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Lewiston-Auburn community leader shot in Ethiopia

Fowsia Musse, executive director of Maine Community Integration, was seriously injured in an attack in eastern Ethiopia that killed her sister.

LEWISTON, Maine — The family of a Lewiston-Auburn community leader shot Tuesday in Ethiopia is raising money to airlift her to the United States for medical treatment.

Fowsia Musse was in eastern Ethiopia when she was shot in the stomach and hip and suffered a broken leg, according to a joint release from Maine Community Initiatives, where Musse is executive director. Her sister, an MP in the Somali region of Ethiopia, was killed in the attack, and her 14-year-old son was injured. Her 8-year-old daughter was also present.

Musse, who is from Somalia, had several surgeries at a hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, but suffered complications.

"Doctors in Ethiopia have stabilized the nerves on her leg to the best of their ability, but say that they can only stabilize the nerves for 48 hours before action needs to be taken," the release said. "They suggest amputating the leg."

Musse's daughter, Shadia Abdulahni of Auburn, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for medically-assisted travel back to the United States, as well as ongoing medical bills.

More than $40,000 had been raised as of Friday morning.

According to a post by Abdulahni, Musse was visiting her mother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, in Ethiopia for the first time in almost 30 years. 

Musse works with women in Lewiston to promote civic engagement, STEM education, and a connection with nature.

"She has helped thousands through her current role with MCI and her previous roles as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, cultural broker, community health outreach worker, and lead educator," the release said. "She is a true community leader, a pillar of light and love for all of us here in Lewiston-Auburn. She has helped thousands of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to feel belonging and take ownership in their community. Through her work she has inspired our communities to become involved, educated, contributing citizens who advocate for their rights and the rights of others."

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