has learned that Ali Abdallah, a homeless man considered a staple of the Bliss Street and AUB area, was found dead Monday in front of the McDonald's restaurant on Bliss, according to a police spokesperson for the Qaraytem branch.

Police reportedly arrived at the scene at 2:30 p.m. Soon after, Abdallah's body was taken to Makassaed Hospital. The spokesperson told that Mr. Abdallah died of natural causes.

Students and young people expressed an outpouring of support on Monday through the popular social media website, Facebook, after news of Abdallah's death broke.

This is all I know of Ali Abdallah. In fact, I didn't even know his last name until today. I've seen him for years on Bliss Street; I've even talked to him a couple of times. Rumors long claimed that he was an AUB math or physics professor, but I can find of no records to confirm or disprove this theory. A Clinical Psychologist and professor of mine diagnosed him as schizophrenic—and he was often seen speaking to himself and gesturing wildly.Yet now that he's dead, I realize how cruel the world was to him.

Mentally ill and destitute, Ali lived on Bliss Street through a decade of hardship and poverty. Shop owners befriended him, giving him clothing and food and even showers and haircuts. I always made sure to smile at him whenever I passed by. But he's dead I remember—a smile means nothing now.

Why did we wait so long to care? Why is it that the only thing I can be sure of is Ali's death, and not his life? What does this say about our treatment of the mentally ill?

Let Ali's death be a reminder that life is so much more important than death. Let our society remember him as the kindly, wandering soul of Bliss St.

Because he was—and will forever be—our Ali of Bliss St.

In Memory of Ali Abdallah

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