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Almaas Elman (died 20 November 2019) [1] was a Somali-Canadian humanitarian aid worker, the eldest daughter of a prominent family of humanitarian aid-workers.[2][3] Her parents were Elman Ali Ahmed and Fartuun Adan.[2][3] She, her mother and her sisters emigrated to Canada in the early 1990s.[3][1] Her father was gunned down in 1996.[3][1] Her mother helped found the Elman Peace Center.[3] One of her sisters Ilwad Elman was a short-listed candidate for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.[3][1] Her husband, a Somali-Swedish tech entrepreneur, was Zakaria Hersi. They married in 2017.[3]

Almaas Elman
Died20 November 2019
OccupationHumanitarian aid worker
Spouse(s)Zakaria Hersi

Elman had served in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve prior to her return to Somalia.[2]

Elman had served as First Secretary, in the Somali embassy, in Kenya.[3][4] Upon her return to Somalia Elman served as a liaison with diplomats from the European Union.[3]

Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, called news of her death "personally devastating".[5][6]

Elman's death was initially reported as a murder by many news sources, including the The New York Times.[6][7] Within a day of her death the African Union, which controls the territory where the car carrying her was traveling, said they had no reports of opposition elements engaging in hostilities in the area, and describes her being hit by "a stray bullet", from outside.[1]

Hadalsame reported that Elman was expecting a child, when she was killed.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rights activist Almaas Elman shot dead in Mogadishu: Peace campaigner's car struck by stray bullet while passing airport, security officials say". The Guardian. 2019-11-21. Archived from the original on 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-22. Tributes to Almaas have poured in on Twitter.
  2. ^ a b c Michelle Shephard (2013-05-23). "Canadian sisters on front lines of rebuilding Somalia". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2019-11-22. Elman was 42 when he was killed and three years later, in 1999, his wife moved to Ottawa with their young daughters, Ilwad, Iman and their eldest sister Almas, who is with the Canadian military reserves.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Abdi Latif Dahur (2019-11-20). "Almaas Elman, Somali-Canadian Activist, Is Shot Dead in Mogadishu". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-11-22. Elman comes from a prominent family of activists whose work has focused on social justice, women’s rights and rehabilitating children affected by Somalia’s decades-long war.
  4. ^ a b "Somali-Canadian Aid-worker Shot Dead At UN Base Mogadishu". Hadalsame. Mogadishu. 2019-11-20. Archived from the original on 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-22. She was heading to catch a flight at the Aden Abdille International Airport less than a kilometer when she was shot by unknown assailants. The Somali Canadian had just attended an EU sponsored meeting at the UN base.
  5. ^ "Elman death 'disheartening,' reminder of risks civil society takes, Hussen says". CP24. Ottawa. 2019-11-21. Archived from the original on 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-22. Federal cabinet minister Ahmed Hussen is calling the death of Somali-Canadian human-rights worker Almaas Elman devastating news for many people, including him.
  6. ^ a b "Somali-Canadian activist Almaas Elman killed in Mogadishu". CBC News. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2019-11-22. Toronto Liberal MP Ahmed Hussen, minister of Families, Children and Social Development, expressed his condolences to Elman's family.
  7. ^ "Somali-Canadian activist Almaas Elman killed in Mogadishu". CTV News. 2019-11-20. Archived from the original on 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-22. The Somali ministry of information says Almaas Elman was murdered in the capital city of Mogadishu.