Cover photo for Ali Abdolell's Obituary
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Ali Abdolell

August 9, 1935 — March 21, 2023

Toronto

Ali Abdolell, a larger-than-life character who made an indelible impact on those around him, has passed away at the age of 88. Born in 1935 in Lebanon, he immigrated to Canada in 1950 at the age of 15, following in the footsteps of his father who had arrived at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1911.

Despite arriving in Canada with no formal education and not speaking a word of English, Ali was determined to succeed. He worked hard to learn the language and eventually became an elementary school teacher in downtown Toronto. He then went on to earn graduate degrees in English and French linguistics and became a university instructor, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to education and his passion for language and literature.

Known for his philosophical debates, fearlessness in challenging the status quo, and sharp intellect, Ali engaged anyone who would listen to his latest philosophical musings. He believed in the power of reason and was never afraid to question conventional wisdom and challenge unfounded beliefs.

In addition to his intellectual pursuits, Ali was also an avid chess player. He saw the game as a metaphor for life, where strategy, creativity, and intuition all played important roles.

Ali is survived by his wife Souheila, his children Ahmed (granddaughters Leyla and Nadia), and Mohamed (daughter-in-law Jennifer and grandsons Samir, Omar, and Malik). He was particularly proud of his children's and grandchildren's achievements, relishing the opportunity to share their successes with others.

Those who knew him will greatly miss Ali, whose legacy of intellectual curiosity, fearlessness, and passion for life will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have known him. Above all, he was a passionate storyteller, and his own story is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and the pursuit of knowledge.

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