Renowned Somali medical doctor, philanthropist and humanitarian Dr Hawa Abdi is dead.
Dr Abdi, known by many as Mama Hawa, died in Mogadishu on Wednesday, her family announced.
“Dr Hawa [Abdi] did not have illness, but died suddenly,” her children said, without giving further details.
She turned her backyard into a health clinic targeting the internally displaced in Somalia. Dr Abdi, 73, dedicated her life to the service of the poor and needy in Somalia.
In 2012, Dr Abdi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was trained in the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and opened a hospital on the western outskirts of Mogadishu in the 1980s.
Over the years, she opened several health facilities in Somalia.
In 2018, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Turkish government.
Dr Hawa Abdi penned a great book about her experiences, ‘Keeping Hope Alive: How one Somali woman changed 90,000 lives”.
The book is a moving memoir of her bravery, Dr Abdi, along with her daughters, kept 90,000 of her fellow citizens safe, healthy, and educated for over 20 years in Somalia.
Dr. Hawa Abdi, fondly referred to as “the Mother Teresa of Somalia” and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was the founder of a massive camp for internally displaced people located a few miles from war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia.
Since 1991, when the Somali government collapsed, famine struck, and aid groups fled, she dedicated herself to providing help for people whose lives have been shattered by violence and poverty. She turned her 1300 acres of farmland into a camp that numbered up to 90,000 displaced people; she ignored the clan lines that have often served to divide the country.
She inspired her daughters, Deqo and Amina, to become doctors.
Together, they have saved tens of thousands of lives in her hospital, while providing an education to hundreds of displaced children.
Kidnappings and threats
In 2010, Dr. Abdi was kidnapped by radical insurgents, who also destroyed much of her hospital, simply because she was a woman. She, along with media pressure, convinced the rebels to let her go, and she demanded and received a written apology.
Dr. Abdi’s story of incomprehensible bravery and perseverance will inspire readers everywhere.
She will be remembered much for her humanitarian works.
Inna lillahi waina ilaihi rajiun.
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