Chicago Arab American Community Leader Mansour Tadros Passes from COVID-19
Chicago Arab American community activist Mansour Tadros was a member of Arab America’s National Advisory Committee, which promotes Arab American heritage initiatives throughout the year, in addition to National Arab American Heritage Month.
By: Ray Hanania/Arab America Contributing Writer
The Arab American community reacted with shock and sadness upon learning of the passing of Arab American activist and newspaper publisher Mansour Tadros.
Tadros, who was 71 years old, died on Saturday morning apparently of the coronavirus COVID-19. Tadros published the popular bi-lingual Arab American Newspaper “The Future News” for nearly 20 years, launching it after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Last Tuesday, Tadros told family members he was feeling sick with flu symptoms and doctors said he had coronavirus symptoms. They took him to the hospital and he was released on Wednesday to “self-quarantine” at home, instructions that are being given to everyone with potential coronavirus symptoms.
But on Saturday, March 28, 2020, Tadros started to have trouble breathing. The family called an ambulance and Tadros was taken back to the hospital. Unfortunately, while in the ambulance, Tadros passed away.
Nemer Ziyad, CEO of Ziyad Brothers Importing, expressed shock at the news, noting he had just spoken with Mansour only a few weeks back.
“Mansour was a man that lived and worked constantly on behalf of our Arab American community that was his life and that will be his legacy,” Nemer Ziyad said.
“He had no boundaries no matter from where in the Arab world someone was from nor what religion they were. He was always about the community and always on the frontline with any situation always even financially.”
Ziyad added that Mansour Tadros was “constantly helping people and families” who were need even using his own resources and funds.
“He was always helping people in need,” Ziyad said. “Mansour was an iconic man. He was respected in our community and by many others for his work. And, Mansour was loved by all he touched. He will be missed. His passing is a major loss to our community and society. He will never be forgotten may he rest in peace. God bless him and his family.”
Marie Newman, who won the Democratic Primary election for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, unseating incumbent Dan Lipinski, praised Mansour Tadros and offered her condolences.
“I am heartbroken about Mansour. He was a great counselor and mentor to me,” Newman said. “I will miss our long conversations. This a huge loss for all.”
Tadros’ newspaper endorsed Newman in the hotly contested political race predicting her victory. After the election, Tadros predicted Newman would be a champion of civil rights for all of the district’s residents, including for Arab Americans.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Church Pastor Malek Rihani called Mansour was a man of faith.
“It is very sad indeed. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mansour a few times, and his focus has always been finding ways to strengthen our community by giving us a voice through his gift of journalism,” Father Rihani said.
“May God account Mansour worthy of the heavenly kingdom, and may He grant strength and comfort to his family during this difficult time. With love in our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His resurrection destroyed the evil of death forever.”
Tadros also worked closely with the Arab American Democratic Club and the AADC Chairman Samir Khalil who also expressed his condolences to the Tadros family.
“I knew Mansour and his parent and siblings for 50 years I was talking to Mansour on the phone the night before his passing he was in good spirit talking about Marie Newman winning how Happy he was and looking forward to helping unite the community for better standing and recognition in the near future,” Khalil said.
“Mansour and I were active in college together as he was my school mate and kept working together supporting each other to support the community for the last 50 years working on many occasions. I wish all activists in our community were like Mansour. If he disagreed with you, he always remained your loyal friend with class.”
Khalil added, “I loved him and loved the way he operates very supportive genuine, sincere and gets things done, I already miss Mansour because I am used to seeing him almost in every event and function especially at the gray support he gave to the Arab American Democratic club with a glittery smile.”
Activists and former newspaper publishers Abder and Amani Ghouleh also expressed sadness and condolences to the Tadros family.
“Mansour was a man who was always there for the Arab American community,” the Ghoulehs said.
“He consistently volunteered his time, funds and advice to help many causes. His compassion and love for others was there to the very end, as he checked on many of his friends during this difficult time in the world. It was our honor to serve with him on the ADC Chicago board and many ad hoc activist committees, as well as being his colleagues in local community journalism.”
Former Judge William “Bill,” Haddad said Mansour Tadros was a “great community leader.”
“The Arab-American community has lost a great friend. Mansour was a leader, an activist, a journalist, and a man who loved his heritage and defended it,” Haddad said.
“I knew him as a colleague who worked with us, not for himself, but for our people. He supported me when I ran for judge, and with the organizing of the American Middle East Voters Alliance when I left the bench. He always encouraged me to be the best I can be. He is gone well before his time, and I will miss him. My deepest sympathies to Lidya and their three children, Faris, Fadi, and Nadine.”
Newspaper colleague Ray Hanania, who worked closely with Mansour Tadros said his death is a major tragedy for the entire Arab community in America.
“Mansour was a genuine community leader who cared about the people more than the issues. He published his newspaper from his own pocket and believed that everyone deserved to be treated the same, regardless of their race, religion or political beliefs, especially Arab Americans,” Hanania said.
“His passing is a huge loss to the Arab American community and to Arab American journalism. Our sympathies to his wife Lidya and his children Fadi, Faris, and Nadine who I know will continue in his legacy of doing what is good for the community.”
Tadros was also active in supporting the recognition of April as National Arab American Heritage month working with the national organization Arab America to organize events this month.
Tadros, who lived with his family in Tinley Park, will be buried on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The funeral will be held in conjunction with safety precautions imposed across the country in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will not leave their vehicles during the funeral.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books and is the publisher of the Arab Daily News
Hanania is also a member of Arab America’s National Advisory Committee and Team Illinois which promotes Arab American heritage initiatives throughout the year in addition to National Arab American Heritage Month.
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