The members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures deeply regret the untimely passing of their friend and co-worker, Dr. Fadel Abdallah, a Palestinian professor of Arabic who was born in the Canary Islands in Spain. Dr. Abdallah is the author of a number of books providing learning resources for students of Arabic and for his Loyola students he provided numerous handouts to facilitate their learning of grammar, vocabulary and culture. His Loyola students were very inspired by his teaching and a number of his students became Arabic Language and Culture minors after being encouraged by Dr. Abdallah. In the words of his colleague in Spanish, Dr. María Robertson-Justiniano, “Dr. Abdallah was a humble and gentle man with a beautiful spirit. He spoke impeccable Spanish and was working on a translation into Spanish of a book of Arabic proverbs.” Another colleague, Dr. Olympia González, echoes these sentiments, “Fadel was a very gentle and courteous person. His mother was from Spain and he spoke Spanish very well. He loved his students!” Dr. Wiley Feinstein, the Undergraduate Program Director for Italian, shares these thoughts, “When I reviewed Dr. Abdallah’s performance last year as instructor in the Arab 101 and 102 sequence, I was greatly impressed by his professionalism and his ability to enhance the language-learning experience for students of Arabic… One student of Arabic with whom I spoke noted that Dr. Abdallah was one of the most inspirational instructors she encountered during her experience as a Loyola student.” David Pankratz, the Director of the Language Learning Resource Center and a German teacher remembers Fadel in these terms: “He seemed very committed to his students and truly interested in their learning of the Arabic language at LUC. On several occasions he visited the LLRC and put supplementary audiovisual and children’s games in Arabic on reserve for his students. He was friendly, courteous, professional, and always made a positive impression on the LLRC staff. He was also very well-dressed, always in a suit and tie!”
A professor in the popular Arabic 101-102 sequence, Dr. Abdallah was known for his erudition, his passion for his subject, and his dedication to his students. The Department Chair, Dr. Susana Cavallo, recounts that when all of the spaces had filled for his spring Arabic 102 course, he offered his services gratis so that all of his students could continue their Arabic language studies.
The members of the MLL Community—faculty, students and staff—mourn this devastating loss and stand in solidarity with his students and with the members of Loyola University Chicago’s Muslim community. Regrets to Dr. Abdallah's family may be forwarded to The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Crown Center 217, Chicago, IL 60660.