Among the hundreds of people killed in the Oct. 14 terrorist attack in Mogadishu was a U.S. citizen, Ahmed Abdikarim Eyow, 51, from Bloomington, Minnesota.
Eyow, a Somali native who came to the U.S. in 1998, died when a truck bomb ripped through the hotel where he was staying. He had arrived in Mogadishu just hours before the deadly attack, on a quest to find a job with the United Nations in the country.
Eyow had earned a bachelor’s degree in human services last year. He left behind a wife and three kids — Yonis, 14, Yusra, 13 and Yahya 10.
VOA talked to his two sons, wife and a former supervisor at Emerson Process management, where Eyow worked before going to Somalia.
Yonis Eyow: “We were told at first his room was in the back in the hotel, so I thought my dad must have gone out in the back and might have gone lost somewhere. But you know later on that day almost 10 hours [later], they found his body and I did not take it well. I don’t like to talk about it.”
“My dad was like my best friend every day. When we drove to the mosque, he talked about — how I am doing in school, talk about how’s Yusra and Yahye?
“He was like a family leader, every day if there is something happen in the family, the first thing we did was look to my dad. He always had a plan, he always knew what to do, what is the right move, how do we do it. He was like someone to look up to.”
Yahya Eyow: “We used to play piano and catch and soccer. He takes me everywhere, movies. I am gonna work better in the school, and I’m gonna memorize a lot more of my cashar [lessons].”
Run Abdullahi Abdi: “Ahmed was a good dad, a good husband, my brother, my close friend, someone we talk and even when problem arises, we used to resolve it together.
“The biggest, saddest thing I have the things that he left, including responsibilities. He was a man who spoiled me, I thank God for the time we spent together, but he was unforgettable person.”
Megan Helling, Emerson Process Management: “It was such bad news, I know a lot of his co-workers were hurt very bad by the news. They were all feeling it, a lot of people left early that night to go either process the news or to be with his family. The company is also very saddened by it, it is a senseless act and they are very saddened and they offered some group counseling, some grief counseling.”
“When he was working here, he also went back to school for his bachelor’s degree, and then I know he was also going to be pursuing his master’s degree as well. Eyow was always pushing himself and Eyow was looking for how he can make himself better and how he can get to that next step in life.”