Margaret Ali, 64, the wife of Daud Hassan Ali, said: “The school he established is run in a house which is also where he lives – there are..

Margret & Daud Hassan

Halkaan ka akhri

Daud Hassan Ali with his wife Margaret

The Birmingham Post
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The family of a former Birmingham City Council employee killed when Islamist militants raided a school in central Somalia have paid tribute to him.

Margaret Ali, 64, the wife of Daud Hassan Ali, said: “The school he established is run in a house which is also where he lives – there are various disgruntled factions running around and because he is a convert to Christianity from Islam then he is a target.

“They raided the house in the middle of the night and murdered all four people there – this group called Al Etihad have been running around and treat it like a government system has been forced on them.

“The area has been always been quite peaceful in spite of what has happened in Somalia. But this group are running around the streets armed to the teeth.

“They came in under the cover of darkness – the majority of Muslims have nothing against him and a lot of them said they were happy he was doing work there.

“At the back of his mind he always wanted to go back to Somalia and do something for his own people.

“I bear the people who have done this no ill will – I just think why can’t they get all the people with different opinions in Somalia together and form some kind of government so they don’t have to go round killing reach other to make a point.

“Establishing the school was his vision and it was him who organised everything – in the long run if those buildings can be used for some other kind of purpose that is all that we can hope for.

Daud Hassan Ali teaching English

“Imagine what the children have had to deal with – it is their teachers who have all been killed and kids get attached to their teachers. It is terrible that he will never get to teach in those buildings again.

“He was a great optimist and saw good things in everything – I will continue to pray for the people of Somalia and eventually some good may come out of this.

“He was well known so he could have been targeted from the beginning – it was courageous and heroic what he was doing out there, once e he decided to do something he did it.

“He came from a poor background but got an education and the next thing he did was establish the school.”

Mr Ali also left behind two sons Robleh Tinning, 32, a civil servant from South London and Kenedeed Proctor-Tinning, 34, from Quinton, Birmingham.

Robleh said: “These people haven’t got support and they can’t do things in the day but they can still do terrible things like this under the cover of night.

“He wasn’t trying to convert anyone, he was just trying to teach English. He always had a grand project on the go if something needs doing, someone has to stand up and say they are going to do it and that is what he did.

“He was a doer, not a moaner.”

Mr Ali arrived in Britain from Lebanon in 1967 when he met wife Margaret, who he married in 1971.

After working in England until his retirement in 2004 from a position at Birmingham City Council, he returned to Somalia to establish a school for 110 pupils on rented property in his hometown of Beled-Weyne.

Source: The Birmingham Post, April 15, 2008


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