September 22, 2013 (Updated on September 26)
Our hearts go out to the families and the victims of the Westgate mall attack that started yesterday. At the time of this posting, there are still around 30-40 people trapped inside and the Kenyan military is getting ready to storm the building. The killed, the wounded, the hostages, and the soldiers are all in our thoughts. We are saddened and shocked by this senseless act, not because an attack such as this wasn’t expected, but primarily because they targeted innocent people, Kenyans and expatriates alike, in such a heinous and violent massacre. Among the 59 killed so far is a client and partner of g.Maarifa. And among the almost 200 wounded and the hostages still trapped inside are our personal friends and family members.
Nairobi is a small city. We all either have lost someone dear to us or know of someone who has lost someone. This is a sobering reminder that things can change at an instant and what is seen as a safe haven has to be appreciated and not taken for granted.
Everyday, we are proud to be Kenyans, but on this day more than ever. Kenyan Strong.
(Updates- 9/26/2013: the siege has finally ended with an uncertain death toll and numerous people injured. RIP Ravindra. He was not only a personal friend but also a g.Maarifa partner through his work at Financial Sector Deepening Kenya. To the media and most outsiders, the event is over. But it’s not. Healing is a long process, and people’s behaviors are already changing. Al-Shabaab brutally attacked the symbol of African peace and prosperity.)