She was, by almost all accounts, a rather wonderful woman – smart, helpful, and engaging – and a familiar presence behind the old-fashioned wooden reception counter in the Central Hotel’s spacious lobby in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
“We made a really good connection. She was very attentive, and was doing her job very well. One government minister I knew was ready to offer her a job,” said a European official who sometimes stayed at the hotel in order to meet the many Somali politicians who had made it their home. He asked for his name not to be used for security reasons.
“She was a nice person, really talented,” confirmed the hotel manager and co-owner, Ahmed Ismail Hussein, of Luul Dahir, the Somali woman in her mid-30s whom he had hired four months earlier.