Why People Are Mourning Leila Alaoui

Photo: Fadel Senna/Getty Images.
Heartfelt tributes to Leila Alaoui have been filling social media feeds this week.

The 33-year-old photographer was one of 30 victims of last week's deadly al Qaeda attack on a Burkina Faso hotel. The Guardian reports that Alaoui, who was injured when gunmen attacked the Splendid hotel and the Cappuccino Café in Ouagadougou, died from a heart attack. Amnesty International announced her death on Monday.

Alaoui was a skilled photographer and a master of telling visual stories about current issues across the globe. Her work had been featured in outlets ranging from Vogue to The New York Times. At the time of her death, Alaoui was on assignment for Amnesty International, working on a photography project about women's rights. The Guardian notes that Alaoui's most well-known photography project was a series of portraits of Moroccan people.
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Twitter users expressed their condolences for Alaoui's loved ones and spread awareness about her death with the hashtag #LeilaAlaoui.

Sadly, Alaoui's death was just one of several horrifying headlines related to terrorism this week. A U.N. report this week revealed that almost 19,000 civilians in Iraq were killed in less than two years (the time period from the start of 2014 to October 2015). The report detailed horrifying human rights abuses by ISIS, including forcing women and children into slavery. And on Thursday, at least 20 people were slain in an attack on a beachside resort in Mogadishu, Somalia. Militants who were part of the al Shabaab terror group targeted the popular venue with a suicide car bomb and gunfire as wedding and graduation ceremonies got underway.

"Thursday night in Mogadishu is like Friday night in other countries," government spokesman Abdisalam Aato said, according to CNN. "It's very busy. People have their weddings; they go out to eat with their families."
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