By: Ahmed Mohamed Adan
Lives were cut short, dreams shattered and families broken after gunmen struck Beach View restaurant in Liddo beach leaving in its wake about 20 dead and over 40 others injured.
And like any other attack in Somalia, news of the attack hit local and global headlines and soon the story receded into the back pages as the victims were added into statistics on the many lives robbed of us by trigger happy terrorists.
Goobjoog News however sought to give a human face to the story of those who were killed; the dreams and ambitions they had and a future awaiting them especially for those who had just graduated from university few days before the heinous attack.
Over eight fresh and former graduates from Simad, Somalia and Plasma Universities were among the civilians killed at the popular Beach View Café by gunmen, according records from Simad University Alumni Association, SUAA.
Among the alumni was 26 year old, Ahmed Osman Ali, who attended his graduation ceremony only a day prior to the incident.
“Ahmed went there to meet with his classmates but his life was cut short by the assailants,” said Abdiwahab Mohamed Abdulle, chairman SUAA.
Abdulle points out that the university lost not only Ahmed but four former students and a lecturer.
“Four other former students of Simad and a lecturer identified as Omar Olaad were killed in the attack while several others including a don were injured,” explained Abdulle.
Yonis Mohamed Iman an IT graduate lost his life in the heinous attack according to his niece, Fatuma Ahmed who spoke to Goobjoog News.
She said her uncle together with another relative went to Lido beach to enjoy the calm atmosphere and the breeze from the ocean waves but soon tragedy struck and he was no more.
“After dusk prayer my uncle was asked to leave the place but he insisted that he wanted to stay on. The attack happened while he was still there. Hours after security forces ended the siege, we were informed that he was among those were killed by the gunmen,” Fatuma recounted in grief.
A university lecturer Omar Olaad returned to Somalia on 10th January 2016 from Uganda where he had gone for a DNA test so that he could join his wife and their three children in Europe, according to his close friend Abdirashid Abdirahman who is also teacher.
“Omar had bachelor of education degree from Benadir University and was a lecturer at several universities in Mogadishu before he met his death at that fateful night,” Abdirashid briefed us.
The painful death also struck Ismael Mohamed Yussuf and three member of the family of one Mohamed Kheyre who went who were also at the restaurant during the time of the attack.
All the immediate members of one family were identified as Abdikani Mohamed Kheyre, 24 years, a graduate and father of three children, Naimo Mohamed Kheyre, a secondary student and Fardowsa Mohamed Kheyre, who was to start her fourth semester in Nursing.
According to local media reports, Fardowsa Mohamed Kheyre (Student at University of Somalia) and her siblings were at the beach during the attack alongside Naima Mohamed (Secondary student at Ahmed-Gurey) and Abdikani Mohamed (Student at Plasma university). Only Fardowsa’s little daughter survived the attack while the rest perished.
When Somali forces reached the scene to rescue the hostages, they found the little girl under the body of her mother covered in blood. She asked the forces, “Please tell mom to wake up, she is sleeping.” But little did she know her mom had passed on.
The attack on Beach View restaurant robbed the nation not only of its children but also of a valuable human resource which was set to contribute to the growth and development of the country. The attack mirrored the 2009 attack on the first batch of medical graduates (from University of Benadir) in Somalia since the collapse of government in 1991. Evil struck again in 2011 in Mogadishu when students queuing to check their names for scholarship with scores of students killed.
But unbowed by the attack last week and in defiant resilience, Somalis took to the social media particularly twitter to share pictures of the beautiful Liddo Beach and reached out in solidarity with their kith and kin through the hashtags #TweetVisitYourSufferingBrother and #LiddoPictures.