There was a massive response on social media in the UAE on Sunday to the Gulf News report on the late Professor Ebrahim Sadek from the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
He died on July 1 at the age of 63 and a memorial was held in his honour at the university’s Main Building on July 2 and 3.
Dr.Sadek was the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at AUS since 2000 as well as a professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics since the opening of AUS in 1997. But most students knew him as the miracle worker who would listen to their woes and help them register for courses. Little did those students know that the smiling patient professor who would spend hours on end attending to students needs as well as teaching various courses, also had over 90 refereed journal publications.
Gulf News visited Dr.Sadek’s office at the university and found many roses, lit candles and notes outside his door. In the Main Building where the memorial was being held, students and faculty wrote their final words to him on multiple posters with his photo printed on it and a quote “I have no children, you are my children”.Gulf News spoke to two professors, Dr Hania Nashef, Assistant Professor & MCM Internship Coordinator, Department of Mass Communication, and Dr. Ralph Berenger, Associate Professor of Mass Communication, whose offices were down the hall from Dr.Sadek.
“Dr Sadeq was a scholar, an academic and a man of high integrity; he was a man of quality, who went out of his way to help others. He was loved and respected by everyone on campus. I will really miss his smile, which
greeted us every morning; above all, Dr Sadeq was a noble human being. He will be truly missed” Hania said.
Berenger, who was in nearly daily contact with Dr. Sadek over the past four years said “Rarely does one find a person that combines competence, hard work, humility, good humour, and empathy as personal attributes. Dr. Ebrahim Sadek integrated all these, which is why he was so respected by faculty, staff, administrators and especially by the thousands of students he helped navigate the choppy academic waters to graduate from AUS. I will miss his wide smile, nod and wave every morning as we scurried to and from class, an indication that all was well with the world.”
Gulf News received numerous letters, online comments, tweets and Facebook comments from his colleagues and students expressing their feelings towards their associate dean and sharing their experiences with him. Not to mention, he was trending on Twitter in the UAE on both the July 1 and 2. Hind Al Yousuf, a former student of his, told the newspaper: “Professor Sadek was one of the kindest people I have ever met. He genuinely cared about us, his students, and never hesitated in helping and supporting us, over and over again. His AUS family will truly miss him.”
Murtaza Ali Khan posted on Gulf News’ Facebook page: “[Sadek is] one of the most helpful people I’ve ever met. He was really humble:).”
Tweets posted on the @GNReaders wall described Sadek as patient, pure, kind, reliable and helpful.
Eman Goma tweeted: “… the best of AUS! A mentor, a father, a friend. If it wasn’t for him, many of us wouldn’t have graduated on time.”
Students have launched a “Twitition” — a twitter petition — to name the NAB (New Academic Building) building at the university after Dr.Sadek, as a sign of recognition for his efforts, which on time of writing this article had reached 1010 signatures.