LEWISTON — Suleman Mohamed was among nearly 100 members of the community who gathered Friday in a Lisbon Street basement with walls that were lined with graphic photos showing the aftermath of the recent terrorist bombings in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Mohamed, like the others, was there to mourn and pray for friends and family of the 358 people who died, 228 who were injured and 58 still missing from the attack a week earlier.

Mohamed’s first cousin, Abuukar M. Daahiye, was killed when a truck bomb exploded outside a hotel in which Daahiye and his wife had been staying on Oct. 14.

Daahiye, an American citizen who had lived in Virginia, returned to Somalia a decade ago to help stabilize his war-torn country as a parliamentarian, Mohamed said.

Mohamed’s mother, who lives in Somalia, called him to say his cousin – who had seven children – had died.

“We are here to support and show condolences to those who lost loved ones,” Abdi Abdulla told the standing-room-only crowd. “Some people lost their brothers and sisters.”

The back-to-back bombings were the worst in Somalia’s recorded history.

“While this happened thousands of miles away, it breaks the hearts of many not just around the world, but also in our community,” said Mohamed Khalid, who played on the now-famous Lewiston High School soccer team that won the state championship in 2015.

Now in college, Khalid said: “Many of us have friends and family in Somalia and communications can sometimes be challenging. We worry about those we have not heard from and we grieve for those who have died. It is important to understand that any one of us could have been a victim.”

He noted the many children who died and were wounded in the bombings. “The details are too horrendous to share. Suffice it to say, it was the stuff of nightmares.”

“We need to unite and help one another in this time,” he said.

Donations for the bombing victims and their families were collected along with names and contact information of those who attended in an effort to raise money for relief efforts.

Speakers on Friday included local officials, elected representatives, business owners and church leaders.

Community leader Zam Zam Mohamud asked for a moment of silence.

“The pictures can tell you what’s going on,” she said, gesturing to the color photos pinned to walls of the room in the basement of a Lisbon Street shop in an area of town that houses many Somali-owned shops – aptly referred to by the Somali community as Mogadishu Street.

The photos show scenes of buildings reduced to rubble and streets strewn with body parts.

“It’s really tough,” she said.

James Lysen, the Ward 1 city councilor, said the city has struggled with integration. Immigrants who came to Lewiston were seeking safety, economic opportunity and education, “just like the rest of us.”

But when a tragedy happens, “it happens to all of us,” he said. “When my friends, when my family, when my community is hurting, I am hurting. So we need to pull together more than ever in this tragedy. To bring something good out of it is to connect with other people who may be different than you, who may look different, who speak different, but are part of our community. We need to open our arms and open our hearts to those people.”

Said Mohamud, the owner of the shop above the basement, was twice a candidate for president of Somalia. He circulated a color photograph through the room. It showed two young boys in Mogadishu clutching a cardboard box that contained the remains of their mother, who had been on the street at the time of the bombings.

“It is time to open our hearts and support the victims of this horrifying attack,” Mohamud said.

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