According to NBC News, the Somalia-born reporter and 26 others perished after armed gunmen opened fire at the Asasey hotel. Per the news site, Nalayeh's husband Farid Jama Suleiman also lost his life in the ambush.
Hodan Nalayeh dedicated the last year of her life showing the world all the beauty & prosperity that Somalia has to offer. Today’s Al-Shabaab attack on her+other journalists & humanitarian aid workers wasn’t random; they are funded to undermine any efforts of stability in Somalia pic.twitter.com/ujCFsrRluD— Hanna Ali (@HannaAli) July 12, 2019
"She spent her life devoted to serving the Somali people and reporting on positive, uplifting stories," a statement from the late journalist's family read. "Her dedicated mission was to spread light and love to the Somali world through her work in journalism. She died serving the Somali community everywhere and doing what she loved most. She brought inspiration and hope to the Somali people through story telling. She will be deeply missed."Born in the African nation, CNN reports Nalayeh moved to Canada when she was six years old. The 43-year-old had only returned to her native country last year, explaining she wanted to cover a side of Somalia not centered around war and violence.
A respected storyteller, Nalayeh was the founder of Integration TV, an internet news service dedicated to "building a community of inspiring and uplifting stories for Somalis worldwide."
A mother to two boys from a previous marriage, Nalayeh spoke candidly earlier this year about the cultural difficulties being a divorced parent.
"Society judges you," she said to African Women in Media. "They look down on women that are single parents. Men think that you may be an easy catch. You're half a woman because nobody's gonna pay dowry for you. All these crazy ideas like you are just not as worthy when you are divorced."
Learning to enjoy the simple life of living back home. I love attending events that stimulate the mind and leave you wanting to do more for your society! #KBF2019 #MySomalia pic.twitter.com/v4imbmd1GJ— Hodan Nalayeh (@HodanTV) July 7, 2019
"But you know what, my journey sharing that with one of my followers and them realizing that life happens to many of us and we can start over, we can learn, we can grow and you don't have to be ashamed."
Many across social media mourned her death, sharing anecdotes of her many accomplishments.
May Allah have mercy on Hodan Nalayeh and her husband. Inalilahi wa inailayhi rajiuun. Wow this is heartbreaking.— Yasin Osman (@yescene) July 12, 2019
Hodan Nalayeh was an incredible journalist, full of energy, enthusiasm and exuberance. She loved her people and country. She was a bright light of hope in Somalia. Ilaahay naxariistii Janno ha ka waraabiyo. pic.twitter.com/1eor792VWa— (((Yusuf Hassan))) (@MPyusufhassan) July 12, 2019
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.— Integration TV (@IntegrationTV) July 13, 2019
It is with great sorrow & regret we confirm the unexpected & tragic loss of Hodan Nalayeh & her husband Farid Jama Suleiman.Please keep Hodan & Farid in your duas. I's the wish of our family that you honor our privacy at this time of mourning. pic.twitter.com/d2FEtzjOQN
In a statement obtained by NBC News, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau condemned the attacks and promised to work alongside other nations in order to combat future terrorist acts.
"Her loss is deeply felt in Canada, and in Somali and journalistic communities around the world," Trudeau said. "Canada strongly condemns this heinous attack, and will continue working with Somalia and other international partners to address the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism."