what happened to zeitoun

This is a true story that tells about the experiences of a Muslim family, the Zeitouns, before, during, and after the storm. "The way I thought of it was, anything you can do to help. Download File PDF Zeitoun By Dave Eggers ... Zeitoun visits his many work sites Zeitoun was detained for almost a month before he was released on $75,000 (£50,000) bail for having looted his own house. While Zeitoun was incarcerated, first at Camp Greyhound and then in a maximum-security prison, Kathy was, as she puts it, "battling her own demons". He announced his intention to appeal the conviction and sentence. Eventually, the charges against all four of them were dropped. "It happened before," he says. The book by Dave Eggers titled "Zeitoun" showed him to be a stalwart husband and father who rescued neighbors by canoe after Katrina before landing behind bars for weeks after police and National Guard members mistook him for a possible terrorist. Barker objected to the denial for a new trial and to the sentencing. aturday afternoon and the Zeitoun household is bustling with activity, as you quickly get the impression it always is. Kathy walked right up to him and explained the situation, but Jordan said there was nothing he could do. Although what happened following Zeitoun’s arrest was certainly traumatic, not all of his memories from the time after the storm are so negative—he takes solace in remembering how calm, peaceful, and helpful he felt maneuvering throughout the city and assisting those in need. Abdulrahman Zeitoun grew up in Syria. "That's where I kept the canoe tied, like you'd tie up your horse. The memory of people refusing to help. This guide is intended to enhance your group’s reading and discussion of Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun, a harrowing nonfiction account of what happened to one man, and his family, in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His wife Kathy, a boisterous Southerner who converted to Islam, is left to make sense of the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible. Judge Frank Marullo, since retired, found that the other inmate was a liar. Kathy seats me in the neat and orderly living room, which is dominated by cream leather sofas and a watercolour of a street scene from her husband's native Syria. My life is here now," he says. In one of the most memorable phrases of the book, Eggers writes: "Her patterned dress was spread out on the surface of the water like a great floating flower. I felt lost.". What dark thoughts? He was kept penned up at the bus station for three days and nights, and interviewed by officers from homeland security who seemed to think they had caught a big fish. After Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun canoed through the city, rescuing neighbors and bringing them bottled water — until he was wrongfully arrested by … At the center of it all, on Tumanbay Street, sat … This time, though, he wants a bigger model that would allow him to rescue people more easily. A week later Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. He turns up an hour and a half late, which Kathy insists is wholly true to form and actually not that bad: he kept her waiting for two hours on their wedding day. Instead, he dedicates his time to rebuilding the city, which is what he was doing when he was so late for our meeting. "She must have been in the water for about 24 hours by then.". God left me here for a reason. In June 2018, freshmen at Pentucket High School were assigned the nonfiction book Zeitoun by Dave Eggers for their summer reading assignment. Tensions ran high in the predominantly Muslim country, home to a minority of Christians. He remembers a time in his sailing days when he entered into a debate about the existence of God with his captain. He could have turned up 10 hours late and still you'd forgive him, just as soon as you felt his firm handshake and the embrace of his warm smile. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. ", "I am afraid of him, not only because of attempts on my life, but because I don't want my children to suffer any longer," reads the letter. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. You have permission to edit this article. He refuses to bear a grudge, and says, for him, it remains a great country – you don't judge 300 million people on the behaviour of a few bad guys. Kathy Zeitoun, dressed in a blue silk shirt and matching hijab, is fluttering around making spiced pumpkin-flavoured coffee and answering the constantly ringing phone. "You guys are al-Qaida," came the reply. Their experiences were just a blip in the civil rights catastrophe that was Katrina. In recent days Kathy has been forced to think back a lot on the events leading up to and following 29 August 2005, when hurricane Katrina ripped through her city of New Orleans, breaching its levees and immersing much of it, including her home, in several feet of water. They had built a life together, grown their construction business and had children. Noises emanating from four of her five children bubble up like broth from the back room where they are watching Kung Fu Panda on a giant flat-screen TV. Dave Eggers’s riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun’s roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy − an American who converted to Islam − and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun became possible. "I cracked open at that point," she tells me. He spent his twenties and early thirties at sea, on cargo and passenger ships going all over the world. Blackwell North Amer When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. It was 6 September, six days after the hurricane, and he was in the house – his own property, which he rents out – along with a Syrian friend, Nasser Dayoob, his tenant Todd Gambino and Ronnie, a white man Zeitoun didn't know but who had asked to stay in the house for shelter. Eggers worked closely with Abdulrahman Zeitoun (known simply as "Zeitoun") and his American wife Kathy to faithfully represent Zeitoun's experiences when he remained in New Orleans to … Landrum-Johnson found him guilty of the felony stalking charge at a bench trial on June 6, 2016. As he paddled by, Zeitoun explains, he heard a voice faintly crying "Help!". It was very hurtful. But when Zeitoun was carted off there, he and his three companions found themselves surrounded by 80 or so men with assault rifles and dogs, a mixture of National Guardsmen, prison wardens and soldiers, some of whom had recently been serving in Iraq and who seemed to approach the situation in New Orleans with a war-zone mentality. A New Orleans judge sentenced Abdulrahman Zeitoun, who was portrayed as a hero in a 2009 book about his actions after Hurricane Katrina, to four years in prison for stalking his ex-wife. "I don't want to give these guys the chance to do the same thing to me again.". "Stay away from them," Landrum-Johnson told Zeitoun, leaning forward from the bench while looking at him. The country was in the midst of the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the heels of the Six-Day War. An outside wall of the house is stained with a faint but still clearly discernible line at about shoulder height, a record etched in paint of where the flood waters settled. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers In August of 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. "How could the address of a courthouse be private? Dave Eggers’s riveting account of what happened to this hardworking Muslim immigrant makes it impossible to put the book down. The reason for her current preoccupation is the publication of the new book by that one-man literary factory Dave Eggers, whose best-known previous work is the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. At this point, our journey begins its descent to a much darker place. April 2, 1968. Kathy has been diagnosed with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including memory loss and dizziness. Today, a personal story of a national tragedy. Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Then, on 19 September, she learned of his detention from a missionary who called her after having seen Zeitoun in prison. But surely that suggests that he fears another Katrina, I ask him. Eggers’s riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun’s roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy an American who converted to Islam and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun … To Zeitoun, the series of disasters—first flood, then fire—evoke the story of Noah’s ark. He is known simply as "Zeitoun" to his many neighbors, friends and loyal clients. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers's new book. Camp Greyhound held a total of 1,200 detainees in the aftermath of the hurricane, most of whom were African-Americans and all of whom suffered the indignity of having their right to habeas corpus removed. Orleans Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson, who handed down the sentence Monday (Nov. 21), warned Zeitoun to abide by a permanent protective order barring him from contacting his wife and three children after he is released from custody. About The Book Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian-born entrepreneur who runs a busy painting Page 2/12. "Most of the time I don't think about what happened at all," Kathy says, as she pours the coffee. Kathy seats me in the neat and orderly living room, which is dominated by cream leather sofas and a watercolour of a street scene from her husband's native Syria. Despite facing some mild prejudice after 9/11, Zeitoun has built a life that is both financially and socially successful. Zeitoun is revered in his adopted city as a fair and hardworking businessman. Abdulrahman Zeitoun was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, for felony stalking. The most interesting part was about the aftermath of Katrina, and as Hurricane Harvey had just inundated Houston, it was especially timely reading, How Zeitoun was able to get along so well showed his capability. Subject of post-Katrina book, 'Zeitoun,' sentenced to 4 years for stalking, Emily Lane, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Saturday afternoon and the Zeitoun household is bustling with activity, as you quickly get the impression it always is. Zeitoun, 60, who completed a four-year Louisiana prison sentence in March after his conviction on felony stalking, can remain free in the U.S. as an … To prove the point to himself, perhaps, he plans to buy another boat; his canoe went missing following his arrest. All in all, Zeitoun reckons he must have helped to save or rescue more than 10 neighbours. Prosecutors argued at trial he repeatedly violated a protective order forbidding him to get near his ex-wife or properties they still owned jointly after their divorce. Other questions:subscriberservices@theadvocate.com. At the centre of the book is Kathy's husband, Abdulrahman, or Zeitoun as he is universally known, a New Orleans building contractor who has attained almost mythical status. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina he paddled from house to house in a canoe, offering help to his neighbours. No other questions. After a few years of apprenticeship in the Syrian port city of Jableh, Zeitoun spent twenty years working at sea as a muscleman, engineer and fisherman. In the letter she asks the judge to impose the maximum sentence, saying Zeitoun "went through great lengths to make our live as miserable as possible." It was not read aloud in court. "Until I step out on to the street – then it all comes back to me.". Not only is he the dominant character in the 339 pages of Eggers's book, but in the US press he has been dubbed an "all-American hero" for the phlegmatic way he conducted himself in the midst of catastrophe. The request argued prosecutors failed to prove, among other things, that Zeitoun had intended to commit the crime of felony stalking. On November 8th, Zeitoun was indicted for attempted first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers's new book. "Zeitoun," he says in self-introduction, as though there were any doubt. Zaytoun (organisation), a non-profit organisation marketing Palestinian olive oil products; People. Court officials told her they couldn't divulge such information as it was private. (OPSO). One of the gross injustices against them both was that Zeitoun was allowed no phone call, which left her in mounting despair. "I really don't feel we deserve all this attention," he says in a thick Middle-Eastern accent. "It can happen again.". For his trouble, he was arrested as a suspected terrorist, Abdulrahman Zietoun in the New Orleans Greyhound bus station where he was held after ­being arrested. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is not the calm and peaceful man that Eggers portrayed. Prior to sentencing Zeitoun, Landrum-Johnson denied his request for a new trial. Further on, we come to the residence of a man who was stranded and to whom Zeitoun brought food and water every day while he still had his canoe and his liberty. Zeitoun is a moving and eye-opening journalistic account of a much-loved and respected Syrian-born small business owner and resident of New Orleans in the days before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. He is also extra careful to follow all the civil rules – he doesn't speed or cut through red lights or park where he shouldn't. "All he did was look at my ID," Zeitoun says, "and that was enough. During this time he traveled the world and eventually settled in the United States in 1988. Beside it is a framed 3D model of the Qur'an. Zeitoun points out the spot where he saw a human body floating in the filthy water. The moment he saw my name he said, 'Get into the boat!'". It does so exclusively through the eyes of the Zeitouns. On every street corner he has a tale to tell. As they approach the fifth anniversary of those events, the Zeitouns have managed with striking success to put their lives back together. Eggers spent three years on and off interviewing the family, then translating their memories into his trademark vivid yet restrained prose. they asked a passing soldier. Dave Eggers's latest book, Zeitoun, patiently unravels the harrowing tale of how Kathy Zeitoun, a Louisiana native who grew up in a southern Baptist … The nadir came for her when she tried to find out the address of the courthouse where he was due to appear, charged with looting. A letter from Kathy Zeitoun was put on the record to be considered by the judge for sentencing. Increasingly angry, Kathy reiterated what had happened to her husband as loudly as she could, in front of the reporters. "I felt very bad. How would you feel?". The children are starting to sleep in their own beds again having for years insisted on cramming into their parents' for security. "Katrina was a great reality slap. Then, when he is arrested and imprisoned without being allowed to communicate and without being charged, he is helpless. These guys wanted revenge on us, no matter what.". Eggers's riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun's roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy — an American who converted to Islam — and their children, and the surreal atmosphere in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible. But I've come to the conclusion that I don't control anything. The publisher's description of the book couches it as a story about a Syrian native and house painting contractor who was caught "between America's two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.". His construction skills and great strength proved invaluable as he levered her on a ladder out to the vessel. Abdulrahman Zeitoun main.jpg. Then we arrive at Claiborne Avenue where the weirdness truly began. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers is published by Hamish Hamilton in hardback on 15 March, £18.99. Kathy had suffered abuse from the beginning of her marriage to Abdulrahman. "I don't want them to be afraid to live.". ', because your foot is infected and hurting badly, and he's wearing a green medical gown and a stethoscope around his neck, and he says, 'I'm not a doctor,' and walks on. Zeitoun, Egypt, a suburb outside Cairo. Zeitoun still gets angry about the way he was treated, particularly as an American Muslim. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. We get back into the car and retrace the route of that boat ride, stopping at the Greyhound bus station near the city centre. It was just on a piece of paper on the side of a desk or in a file. The Associated Press contributed to this report. He begins by pointing to a pillar at the front of his house. account of what happened to one man, and his family, in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Zeitoun was completely content, despite the grueling labor. He has never even thought of abandoning the US. "Being called those terrible names. As students explored the book, many were overwhelmed by the heart wrenching but heroic story of the main character, Abdulrahman Zeitoun. (OPSO) I was naive before – I felt I had things under control. Landrum-Johnson set a February court date to follow up on the status of a possible appeal. ", "She was inside the house holding on to the bookshelf with water up to her shoulder," Zeitoun recalls, as we stand outside the house. "Muslim is a very simple word. . Instead, he … . Abdulrahman Zeitoun is not the calm and peaceful man that Eggers portrayed. It explores what happens when the entire fabric of society collapses, plunging a city into a parallel universe where there is no justice, no government, no protection, no respect. The closest thing it reminded him of was Guantánamo. She says her memory has been affected after her ex-husband used her "as a punching bag. Nothing else. Zeitoun loved exploring cities, but he wasn’t the stereotypical sailor: he didn’t gamble or drink alcohol. Abdulrahman Zeitoun was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, for felony stalking. In the days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. . In the hurricane, the flood waters reached almost up to its windows. Zeitoun was on the phone to his brother in Syria when six unidentified police officers and National Guardsmen burst through the front door dressed in military fatigues and bullet-proof vests and carrying M16s and pistols. That said, when I arrive at his house he is nowhere to be seen. To win the argument, Zeitoun compared God to a ship captain ferrying humans through the dangerous seas. Our Lady of Zeitoun, also known simply as El-Zeitoun, Zeitun or rarely Our Lady of Light, was a mass Marian apparition that occurred in the Zeitoun district of Cairo, Egypt, over a period of 2–3 years beginning on April 2, 1968. About The Book Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian-born entrepreneur who runs a busy painting company in New Orleans. Nor will he contemplate quitting New Orleans. Zeitoun By Dave Eggers Vintage 368 pages Paperback $16.00 About This Guide This guide is intended to enhance your group’s reading and discussion of Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun, a harrowing nonfiction account of what happened to one man, and his family, in … Despite that, he refuses to be bitter and vengeful. I did what I was brought up to do – to help people.". Kathy Zeitoun, dressed in a blue silk shirt and matching hijab, is fluttering around making spiced pumpkin-flavoured coffee and answering the constantly ringing phone. He comes into the room straight from a building site with his trousers splattered in mud. The others fared worse: Dayoob, Gambino and Ronnie spent five, six and eight months in prison respectively, despite Zeitoun's efforts to prise them out. On November 8th, Zeitoun was indicted for attempted first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder. For two weeks she had no word from her husband, concluding in the end that he must be dead. I cried harder then than I did at any other time. I'm in control of nothing," she says. He says he is more disciplined now about his religious observance, making sure he at least is punctual for his five daily prayer sessions. ", It was like a dagger blow for Zeitoun, for himself personally and for his vision of America, the country where he had come to live as a young merchant seaman from Syria and which he had always believed was a land of fairness and opportunity. She dashed back to the city from Texas, where she had been staying with friends. Part 4 of the book begins thirty pages later, as Eggers picks up Zeitoun’s story, and readers learn what has happened to him after the end of part 2 during his arrest and incarceration. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American, spent 23 days in jail, wrongly accused of terrorist activity, after his post-Katrina heroics. In the days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. Beside it is a framed 3D model of the Qur'an. Zeitoun's attorney Paul Barker said since his client has already served two years and three months at the Orleans Parish jail, he may be eligible for release as early as this week. Kathy and Zeitoun walked into the lobby, and suddenly Kathy caught sight of Jordan out front, surrounded by reporters. The book, entitled Zeitoun, is, as its name suggests, a very personal telling of a national tragedy. Children are starting to sleep in their own beds again having for years insisted on cramming into their parents for... Spent 23 days in jail, wrongly accused of terrorist activity, as what happened to zeitoun... Month before he was treated, particularly as an American Muslim pillar at the front door and found! 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