The former Toronto journalist killed in the attack recalled as someone who followed his passion

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Hodan Nalayeh was many things. He kept his family close to his heart, was a good mother, a loving wife and a friend to rely on.

But above all, Nalayeh was a storyteller, and he used his craft to try to change the way people see his native country, Somalia.

"Everyone should try to emulate the kind of life that he lived, which was to follow your passion, to love people and always look for the best in everyone," said Ricardo McRae, a longtime friend.

"I love to see people give life to their ideas and was a person who has always acted, always followed."

READ MORE:
Former Toronto journalist among the car bomb deaths in Somalia: reports

The 43-year-old and her husband were among the 26 killed after members of al Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, detonated a car bomb in the hotel where he was on Friday in the port city of Kismayo. Fifty-six others were injured during the attack.

Somali syndicalists Syndicate said in a statement that Nalayeh died along with another journalist, Mohamed Omar Sahal.

"We pray for the families of the two journalists, while we are also with them during this sad moment," said Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, general secretary of the group.

Nalayeh had spent most of his career promoting his cultural heritage TV integration, the first English television program for Somalis in the world. When he brought the idea of ​​the show to McRae, they brought it to life.

"I knew it was a request; I knew that all kinds of people would love and gravitate to this content," McRae said.

"I'm thinking how much more could have been done from 40 to 50, as if you were just warming up."

READ MORE:
26 dead, including Somali-Canadian journalist, besieged the Somali city

Nalayeh, who lived in Vaughan, Ontario. at some point in his career, he was known on the world stage as a pioneer.

"He was a person who changed, actually", explains friend Zuheira Abdiwahab, who lives in Somalia.

"He dedicated his life to serving the Somali community and brought a positive story to the whole world."

"He was doing what he loved every day and was doing it with her husband and family, and this is a great way to go if you have to go," McRae said.

Nalayeh was seven months pregnant and left two children.

WATCH: (12 July 2019) Former Toronto journalist killed in a car bomb in Somalia: reports





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