Zeitoun

Introduction

Zeitoun is a nonfiction book written by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney's in 2009. It tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the Syrian-American owner of a painting and contracting company in New Orleans, Louisiana who chose to ride out Hurricane Katrina in his Uptown home.

After the hurricane, he traveled the flooded city in a secondhand canoe rescuing neighbors, caring for abandoned pets and distributing fresh water, but was arrested without reason or explanation at one of his rental houses, along with three others, by a mixed group of U.S. Army National Guard soldiers and local police officers. Zeitoun and the others were accused of terrorist activities, presumably because of the large amount of money found in their possession as well as maps of the city and a storage disc, and were detained for 23 days. Zeitoun was refused medical attention and the use of a phone to alert his family. His wife and daughters, who were staying with friends far away from the city, only learned that he had disappeared.


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