By Gwen Baker – Contributing Writer
A diverse group of Farmington community members came together at UMF to hold a vigil for the victims of a truck bombing in Mogadishu Somalia.
After hearing about this news, Mana Mohamed, a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in International and Global Studies, felt compelled to do something about it.
With a large community of Somali students attending UMF, many were directly impacted by this news. Mohamed felt it was disheartening that so many were uninformed about such a big event.
“It felt like it was on me to remember them if no one else was willing to do it,” said Mohamed. She organized a vigil to inform others of what was happening and to rightfully honor the victims of the attack.
“The purpose of [the vigil] was to stand in solidarity with the people who lost their lives in the bombing and also to let the students affected know that we stand in solidarity with them,” said Sitey Mutkar, a senior Pre-Med major and friend of Mohamed’s.
Mohamed did not expect many to attend the vigil, but she was pleasantly surprised to find 30 people in attendance, including UMF students, faculty and high school students. Mohamed ran most of the event but offered others who felt obligated the chance to speak. Linda Beck, one of the professors in attendance, was grateful there was a safe space being offered for the victims.
Mutkar spoke about how she was directly affected by this act of terrorism. “My first cousin, who was attending the university there, was amongst the people who died in the bombing,” she said.
While the person responsible for the attack’s intention was to target parliament members, the bomb was placed near a tank, causing it to explode and intensifying the blast. Many students and children were amongst those who were killed, with over 300 people injured with and the death toll rising to over 500.
Mohamed emphasized the importance of not picking and choosing who to remember. “I think it’s incredibly important that we don’t become blind and choose which people to remember and which people we ignore,” she said. “Every death impacts somebody in this world. It’s making someone hurt, it’s making someone incredibly hard to live by.”