPo reported. (RELATED: Here’s What People On The Right Think Of The ‘Send Her Back’ Chant)

Many of Nalayeh’s stories were tied together with one of her commonly used hashtags, “#SomaliPositivity,” according to WaPo. The YouTube channel for Integration TV has more than 70,000 followers.

“She left her comfortable life in Canada to go to Somalia, and that’s a big risk for a lot of people in the diaspora,” said Mukhtar Ibrahim, executive director of the Sahan Journal. “That’s the saddest part, that a lot of people cannot wrap their heads around. She was doing her best, she wasn’t taking sides, she wasn’t into politics, she wasn’t critical of the groups that were fighting. She was just trying to do good storytelling about her community.”

In one of her more recent YouTube videos, the journalist can be seen discussing and touring the city where the terrorist attacked occurred.

“You’re watching the best of Somalia as we show you around this beautiful town,” Nalayeh says in a YouTube video shortly before her death, shot in the same town where she was killed. “I’m always hopeful that our great industries can be revived and rebuilt across the nation, and more importantly, in Kismayo, because this place is beautiful!”

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