Rest in Peace, Victor Abdunnur

We have lost a dear member of the Retreat family, oud player and vocalist Victor Abdunnur. Deepest condolences to his wife Maha Shakhashiri and the family. Both Maha and Victor attended the Retreat many times. Their zest for life and love of Arabic music and culture brightened our days at the Retreat. Rest in Peace.


Victor Jabra Abdunnur (age 79), loving husband of Maha Shakhashiri, former husband of the late Jane Dwight with whom he parented Jenan (Paul Lucas) and Shane (Beth Rogers), Père Flake of Dillon and Amelia Abdunnur-Lucas, Jiddou of Liam and Henry Abdunnur, and brother-in-law of Bassam Shakhashiri and of Amahl Shakhashiri Drake, journeyed peacefully on August 24, 2021 following a heart attack.

Victor is survived by 4 of his siblings, Salwa, Labib, Samir (Gail), and Nabil (Doria), many very dear nieces, nephews and friends in the U.S. and in the Middle East. His parents and 7 older siblings pre-deceased him.

Victor was very loved and very loving. His quiet demeanor and gentle smile reflected a patient, compassionate, and thoughtful character. His zest for life, sharp wit, twinkling eyes, and playfulness are some of his memorable and enduring traits.

While Victor remained rooted in his Arab culture, rejoicing in its music, poetry, and food, he embraced and permitted Beethoven and Mozart to join Um Kulthum and Abdel Wahab, Shakespeare to join El-Hawi, and cowboys to ride into sunsets.Creative cooking, dark chocolate, and figs nourished his palate; the notes of his oud expressed his soul.

He remains with us challenging us to live joyfully and love unconditionally.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Victor’s name for support of the Arabic Music Retreat via:The Arab American Arts Institute at either P.O. Box 90370, Brooklyn, NY 11209, or

Photo credit: Victor and Maha at the Retreat by Hanan Debwania.

Photo of Victor and Maha at the Retreat by Hanan Debwania

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