Kenya’s Westgate Mall, that was attacked by Al shabab militant group in September 2013, reopened for the first time on Friday July 18, just a week before US President Barack Obama visits the east African country.
In a show of confidence and resilience, Kenyans thronged the mall over the weekend to get a glimpse of the renovations that had taken place on the facility since the attack that killed nearly 70 people took place.
“That day was really tragic,” a trader at the mall told eurozone. “We just want to be positive and move forward.”
Some who visited said they felt safe because they knew an Israeli security firm was in charge, or because of the thorough vehicle checks and additional security guards. Many said they doubted al-Shabaab would hit the same place twice.
President Obama, whose late father was a Kenyan economist in the 70’s, is due to visit the country this week to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the capital Nairobi.
Some see his visit as fulfilling a promise he made to his paternal grandmother when he won his first term in the US, to visit Kenya at least once before his term ends in 2016.
Additional reporting by Dana Sanchez