Jack Shaheen, the son of Lebanese immigrants and a groundbreaking researcher and writer, died on Sunday aged 81. 

Shaheen - the author of Reel Bad Arabs - was known for fighting against the stereotypical depiction of Arabs and Muslims in pop-culture. In his book, Shaheen tells the history of both groups, and how they're constantly being portrayed as on-screen villains. 

"I want to see the Arab humanity in films that really reflect, that show Arabs pretty much like ordinary people," Shaheen once told NPR.

Shaheen didn't only challenge orientalist narratives through his writing and research, he took that fight a step further by protesting against a huge media conglomerate in the 90s. 

In 1993, Shaheen ultimately had Disney alter the original lyrics to Aladdin's opening song, which were as follows: 

"Oh I come from a land. From a faraway place. Where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear. If they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home." 

After protests, Disney eventually removed the lines "where they cut off your ear ... if they don't like your face."

Shaheen argued that the movie was a "painful reminder to 3 million Americans of Arab heritage ... that the abhorrent Arab stereotype is as ubiquitous as Aladdin's lamp," in an op-ed

In honor of his lifelong's work, Arabs took to social media to mourn the death of a legend - especially at a time when Arabs and Muslims continue to be portrayed negatively in Western media spheres. 

"His pioneering work ... inspired us all"

"A true leader against orientalism and stereotyping in Hollywood"

The world has lost a legend

"Had the honor of meeting him in NYC many years ago"

A heartbreaking loss

"One cannot effectively examine the vile depictions of Arabs and Muslims in film without reading Shaheen's work first"

"A genuine man who will be missed"

"A pioneer," indeed.

May his soul R.I.P.