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A Renowned Edmonton Scholar Passes Away

July 2, 2011

It is with great sadness that the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC) announces the passing of Professor Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, the first holder of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. Professor Abu-Rabi passed away suddenly during a visit to Amman, Jordan on July 2, 2011. His demise occurred almost exactly three years after he commenced his tenure at the University of Alberta, as ECMC Chair of Islamic Studies, on July 1, 2008.

Professor Abu-Rabi was a Palestinian born in Nazareth, Galilee. He held dual citizenship in the U. S. and Israel and had received degrees from Birzeit University (in Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine), the University of Cincinnati, and Temple University, Philadelphia.

Professor Abu-Rabi has had a distinguished academic career in the US and Canada. He served as Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He was professor of Islamic Studies, Co-Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary and co-editor of The Muslim World. Professor Abu-Rabi had a special interest in the study and practice of interfaith dialogue, particularly among the Islamic, Christian and Jewish religious traditions and also had keen interest in issues of contemporary Islamic thought, religion and society, and mysticism.

Professor Abu-Rabi was also a prolifically well-published researcher and scholar who traveled extensively in the Far East, Middle East and the West as a consultant and published articles and reviews in numerous American, Middle Eastern and Indian journals and published over 25 books. He established an excellent reputation in academic circles and in Muslim and interfaith communities around the world.

During the past three years, Professor Abu-Rabi exceeded all expectations of him and proved to be a leader within the Muslim Community and the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta where he taught. Professor Abu- Rabi was working towards expanding the Islamic Studies program at the University. In the last academic year at the University, he taught 140 students courses through classical and religious studies, including Classical Islamic History, Modern Islamic Movements, and Orientalism and Islam.

Professor Abu-Rabi leaves to mourn his loss by his wife Fatima, children Jasmine and Joseph. His loss will also be mourned by numerous colleagues, associates and friends at University of Alberta, other academic institutions at home and abroad, and the entire Edmonton Muslim communities.

For further information, please contact any of the following:

Masood Peracha, Tel. 780-903-1653
Yasmeen Quraishi-Nizam, Tel. 780-224-9080
Sofia Yaqub, Tel. 780-707-5595


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