15 June 2017

Somalia: Pizza House Chef Fled Air Bombardment in Aleppo to Die in the Mogadishu Bombing

An eyewitness into the Pizza House bombing describes how he saw five bodies of girls motionless and a short distance from them the body of the Head Chef, a Syrian national on a pool of blood against a bullet ridden wall.

In 2016 Fadi Dayeh Ismail left his home city of Aleppo which was under heavy bombardment by the Syrian government's fighter jets in war ravaged Syria.

He was to seek for a better life in Somalia as activists across the world started the hashtag #AleppoIsBurning to let the world know of the attrocities been met by ordinary citizens of the city trapped in a fighting between rebels and regime.

A Chef by profession with speciality in Pizza making he got a job at Mogadishu's Pizza House thanks to links made by his brother.

His brother like a number of Syrian doctors had settled in Mogadishu establishing a clinic to practise as a physician.

"He wanted a safer place. And he chose Somalia" Abass Abdi one of Pizza House stakeholders told Radio Dalsan in an interview.

"He loved Somalia and Somalis. He felt very much at home in Somalia" Abdi said.

Like every other day.

On Wednesday Fadi was at work making sure that his patrons got the best Pizza Mogadishu could offer. Life was much better than the life he had left in Syria.

But that safe haven he had found in Mogadishu on Wednesday turned out to be exactly what he had fled from in Syria.

Fadi dreams and aspiration was cut short by a hail of bullets that hit him after Alshabaab militants attacked.

Coincidentally a curious Fadi had asked the management why the number of patrons was unusually low that Wednesday evening.

"He was told that there was fear that Alshabaab may be commemorating the historical battle of badr with an attack" Abdi related.

"He was so surprised asking how could Muslims kill other muslims on a day to mark a day important to Muslims" Abdi recalled.

Fadi had also been training Somali staff at the Pizza House.

Some 30 Somali staff worked at the eatery coming from different regions as far as Hargeisa and Garowe.

Pizza House also employed staff from Kenya and Ethiopia.

2 kenyan chefs evacuated have been confirmed to be safe.

The 42 yr old slain Chef leaves behind two children a girl and a boy and a widow who still live in Syria.

"He used to call them everyday. He would tell them how much a better place Somalia is" Abbas Abdi said of tge Syrian Chef.

Somalia

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