The Somali government will roll out an annual award scheme in honour of Hodan Nalaye, a Somali-Canadian TV host who was killed late last week in the city of Kismayo in an Al-Shabaab attack.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Awad, confirmed that his Ministry will have the Hodan Nalaye Award in honour of the deceased’s inspirational life.
“Every year we will recognise an outstanding individual who made a positive contribution from the Somali Diaspora,” the Minister said in a July 15 tweet promising to follow with “More information.”
On Friday, the journalist dedicated to telling positive stories from a country suffering through decades of civil war, extremist attacks and famine was killed along with her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, entrepreneur Mahad Nur and at least 23 others after a bomb exploded outside the Asasey Hotel in the Somali city of Kismayo and gunmen stormed inside. Fifty-six other people were wounded in the attack, according to the Jubbaland regional president.
Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the 14-hour assault that ended as troops killed the gunmen.
On Saturday, friends and family reeled as they heard that Nalayeh, 43, a journalist and mother expecting her third child, was among the dead.
Nalayeh was born in the northern Somali city of Las Anod but moved with her parents and 11 siblings to the Canadian province of Alberta in the winter of 1984, when temperatures dropped to -40 degrees Celsius. Her father, a former Somali diplomat, took a job as a parking attendant, she told Toronto.com in a 2014 interview.