They thought the truth died when he did. But he left the truth behind.
The Late Sayed Imad Fadlallah, God rest his soul, is widely recognized as the most revolutionary principal in the history of the Dearborn Public Schools.
And now—seven years after his sudden passing—he is publishing a new book.
The shocking memoir—which was finished and co-authored by his son Ali—is titled March Forth: From The Prison of Minds. With alternating chapters from father and son, it is packed with true stories of Dearborn’s flagship high school, Fordson High, where Imad Fadlallah served as a principal from 2004 to 2011. It reveals crimes and conspiracies committed at the hands of teachers, administrators and even board members—many of whom are still in power today.
Yet the book goes far beyond Fordson’s history. It covers Ali’s journey as the son of immigrants, an Arab American and a young man working hard to heal from the many scars Fordson left him with as a student-athlete and Muslim American. Themes of Islamophobia, education reform, mental health, faith and the life-saving role of a father leave readers eager to turn the pages of the 300-page narrative.
The book — which launches with a ticketed dinner event on Sunday, February 18 at Byblos Banquet Hall in Dearborn—began 10 years ago as an effort by Principal Fadlallah to reveal the true story of Fordson High. It details how Fadlallah was forcibly reassigned to Fordson by the then-superintendent, the late Dr. John Artis, who watched Fadlallah turn Stout Middle School into one of the highest-performing schools in Michigan and wanted the same for Fordson High.
At Fordson, Fadlallah again inherited a failing school, but was blindsided by the magnitude of chaos, corruption and bigotry. While fighting to raise expectations, eliminate nonsense policies, protect students and open new doors of opportunities, he was investigated, attacked and sued constantly. He spent multiple years, even after his retirement, in the court of law — where he was found innocent of all charges.
Meanwhile, he helped students overcome the barriers of bigotry to reach unprecedented heights. For the class of ’04—the class before Fadlallah became principal — it was reported that just one Fordson student was attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After just five years of Imad Fadlallah’s leadership, more than 120 Fordson alumni attended U of M. Many who benefited from Principal Fadlallah’s leadership also attended the Ivy Leagues —including his son Dr. Ali, who later earned his Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard University.
In 2019, the Dearborn Board of Education voted unanimously to break district precedent and memorialize Principal Fadlallah across two buildings — Stout Middle School and Fordson High. Today, it is an honor he carries alone — but his legacy of advocacy, education and faith is an honor that has inspired thousands to carry on as they March Forth: From The Prison of Minds.
Pre-orders for March Forth are now available on Amazon, and tickets for the book launch dinner at Byblos are available for sale at Eventbrite. All are encouraged to attend.