Chicago newspaper publisher may be first Arab American to succumb to COVID-19

Chicago newspaper publisher may be first Arab American to succumb to COVID-19
Mansour Tadros, left, joined Daily Herald Newspaper columnist Burt Constable, American Arab journalist Amani Ghouleh, and WBBM TV Reporter Jay Levin in receiving ADC’s 'Excellence in Journalism' Award in Chicago in 2010. (Photo by Ray Hanania)
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Updated 30 March 2020

Chicago newspaper publisher may be first Arab American to succumb to COVID-19

Chicago newspaper publisher may be first Arab American to succumb to COVID-19
  • Mansour Tadros, 69, fell ill last week with a suspected case of COVID-19 and died on March 28
  • Tadros worked Saudi Arabia for an overseas export company from 1975 to 1991

CHICAGO: An Arab American newspaper publisher who immigrated to the US from Jordan with his parents in the 1950s may be the first Arab American to succumb to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mansour Tadros, 69, died on March 28 after battling the coronavirus for a week, his family confirmed. Tadros fell ill last week with a suspected case of COVID-19. A family member said he died in an ambulance returning to hospital.

This week, the US surpassed China with the most reported cases of coronavirus, recording 125,313 cases and nearly 2,385 deaths according to a report prepared by Johns Hopkins University.

“He fell ill last week with symptoms that we suspect was the virus. All the symptoms led us to believe it. We are waiting on the coroner to confirm,” said his son Fadi, who was at his father’s side when he died on the way to the hospital from their home in Tinley Park, a suburb of Chicago.

After immigrating to the US with his family in 1968, at the age of 17, from the Amman suburb of Na’ur, Tadros settled in Logan Square on Chicago’s North Side, a popular neighborhood for Arab American families. Tadros left in 1975 to take a job in Saudi Arabia for an overseas export company.




Mansour Tadros

It was in the Kingdom where he found an interest in news, writing that the region needed to counter the negative anti-Arab stereotypes by doing a better job of sharing their real stories with Western audiences, particularly in the US.

“While I was in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, I found a side job working as a co-publisher for several booklets and books, and also newsletters and trade magazines. We developed several books,” Tadros said. He returned to America in 1991 with a desire to get into writing and journalism and that year joined the newly founded National Arab American Journalists Association.

He first launched a glossy magazine reporting on the advertising industry in 2000 but closed it down in the face of the anti-Arab backlash after the 9/11 attacks.

After a year-long hiatus, Tadros invested his money in a new media project, launching a bilingual newspaper, “The Future News” (Al-Mustaqbal Chicago) which circulated throughout the Arab American community in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It focused on the everyday lives of Arabs and Muslims in America.

“Publishing wasn’t easy at all. It was difficult to get Arab American and Muslim companies to advertise. The community would pay for American newspapers that constantly attacked us with negative stereotypes, but they wouldn’t pay for an Arab American newspaper,” Tadros said during an interview in 2014.

To make the newspaper succeed, Tadros had to find other work, earning a living heading a roofing company and later working with another son, Faris, offering home mortgages.

“We Arabs in America don’t have a lot of respect for ourselves, but we sure do complain a lot,” Tadros explained.

“We pay to purchase mainstream American newspapers that are filled with anti-Arab hatred, criticism, lies and distortions about our people, yet we won’t support a newspaper that is a reflection of our own community that is published in English and in Arabic. I think that must change if we are going to improve.”

Tadros was recognized by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in 2010 for his achievements in building his ethnic newspaper reporting on the daily lives of the Arab American and Muslim community.

Laila Alhusini, a Detroit-based Syrian American journalist and the only Arab in the US to host a weekday morning radio show — “the US Arab Radio” — called Tadros a pioneer in Arab American journalism and his death a community tragedy.

“Mansour’s newspaper was well-read. You would get stories about Arab Americans and Muslims that the mainstream news media always ignored,” said Alhusini, whose Detroit show broadcasts live every morning on WNZK AM 690 radio and on several other Midwest radio stations.

“Journalism is a struggle for Arabs in America, but we have to succeed to get our story out there, the real story about who we really are. We can’t allow the mainstream news media to constantly portray us in a negative light all the time.”

Alhusini said that although there have been 2,856 COVID-19 cases in Michigan, which has a large Arab American population, there have fortunately been no reported cases of deaths so far in the community.

Tadros converted his newspaper in 2014 from print to online after struggling to get Arab Americans to pay for subscriptions.

“I really felt we needed to establish an Arab American media. I was tired of hearing and reading things about our community that were inaccurate. We needed a newspaper that could present our own story not just to mainstream Americans but also to the mainstream news media. There were many young people who I could see wanted to get into journalism and communications and I thought they needed some place to work and learn,” Tadros recalled.

He added: “Journalism is not natural to American Arabs because of the lack of democracy and freedom in the Middle East. But there is a strong urge on the part of our people to want to tell the true story about who we are to the American people.

“But how do we do it? That urge is in every one of us. But not everyone wants to give up their careers to enter journalism. It is a new field. And it is a tough field.”

Family members said Tadros was feeling ill and went to the hospital on Wednesday night. He returned home to be quarantined but his illness worsened.

Fadi Tadros said that because of restrictions, they cannot have a public wake or funeral, but they hope to hold a memorial service when the pandemic passes.

Mansour Tadros is survived by his wife Lidya and three adult children, Fadi, Faris and Nadine.


Israel to further ease its coronavirus restrictions from Sunday

Israel to further ease its coronavirus restrictions from Sunday
Updated 26 min 34 sec ago

Israel to further ease its coronavirus restrictions from Sunday

Israel to further ease its coronavirus restrictions from Sunday
  • Green passport holders can enter cafes and restaurants and choose to sit indoors or outdoors
  • At the airport, Israel will only allow 3,000 Israelis to enter the country per day

DUBAI: Israel announced it will further ease its coronavirus measures from Sunday, national daily The Jerusalem Post reported.
Students between grades seven and 10 will attend classes physically in green, yellow and orange cities, the report said.
The country’s “traffic system” has identified “green” cities as those with lowest COVID-19 cases, while the second lowest infection rates are “yellow,” followed by “orange” and “red.”
Israel had also required people entering cafes, restaurants and hotels to submit a green passport, which can be obtained through the health ministry for anyone who has taken the two shots of the coronavirus vaccine for at least a week.
But “children below the age of 16, who are not allowed to be vaccinated, will not be able to accompany their vaccinated parents,” the report added.
Green passport holders can enter cafes and restaurants and choose to sit indoors or outdoors.
Non-vaccinated people can only sit outside. Hotels will also reopen, allowing holders of the passport to access a wide range of activities.
At the airport, Israel will only allow 3,000 Israelis to enter the country per day.
New arrivals will be required to quarantine and must present a negative COVID-19 test result and be tested on arrival.
Meanwhile, the Coronavirus Knowledge and Information Center has warned that the country may witness another outbreak, as around 5 percent of Israel’s population have tested positive each day.
The health ministry said more than 4.9 million people have taken at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 3.6 million who have already taken their second shot.
More than half of the country’s 9 million-strong population have already received the two recommended doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine since the inoculation drive began in December.
Israel has registered more than 796,000 cases of Covid-19, including over 5,800 deaths.


Sisi to visit Sudan, will hold talks on Ethiopia’s dam

Sisi to visit Sudan, will hold talks on Ethiopia’s dam
Updated 57 min 49 sec ago

Sisi to visit Sudan, will hold talks on Ethiopia’s dam

Sisi to visit Sudan, will hold talks on Ethiopia’s dam

CAIRO: Egyptian president Abdel Fattah-al Sisi will hold talks over Ethiopia's Blue Nile mega-dam during his visit to Sudan on Saturday, according to the Egyptian presidency.  


LIVE: Pope Francis meets Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani on day two of Iraq visit

LIVE: Pope Francis meets Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani on day two of Iraq visit
Updated 3 min 53 sec ago

LIVE: Pope Francis meets Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani on day two of Iraq visit

LIVE: Pope Francis meets Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani on day two of Iraq visit
  • Pope’s visit comes as Iraq attempts to claw its way to stability

DUBAI: Pope Francis has left the home of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric in southern Iraq on Saturday after the first meeting between the leaders of Roman Catholicism and Shiite Islam.
The Shiite cleric, Ali Al-Sistani, met the Pope at his home in Najaf, the seat of the Iraqi Shiite clergy, on the second day of the pontiff’s historic tour of Iraq.
Pope Francis arrived in Iraq on Friday and made a speech in which he called for an end to extremism, violence and corruption.
The head of the Catholic church began the first-ever papal trip to the country by meeting government officials in Baghdad, before traveling to a church where Christians were massacred by militants in 2010.
Pope Francis was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi before meeting with President Barham Salih at the Presidential Palace.
His visit comes as Iraq attempts to claw its way to stability after years of sectarian conflict, the Daesh occupation, chronic corruption, and widespread anger at government officials for failing to provide basic services.
At Our Lady of Salvation church, he paid tribute to the 58 people who were killed in an extremist attack in 2010, one of the deadliest targeting Christians.

Follow live coverage of his second day itinerary below... (All times GMT)

0905: Pope Francis attends an inter-religious meeting at the Plain of Ur during day two of his apostolic tour of Iraq.

An aerial photo shows the preparations for Pope Francis’ visit at the archaeological site of Ur near Nasiriyah, southern Iraq on March 6, 2021. (AP)

0828: Top Shiite cleric Ali Al-Sistani has told Pope Francis that Iraq Christians should live in ‘peace’, a statement from his office said.

Al-Sistani ‘affirmed his concern that Christian citizens should live like all Iraqis in peace and security, and with their full constitutional rights,’ the statement office said.

For its part, the Vatican said Francis thanked Al-Sistani and the Shiite people for having “raised his voice in defense of the weakest and most persecuted” during some of the most violent times in Iraq’s recent history.
He said Al-Sistani’s message of peace affirmed “the sacredness of human life and the importance of the unity of the Iraqi people.”

Doves are released to mark Pope Francis’s private meeting Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani at his home in Najaf. (Vatican Media)

0800: Pope Francis leaves the home of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in Najaf after meeting with him. He is expected to depart for Nassiriya to lead an interreligious meeting at the Plain of Ur in southern Iraq which is revered as the birthplace of Abraham, father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Pope will afterwards return to Baghdad.

The visit was carried live on Iraqi television, and residents cheered the meeting of two respected faith leaders.
“We welcome the pope’s visit to Iraq and especially to the holy city of Najaf and his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani,” said Najaf resident Haidar Al-Ilyawi. “It is an historic visit and hope it will be good for Iraq and the Iraqi people.”

Pope Francis leaves the home of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in Najaf after meeting with him. (Screenshot)

0605: Pope Francis arrives in Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani’s home Najaf.

The Vatican’s hope was that Francis would sign a document with Al-Sistani pledging human fraternity, just as he did with Sunni Islam’s influential grand imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb, based in Egypt.

0445: Pope Francis departs from Baghdad and will travel by plane to the cities of Najaf and Ur.

- with agencies

READ MORE

Go to Arab News’ dedicated In Focus section on the Pope's visit to Iraq for coverage of the historic trip. Click here.

 

 


Bad weather blamed for deadly military helicopter crash

Bad weather blamed for deadly military helicopter crash
Updated 06 March 2021

Bad weather blamed for deadly military helicopter crash

Bad weather blamed for deadly military helicopter crash
  • Akara and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu took teams of senior military figures to the crash site in the southeastern Bitlis province on Thursday

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akara has blamed bad weather for a military helicopter crash that killed 10 soldiers and a senior commander in the country’s restive southeast.
Lt. Gen. Osman Erbas, who headed the army’s 8th Corps based in the eastern Elazig province, was among those killed in Thursday’s accident.
The crash was the deadliest since 13 soldiers died in the southeastern Sirnak province near Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq in 2017.
“Based on initial information and witnesses’ statements, we determined that the accident occurred due to suddenly changing adverse weather conditions,” the Anadolu state news agency quoted the defense minister as saying.
Akara and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu took teams of senior military figures to the crash site in the southeastern Bitlis province on Thursday.
Defense officials said a formal investigation into the incident had been launched.
The EU and the US immediately offered their condolences to the NATO ally.

FASTFACT

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also expressed his support in in a telephone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

A Turkish diplomatic source said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also expressed his support in in a telephone call with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
The accident occurred in a region where Turkish forces have been conducting military operations against outlawed Kurdish militias since 1984 in a campaign that has killed tens of thousands.
Turkey also provides a vital staging post as well as defenses in the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
But its relations with EU members states such as France and Greece have been rocked by a range of regional disputes.


Pro-Kurdish party says it will regroup if hit by court ban

Pro-Kurdish party says it will regroup if hit by  court ban
The HDP has dismissed accusations that it is linked to militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU. (Supplied)
Updated 06 March 2021

Pro-Kurdish party says it will regroup if hit by court ban

Pro-Kurdish party says it will regroup if hit by  court ban
  • Turkish authorities have arrested thousands of HDP party officials and ousted dozens of its elected mayors and lawmakers in a crackdown in recent years

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said on Friday it would keep campaigning under a different banner if a court outlawed its current organization over alleged links to militants.
Officials told Reuters this week that Turkey’s top appeals court had launched an enquiry into the HDP, the third largest party in parliament, in a step that could ultimately lead to a ban.
“We as the HDP have B and C plans of course. If the HDP is shut down of course we have our own preparations. We come from such a tradition which has always had parties being shut down,” HDP co-leader Pervin Buldan told a meeting with foreign media.
“We have until now continued to fight on by establishing other parties after a party is shut down. It will be like that in the future,” she said, without providing further details.
The HDP has dismissed accusations that it is linked to militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU.
Turkish authorities have arrested thousands of HDP party officials and ousted dozens of its elected mayors and lawmakers in a crackdown in recent years.
The pressure on the HDP intensified last month after Ankara said the PKK had executed 13 prisoners, including Turkish military and police personnel, during an army operation to rescue them in Iraq’s Gara region.
The moves against the HDP came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose AK Party came to power since 2002, announced on Tuesday an “action plan” to boost human rights.