Fowsia Musse stands in her Maine Community Integration office on Lisbon Street in Lewiston in 2021. Musse and her son were shot Tuesday by a law enforcement officer during an altercation at an airport in Ethiopia. Her sister, Juweria Subcis, died at the scene. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

The executive director of Maine Community Integration in Lewiston, Fowsia Musse, was shot Tuesday by a law enforcement officer at an airport in Ethiopia.

Her sister Juweria Subcis, a member of the Somali regional state parliament, died at the scene. Musse’s 14-year-old son was among those injured.

According to a GoFundMe page created by Musse’s daughter Shadia Abdulahi, Musse traveled to Ethiopia to visit her family for the first time since she left the region in 1993 at age 12. Musse’s mother, who she last saw 27 years ago, was recently diagnosed with sarcoma, a type of cancer in the bones and soft tissues.

“She had not seen her mother since she was a pre-teenage girl, and words are still not tantamount to the emotions she must’ve felt when she saw her mother upon her arrival in Addis,” wrote Abdulahi.

After flying to Jijiga Garad Wilwal Airport, Musse and others were shot after a law enforcement officer opened fire during an altercation, reportedly with another traveler.

“After killing my aunt Juweria, the security officer began to spray bullets across the entirety of the airport, resulting in a myriad of injuries,” Abdulahi wrote.


Musse suffered two gunshot wounds, one to the stomach and one to the hips. She may also have a broken leg.

Her son’s shoulder was grazed by a bullet, requiring stitches.

According to local media, the officer has been arrested and an investigation is underway. The police chief of the Somali Regional state of Ethiopia said it is not yet known why the officer opened fire at the airport.

Musse and her son were transported to a local hospital.

On Wednesday, Abdulahi was told her mother would be flown to Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, to receive further treatment.

Musse’s 8-year-old daughter was also traveling with her, but was reportedly unharmed. Both children are being cared for by their grandmother and aunt.


“The trauma and pain that my mother left 20+ years ago only revisited her on Tuesday October 25th,” the daughter wrote on GoFundMe. “Nobody deserves to see their little sister shot in front of them, and nobody deserves to die in that manner. Nobody deserves to be left without their parent, to feel lost and confused, traumatized, scared, or alone. A trip that was supposed to be the trip of my mother’s dreams quite literally turned into a nightmare in 72 hours.”

Subcis, Musse’s younger sister, was a member of the Somali Peace Party and a U.S. Mandela Fellow in Washington, D.C. Her death has sparked demonstrations in Jigjiga, according to local media.

“Thousands of people around the country of Ethiopia and tens of thousands of people online called for her justice,” Abdulahi wrote.

Subcis, a single parent, leaves behind two boys. She was weeks away from opening a school in Jijiga, according to Abdulahi.

“Whether it was doing groundwork and delivering Covid-19 information, running testing centers, or even traveling the country and region to participate in peace talks about the ongoing political tensions in the area, Juweria was gracious and intentional in her work and efforts,” Abdulahi wrote. “Juweria was indeed the apex and epitome of a true humanitarian.”

Maine Community Integration is a nonprofit organization based in Lewiston “committed to integrating New Mainers into their communities while respecting and uplifting their diverse cultures, identities, and traditions,” according to its website.

Abdulahi, a college student in Massachusetts, is working with the Ethiopian and United States Embassy to secure the safety of her family. She plans to travel to the region as soon as she is able to, according to a news release by the Maine People’s Alliance, which works closely with Musse.

“We are working to help her family with this situation in any way we can,” wrote Nora Flaherty-Stanford, Maine People’s Allaince media and public affairs director.

Somalia is to the east of Ethiopia.

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