Twin Cities man killed in Somalia is remembered at St. Paul memorial
TWIN CITIES DAILY PLANET
A group of more than 75 people gathered at the Afton View Apartments in St. Paul to honor a man who gave his heart to the Twin Cities and his life for his native country.
Abdullahi Ali Anshoor, 64, of Brooklyn Park worked as property manager for the Battle Creek-area apartment complex for about 14 years, said co-worker Amy Berger, who helped organize the gathering.
He was killed Monday in Mogadishu, Somalia, when armed militants from the Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab stopped his vehicle and sprayed it with bullets, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press.
Trained as an urban planner and civil engineer, Anshoor returned there last year with his wife to help the Mogadishu government with planning and drainage systems.
“We are here to express our condolences to his family and to his friends,” said Said Ali of East African Community Link. “He was a great man. He was a father, a son … and the community at large is mourning his death.”
Abdisalam Adam, a teacher at St. Paul’s Central High School and imam at Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Minneapolis, used to teach at Highwood Hills Elementary School, which is across the street from the Afton View Apartments.
He and Anshoor, who was well-known in the Somali-American community, often worked together on educational issues, Adam said.
Adam encouraged the group not to be discouraged by Anshoor’s killing.
“His death should not scare us,” but rather provide more determination to rebuild Somalia, he said.
The gathering included Somali-American residents of the apartment complex as well as former colleagues of Anshoor’s.
Debra Godland said she worked with Anshoor until 2011.
“Anshoor is the most loyal and trustworthy gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing,” she said. He was instrumental in organizing National Night Out get-togethers at the apartments and “thought of all of you as his family.”
Anshoor was born in Mogadishu and graduated from college there. He received a scholarship to study in the United States, and earned a master’s degree from California State University in Fresno in 1986, according to his LinkedIn profile.