But, eight weeks later, she was dead.
Her husband Farid Jama Suleiman — a businessman and former regional minister — also died in the attack alongside three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and one Briton.
Nalayeh was a prominent Somali-Canadian journalist who was passionate about depicting Somalia — a country long blighted by war, famine and terrorist attacks, beyond the usual bombs and bullets narrative.
Nalayeh, 43, was a powerhouse on social media, where she used her large following to continue her theme of sharing a side of Somalia rarely seen in coverage of the country.
In her last tweet Nalayeh spoke of a new-found passion for photography, sharing stunning images of local young fishermen in the island of Illisi, near Kismayo.
Nayaleh was born in Somalia in 1976 but her family moved to Canada when she was six years old.
In an interview earlier this year, she recalled what it was like to grow up in a family of 12 children, as well as the toll moving to Canada had on her family.
“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,” the statement read.
Nalayeh had two sons from a previous marriage and spoke openly about the cultural stigma attached to being a divorced single parent.
“Society judges you,” she said. “They look down on women who are single parents, men look down on you because they think you may be an easy catch…They think nobody is going to pay dowry for you. All these crazy ideas like you are just not as worthy when you are divorced.
“But you know what, my journey sharing that with one of my followers and them realizing that life happens to many of us. We can start over, we can learn, we can grow and you don’t have to be ashamed,” she said in the AWIM interview.
Nalayeh’s death has led to an outpouring of grief on social media with many sharing their shock and disbelief at her death.
Through her work with Integration TV, Nalayeh inspired a generation of young Somalis who had previously only seen their country through the lens of war.
“Hodan… was opening up a previously little know or seen side of Somali… Showing us that despite everything that Somalia has endured, its people still have hope, an enduring spirit and a will to make the best of a situation beyond their control,” Jamila Mohamed, who met Nalayeh in Kenya earlier this year, told CNN over WhatsApp.
“It’s always a risk going to Somalia, always, you never know what will happen next,” she said.
“We mourn her loss deeply, and all others killed in the #KismayoAttack,” he said.
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