The Metro: Dearborn native honors late father’s education career in new memoir

Ali Imad Fadlallah joined the show on Monday to talk about his new book and why he decided to pursue it.

"March Forth: From The Prison of Minds" will be published on March 4, 2024.

"March Forth: From The Prison of Minds" will be published on March 4, 2024.

One of the earliest mentors we have in life outside of the home is our educators.

In his new book, “March Forth: From the Prison of Minds,” Dearborn native Ali Imad Fadlallah aims to honor the life and career of a very special educator in his life and the lives of many others: his father. 

Sayyed Imad Mahmoud Fadlallah is the former principal of Fordson High School in Dearborn, where Ali attended high school. He died in 2017, and years later, Ali took up the memoir his father was writing to honor him and reflect on the impact Sayyed’s career had on many Dearborn students.

Fadlallah joined The Metro on Monday to talk about his new book and why he decided to pursue it.

“My father, God rest his soul, is widely considered the most revolutionary principal in the history of Dearborn Public Schools,” he said. “He started actually as a teacher…but he soon thereafter became an administrator, and he inherited, as a principal, a failing Middle School — one of the lowest performing middle schools in the state of Michigan, which will Stout Middle School. And by the time he was done, it was one of the highest performing middle schools in the state of Michigan.”

Ali says when a new superintendent was hired in the district, his father was reassigned to Fordson High during a “state of chaos” at the school. Sayyed began writing his memoir about his experience as an administrator at the school from 2004 until 2011, when he retired prematurely due to the amount of stress, lawsuits and attacks he was enduring, Ali says.

“So when he passed away, I had a half-finished manuscript and I had to figure out how to complete his book,” he said. “And I realized the only way to do that was to share my story as an alumnus.

“So yeah, it’s a special project.”

The book is set to publish on March 4, 2024.

More headlines from The Metro on Feb. 26, 2024:

  • The Listen to Michigan campaign is calling for Michiganders to vote “uncommitted” in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary. Campaign Manager Layla Elabed and Spokesperson Abbas Alaweih joined The Metro to discuss the campaign’s goals. 
  • The Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts is celebrating 50 years of showing movies in Detroit. Curator Elliot Wilhelm joined the show to talk about a few upcoming screenings. 
  • Michigan’s primary is on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Michael Tyler, communications director for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, joins the show to talk about the president’s accomplishments in office. 
  • WDET’s Quinn Klinefelder checks in with southeast Michigan voters and gets their thoughts on the primary.

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