'Manal was light' U-Prep Detroit shares legacy of Northville couple killed in car crash

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 17:53:35-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — From Northville Township, to Dexter, to the city of Detroit, communities in southeast Michigan are in mourning this week after the loss of Northville couple Manal Kadry and Omar Salamen on November 12.

Nando Felten, a past student of Kadry's at University Prep Art & Design High School in Detroit said, "Literally the job I have today, the university I attend, the people that I know, was all because of this amazing person that it was just in her DNA to give back."

Felten is one of the hundreds of lives the husband and wife touched.

"She's that person you see and they’re always smiling, and not just for her but even Dr. Omar as well. He's a person you see and he’s always smiling, he’s always high energy," Felten said.

Kadry spent 12 years pouring into students at U-Prep, Felten said she had the superpower of bringing out the best in everyone.

"At times she would see in me and my peers more than we saw in ourselves," said Felten. "She saw the true talent that existed within us."

Co-worker and friend of Kadry, Nicole Akosua Burris says her light was infectious and only matched when she met Salamen a few years ago.

Burris said Salamen had a huge smile and an oral surgery practice in Dexter.

"He was all smiles, all hugs," Burris reminisced.

The husband and wife built a legacy together. One that will now be carried on through Salamen's two sons from before their marriage and the couple's shared children, 3-year-old McKeaen and one-year-old Sophia.

"She wanted them so bad," said Burris. "She was so excited when she found out she was pregnant."

Lost much too soon in a tragic car accident, police say the husband and wife were trying to navigate a curve in their neighborhood when their car left the roadway, rolled over, and hit a tree.

The couple was pronounced dead at the scene.

Salamen was 46-years-old. Kadry was 40-years-old and would have been 41 on Monday, November 21.

The couples family says as a birthday present for Kadry, they are working to "raise as much as we can for her children by her birthday as a present for her."

They're doing this by gathering donations for the couples' children on Launch Good.

"One interesting thing actually is I never heard her voicemail," noted Felten. "Everytime I called her, no matter what, she would always answer the phone and that also goes for Dr. Omar."

Kadry and Salamen won't be around to pick up the phone anymore. But their impact, selflessness and the way they were always there for anyone in their lives, will live on through people like Felten, Burris, and the art that lives on U-Prep's walls.

"The closure, even after the funeral, it will never leave," said Felten. "But I think that’s when we can turn our powers into creating a legacy, because as you can see by this mural behind us, it’s here. The art work is going to be here until none of us are here anymore."